Křižíkovy a Šafaříkovy sady / Křižík and Šafařík Parks

(Plzeň) Plzeň Východní Předměstí
GPS: 49.745414N, 13.37993E

Křižíkovy a Šafaříkovy sady (originally called Otakarovy and in the 1880s also Kopeckého) constitute the eastern part of the park ring encircling the medieval heart of Pilsen. They were created after the demolition of the city’s fortifications in 1803. Until the 1920s, Mlýnská Strouha / The Mill Drain was a distributor canal of the Radbuza River, with the right bank being called Královské nábřeží / Royal Embankment.

A garden modification with an alley was set up in place of the removed fortification walls. The ring gardens gradually became a presentable public space of the town with prominent public buildings such as the building that is now the Museum of West Bohemia in Pilsen, constructed (as the Emperor and King Franz Joseph I. West Bohemian Museum of Decorative Art) between 1897 and 1900, and Hotel Continental (originally Hotel Menčík, later Pilsner Hof) from the year 1895. Among these buildings, one can today still find the Church of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary with the adjacent premises of the Franciscan Monastery, whose garden was taken up by the museum building. The Mill Drain was filled in between 1921 and 1923 and, although the possibility of developing on the newly arisen space was considered, a park area with ornamental plant beds was set up in place of the water course.

In the year 1941, the section of the gardens between Zbrojnická and Dřevěná Streets was renamed Křižíkovy sady, and a monument to the eminent inventor and industrialist Křižík was erected below Hotel Continetal. The pedestal, designed by the architect Svatopluk Janke, was set up with a bust by the sculptor Stanislav Kukrál and a plaque by Antonín Holub which was placed on the nearby House U Zvonu in 1936, where the “Czech Edison” had his workshop from 1881 on. In 1997, the monument was relocated to Křižíkovy sady, where it has remained to the present day.

Another art object in the gardens is the silicified tree trunk found in the kaolin pits in Červený Újezd, set in front of the museum building in 1916. A bronze statue by Dušan Soták of the famous Pilsen puppets Spejbl and Hurvínek is situated not far away. Also nearby, the Bench of Václav Havel (Havel’s Place) by the architect Bořek Šípek was installed in the year 2014, an original memorial to the first Czech president which one can also come across in Barcelona, Dublin, Washington and Venice. Below the Masné krámy building, a copy of a statue by Jan Brokoff from Charles Bridge made by Ottavio Motta is located. This gave its name to the crossroads U Jána, where it was originally placed until its transfer to the gardens in the 1930s.

The specific public space called Proluka was created in Křižíkovy sady in the year 1980 on the edge of the historical centre, where a fragment of the town’s fortifications appeared after three houses had been pulled down. In 2001, the painters Vladivoj Kotyza and Miroslav Čech decorated the southern gable with the mural Teatrum Mundi, depicting famous Pilsen personalities, from the knight Žumbera to the actor Miroslav Horníček. Proluka is primarily used as a cultural venue today – for theatre performances, concerts and exhibitions.

In the years 1994–1996, the gardens were reconstructed based on a project by the AWIDA Studio. The reconstruction involved the installation of metal pergolas planted with creepers, a circular fountain in front of the museum and other minor water items.


JČ – MK

Sources

  • mapy.plzen.eu
 
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