In 1998, the municipality of Nové Sedlice separated from the Štítina village. The football field and its surroundings is the only public space in the municipality. The new local authority’s goal is to improve the atmosphere and interpersonal relations in the village through open communication and collaboration between the local authority and citizens with the local societies. Therefore, it was very important for the municipality to start community planning, involving the citizens in the decision-making concerning the future development of their village.
The main purpose of the Embellishing Society for Nadějkov and its Neighbourhood is, among other things, to smarten up the region and to protect the environment. All the activities are done with the effort to involve the general public: the citizens are drawn into active decision-making and collaboration. This hold true also in the project of transformation of the presbytery garden located between the church and the presbytery in the western part or the square in the middle of the South-Bohemian village of Nadějkov.
The municipality of Francova Lhota is located in the Senice river valley in the western part of Javorník, at the border with the Slovak Republic. Several non-profit organizations and societies are active in the village, making the social life rather colourful. These societies make it possible for the local citizens to collaborate well with the municipality. Owing to the new “Oasis of Piece”, a project took place in Francova Lhota that involved the local public in the municipality development. The locals built a relax zone near the community house, which acquired the name “Špuntov” during the project implementation.
The renovation of the park before the building of the Vocational School in Plasy is the logical result of the efforts to follow the recent history of the place. The school building near the plot is built in functionalistic style of the 1930’, the park with its potential to become the natural centre of one of the municipality quarters was hitherto unused. The Academic Top (Akademický vršíček) citizen association, active at the school, organizes the students’ parents, former students and teachers, who gladly assisted in the renovation of the park and its transformation to a community and relaxation spot in Plasy.
In the past, a small pub was closed in the Chříč municipality, leaving the local village square with the park the only place for gatherings and cultural and community events organizing. The square, located in the very centre of the village, acquired its unflattering image in the 1970’ during the event “the village catches up with the town”. The original picturesque village square was formed by a big pond with greenery, old pub and several weekenders’ cottages; then, the community house replaced the pub, which, on being finished, proved to be too big and was never properly used.
The village Val is situated near the town of Veselí nad Lužnicí. Local village people and Union of Scouts reconstruceted a toppled stone base of a cross that was erected already in 1764. Survivors remember that destruction of the cross was caused by a runaway horse who overthrew the monument.
This project aims to promote public interest in literature and highlight the past and present of Brno City with the "site specific" bookcases placed by important places of the city.
Local people stood up to the idea of dumping hundreds of thousands tons of dangerous material called OTOSAN 2 to a pit very near residential area.
Through the collection of signatures, the Brnění Civic Association has registered a public representative to represent public interests in the urban planning process of Brno.
“The Academy of Social Entrepreneurship was for me, most of all, a self-service market with a highly qualified and friendly staff. The overall market place was very inspirational and the teachers and tutors enthusiastically advised me about all the ‘goods’ on offer that could make my work at the Sue Ryder Home easier and more effective.
Since March 2005, Portus Prague has operated a sheltered workshop in the municipality of Slapy, in which nine mentally disabled people are employed to produce marinated ermine (hermelín) cheese. This small production facility was founded primarily for therapeutic purposes. However, demand for this cheese, a staple of Czech restaurants and pubs, quickly surpassed expectations and attracted great interest. This interest led Portus Prague to consider the further development of the sheltered workshop.
Cultural Heritage Does Not Stand Still
The former Sudetenland is an area with a turbulent history of expulsion, resettlement, and uprooted families. Traditions, customs and bonds to the land were replaced by insensitivity, systematic plundering, and apathy. Memory was erased and the formerly self-supporting and vital border area was forgotten.
Creativity is also a Dialogue
These days, we seem to continually hear the word “dialogue” leaping at us from newspapers, resounding from television, and reverberating in the speeches of politicians. They all speak about the need for dialogue in the family, between nations, religions, across social and ethnic groups. The dictionary defines “dialogue” as a conversation between two or more people, from the Greek “dia logos” meaning through words, talk. Dialogue is a bridge by which you can reach a different world – people who enter into a dialogue should not only understand each other, but should also be mutually offering something – information, advice, inspiration – in return.
