Czech Genealogy & History: The one, the only, Czech Cultural Garden
Welcome to our second installment of our article on the world’s only Czech Cultural Garden.
In our first installment, which you can read by clicking here, we ended with the dedication of the Czech Garden to “our beloved Czech parents”. Today we pick back up at the Garden with more information on this unique Czech cultural setting.
The Czechs are not alone
As we also noted earlier there are some 28 additional gardens in the Cultural Gardens, which join the garden dedicated to the Czechs. These other 28 are British (was Shakespeare), Hebrew, German, Slovak, Italian, Lithuanian, Ukrainian, Hungarian, Polish, Jugoslav, Rusin, Grecian, Syrian, American, Irish, American Legion Peace, Finnish, Estonian, Romanian, African-American, Chinese, Indian, Latvian, Azerbaijani, Serbian, Croatian, Albanian, and Armenian.
Each of these gardens feature the culture and cultural icons of their native land and people. The Gardens got a significant shot-in-the-arm when the Works Progress Administration (WPA) provided some labor assistance for several of the gardens and the park in general in the 1930s. The popularity of the Gardens continues to this day as this past summer, during their One World Day celebration over 10,000 people visited the Gardens on one day alone.
They have some wonderful company, but the Czech Cultural Garden has something special
While each Garden has its own feel, atmosphere, and highlights, there is one thing special about the Czech Garden, which sets itself apart from the others. The Czech Garden has more statuary than any of the other gardens plus its amazing frieze.
There are bronze statues or busts of Jan Amos Komensky, famed educator, Tomáš G. Masaryk, first president of Czechoslavakia, Bedrich Smetana, the composer of, among other pieces, “The Bartered Bride”, Miroslav Tyrs, the organizer of Sokol societies, Jan Purkyne, physiologist, Frantisek Palacky, historian and author, Anton Dvořák, world-renowned composer, Jendrick Simon Baar, novelist, Karel Havlicek, journalist, and Bozena Nemcova, beloved novelist. All of the statuary is the work of Czech-American sculptor Frank L. Jirouch.
Another meaningful addition to the Czech Garden was made by President and Madam Benes, when they presented and planted two Bohemian linden trees in the Garden in 1939.
As you look at the surnames of the individual working to establish and maintain the Gardens it reads somewhat like a phonebook from Bohemia: Zeman, Zlamal, Nemastil, Kovanda, Manak, Vlchek, Jirouch, Koster, Holub, Babka, Zeleznik, Louzecky, Benesch, Koster, Plent, Frcka Ruzicka, Dvorak, Triska, Ptak, Sidlo, Bubna, Zdara, and Nosek.
Quite an amazing group of names for certain!
Stay with us as we continue this wonderful story of this rich and amazing Czech cultural gem!
Onward To Our Past®