Friday, 20 November 2009

Heroldovy Sady, Vršovice

Although Vršovice has existed since 1088, eight centuries passed before it officially became a town, and a further forty years before it became part of Prague. The mayor who presided over the change in status in 1855 was a certain Dr Herold, who is today commemorated by these gardens.  His monument stands near the huge ash tree, which is still wearing its leaves in this late autumn weather.

But before it was a public park, this particular area had been - of all things - a mulberry plantation. In the early part of the 19th century, over 1000 bushes were cultivated here for the breeding of silkworms by the Italian Josef Rangheri and later by his son Henry, whose great palace the 'Rangherka' still dominates one end of the park. I was tempted to think that the bush in the foregound might be a descendant of one of their mulberries, but after careful research my sister and others have come to the conclusion that it's a species of Viburnum, possibly viburnum pragensis, a variety first bred in this city in 1955.

Heroldovy Sady is bounded on its northern side by some particularly fine residential buildings, one of which is pictured below. Click to enlarge, and you will have a better view of the cameo of St Wenceslas in the medallion above the window.


Jilly said...

Two beautiful photographs, Alex. I love the light coming through the trees.

I remember as a child studying silkworms at school and having to take in some mulberry leaves each day. We don't see many mulberries now except when they are used for shade in France. I saw loads in Ohio last year though. I suppose silk is still made the same way but really I haven't a clue.

Fascinating history of Vrsovice.

fiziskandarz said...

great photos!! keep it up :)

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