After the fall of communism, the small town of Katovice experienced a renaissance in community life. With new freedoms, residents renewed traditions nonexistent under communism: neighbors met for Christmas caroling; a theater group was established; neighbors joined to hold community Easter celebrations. As residents embraced newly available possibilities, Katovice became home to numerous community associations.
A book lies on the table. On its cover is a studio photograph taken more than ninety years ago. A young man in uniform stares stoically into the camera lens, though his eyes betray a glimmer of youthful pride. On the corner of the photograph is written simply the words: “Died in battle in Italy, November 1, 1916, age 19 ½.”
The INEX-SDA Civil Association in Kostelecké Horky and in Tvarožná Lhota in the Moravian region of Slovácko is focused on reviving local events, traditional customs and handicrafts. Together with the local community, they plant trees, harvest herbs for use in traditional drinks, and care for marshes and wetlands of the region.
This is how Jan Karafiát’s classic children’s book, “The Little Bugs,” begins. A book that was read back when there were still horse drawn carriages in the streets, planes had not yet begun to fly and telephones had not yet been invented. Time moves on and now children are caught up in their mobile telephones, computers and televisions, while the allure of nature take a backseat.
A half kilometer past the village of Svûtví through the Terãino Valley Park, you will discover the Cuknštejn Fort perched on a small hill above the Stropnice River. Although now accessible only by foot, this 15th century structure was almost continually inhabited for over 400 years. Following World War II, the Fort was deserted, forgotten by all but local residents, and fell into disrepair.
The Volunteer Fire Brigade in Turkovice has twenty members and responds to several dozen emergencies each year. Each firefighter routinely puts his or her life at risk to help others in need – and this with no compensation other than pride in serving their community. Despite their exemplary record and the gratitude of local residents, those that answer the calls of help faced an emergency of their own: the Turkovice Fire Brigade’s ability to protect their community was endangered by the dilapidated state of their sole fire engine.
“Music Studio,” a project implemented by the Týn nad Vltavou Parish Charity – BONGO Social Services Center
The Saint’s Spring in Brankovice has been a favorite destination for local residents for as long as anyone can remember. The scene is idyllic: in a small clearing in the woods of eastern Moravia, an ancient linden tree casts shade upon a small chapel locals know as U svaté. Beneath the chapel flows a spring whose waters are said to heal all maladies. The chapel dates to 1704 according to records, but locals say that the spring’s miraculous properties have been known for far longer.
On a quiet path in the forest near the Polish border, a statue holds its mysteries silent. The origin of the statue of St. Mary Magdalen between the villages of Větrov and Frýdlant in northern Bohemia is unknown: who created this? what is the significance of where it is placed? The Frýdlant Monuments Board and a group of local volunteers work to unravel and preserve its history.
Over 700 years ago, German miners founded the town of Potštát on Eastern Moravia’s Jesenik lowlands. Tucked beneath the Oderské Mountains, Potštát grew into a market town drawing Czech, Slovak, and Wallachian immigrants. In 1781, Potštát’s residents consecrated a stone and mortar chapel to replace the original wooden church that had served their town for years. This chapel is still in use today.
Regard for the past is connected to what awaits us in the future. If we lose our past, the path to the future ceomes clear. The age in which we now live is like a depleted memory. Local shops have been replaced by huge supermarkets, roads traveled for centuries have been severed by highways. For this reason, we owe our gratitude to people who seek out to revive the collective memories of the places in which we live; those who have come to realize that if we lose ”trace” of our ancestors, a gap will develop that nothing will be able to fill.
