Meditační zahrada – Památník obětem zla / Meditation Garden - Memorial to the Victims of Evil

(Plzeň) Plzeň Doudlevce
GPS: 49.71831, 13.388

The Memorial to the Victims of Evil is located in a garden colony on the right bank of the Radbuza River near its confluence with the Úhlava, a few hundred meters east of the Tyrš Bridge. Its origin is closely connected with the fate of the soldier and political prisoner Luboš Hruška (1927-2007), who spent nearly four decades transforming the original garden into a permanent memorial to the suffering caused by totalitarian regimes.

Luboš Hruška acquired the fruit orchard from his father in 1960 after returning from prison, where he spent more than ten years of his originally eighteen-year sentence, which he was given for an attempt to cross the state border. Influenced by encounters with many imprisoned Christians there, including priests and bishops, he secretly accepted the Catholic faith. During his years in prison, he also promised that if he survived, he would turn the inherited orchard into a landscaped park for the recovery of the human soul and dedicated to the Holy Cross. Soon after his release from prison, he began carrying out adaptations to the garden and planting ornamental trees. In doing so, he applied the theoretical knowledge he gained at lectures on garden architecture, which he attended in Průhonice near Prague.

From 1987 to 1991, Luboš Hruška completed the space based on the composition of conifers and water and green areas with twelve sandstone statues of fourteen Stations of the Cross made by the sculptor Roman Podrázský. The suffering of Jesus Christ, who accepted it as a substitute sacrifice for humanity, was meant to refer to the hardships of those who opposed totalitarian regimes.

After 1989, a plan was created to complete the whole effort by building a chapel. Pilsen-based architects Jan Soukup and Jiří Opl took on the task of developing the project. The chapel, finished in 1995, was dedicated to Saint Maximilian Kolbe ­– a Catholic priest who voluntarily went to his death in the Auschwitz Nazi extermination camp in place of a father of three children, thus saving his life.

In 1995, Luboš Hruška handed over the completed premises to the Pilsen bishopric, which keeps the garden open to the public and to church, cultural and social events. Luboš Hruška received many awards for his life work. He was the holder of the Pilsen Historical Seal and the City of Pilsen Award; in 2006 he became an honorary citizen of the city. In 1997, President Václav Havel bestowed upon him the Order of T. G. Masaryk and five years later he received the Grand Cross of the Knight's Order of St. Sylvester from Pope John Paul II. On the day of his funeral in July 2007, Luboš Hruška was awarded the Golden Cross of Merit from the Minister of Defence of the Czech Republic in memoriam.


JČ ­– MK

Sources

  • Luboš Hruška, Wikipedie, https://cs.wikipedia.org/wiki/Luboš_Hruška, vyhledáno 19. 9. 2017.
  • Památník obětem zla, Křížky a vetřelci, http://krizkyavetrelci.plzne.cz/katalog/dilo/81/, vyhledáno 19. 9. 2017.
  • Kaple sv. Maxmiliána Kolbeho, Křížky a vetřelci, http://krizkyavetrelci.plzne.cz/katalog/dilo/212/, vyhledáno 19. 9. 2017.
  • Křížová cesta v meditační zahradě, Křížky a vetřelci, http://krizkyavetrelci.plzne.cz/katalog/dilo/1311/, vyhledáno 19. 9. 2017.
 
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