In first half of the 19th century, the farmer, folk healer and founder of modern hydrotherapy, Vincenc Priessnitz, established a health spa not far from the town of Jeseník. There are dozens of small historical monuments scattered throughout the area, many of which were built in gratitude by the patients of the spa. The extensive number of these historical objects is an apt memorial to this famous native. Included among them are the Adéla, Flóra and Adolf springs, which were used for medical purposes as a part of the spa treatment.
The cross was erected in the 19th century in the memory of the victims of the plague. The cross formerly stood in the town center, but is now located in a small residential area on a frequented footpath. The Association repaired the cross and the area around it and installed a plaque with information about smaller monuments throughout the town of Bruntál.
The small chapel with its belfry, dating from the year 1937, is the only reminder of the town of Libčice, which in the 1970’s was submerged in the construction of the Želivka – Švihov water reservoir. The town’s inhabitants were evacuated and all the buildings were destroyed, with the exception of the small chapel.
The small chapel stands on the edge of the village right on the side of the road. It was most likely first erected in the 19th century by the owner of the neighboring land. While for many years, the descendents of the property and the villagers cared for the monument, it was abandoned in the early part of this decade for lack of resources.
Several smaller monument located in the district of Holany are considered important as endangered examples of the local folk-art craftsmanship and traditions. The project supported by the Via Heritage Fund focused on the restoration of seven small monuments from the 18th and 19th century – including a small chapel and cross.
For the chapel in the Western Bohemian town of Hněvnice, its very existence was dependent upon its timely renovation. Over twenty years ago, it had already been considered unrecoverable due to its dilapidated state and had been removed from the list of protected monuments. Nevertheless, in 2004, the Hněvnice town chapel was brought back to life. The rescue mission was undertaken by the Association for the Renewal of the Hněvnice Township, who received a grant of $ 3,170 from the Czech Heritage Society for the renovation of this small sacral monument.
In Lestkov, there are a series of small monuments that are gradually being reconstructed by the Helping Ourselves Association, working in cooperation with the local government and the Roman Catholic church. Among them is also a public fountain in the town, which was damaged by an American army jeep at the end of WWII, and finally removed in the 1950’s. In its place, there are plans to build a new public fountain. Another of the small monuments in Lestkov is the statue of St. Dominik, which was reconstructed with the help of $ 3,300 from the Via Heritage Fund in 2004.
The Baroque Plague Column was originally erected at the town Dvorce’s entrance during the time of the plague in order to warn travelers not to enter, helping Dvorce avoid contamination in the 18th century epidemic. After 1945 however, the column fell into disrepair. In 2002, the Vlastenecký pouník Civic Association succeeded in raising enough money for its restoration.
Following World War II, the small town of Broumov became a near-ghost town virtually overnight. Of the town’s prewar population of just over 23,000 people, 22,000 were forcibly displaced. This essentially destroyed that which war had not: the displacement of 95% of Broumov’s residents severed nearly all community life, a legacy Broumov’s current population of 8000 is struggling to overcome.
Walking into the room, the first thing that we saw were colorful drawings showing swing sets, merry-go-rounds, dozens of v-shaped birds in the air, and on one, something that looked curiously like an igloo.
Lužná consists of two districts about one kilometer apart. Though that distance may seem small, as town residents admit, there was no real sense of unity between the two parts of the village.
Of Unhošťs 3,500 inhabitants, almost 1,000 are children. With so many children in the town, three local mothers – Marcela Jurková, Lenka Jansová and Monika Beličková – were frustrated that the town had no safe and clean space for kids to play. Instead of simply complaining about the problem, the three women decided to take action.
Despite a complicated project title – “The Culture-Arts Program in Vesmírna, the Cafe with a Work-Training Program for People with Mental and Combined Handicaps” – rest assured that the program itself is neither complicated nor difficult to understand. To find out for yourself, all you must do is stop by the café, order something from the staff who work here, enjoy the artwork adorning the walls and let time flow… Or you can join one of the workshops or see a performance – whatever you do, you won’t leave disappointed and you might even learn something new!