IFLA: Cultural Landscapes Committee

best practices > sample project summaries

St. George Park

Cultural Landscape Type: Designed

Project Name: St. George Park

Project Type: Documentation Project, Proposed Zoning and Land Use Change; Planning Project, Management Plan; Intervention Project, Adaptation for New Use; Management/Stewardship/Legal Elements, Landscape Management Systems

Location: Czech Republic, City of Plzen, Plzen Region

Cultural Landscape Size: 500ha

Property Owner/Steward: City of Plzen and Private Landowners

Funding: European Funds, 1 Million Euros

Relevant Historical Dates: Prehistoric to Present Times

Historic Landscape Architect, Designers: Klara Salzmann, Ph.D.

Contact: Klara Salzmann, Authorized Landscape Architect, Czech Republic, klarasalzmann@yahoo.com

Project Description:

The vicinity of the confluence of Mze and Uslava rivers is known as one of the oldest permanent historic settlements in the wider Plzen River Basin. The historic tradition of this place referred to in all kinds of old tales, the remains of the natural landscape preserved in close proximity to a large industrial city, mean you can justly call the area around St. George Church the Plzen mystical cult center. Up until now the vicinity of St. George Church is very popular as site for many cultural events such as county fairs, Lights of Plzen firework competition, history recall weekends, medieval knight contest for the Lance of St. George, and numerous sporting events. Even informal free time and recreational activities such as recreational biking and family hikes frequently take place there.

The park concept is based on the integration of the Uslava and Mze (Berounka) rivers alluvia, the meadows on both sides of the Uslava and Mze (Berounka) rivers, and the massif of Pecihradek hill into one park unit. The proposed park will also include the Mze (Berounka) valley stretch up to the existing the footbridge. The present landscape character of the entire area will be fully conserved and preserved. There is a ban on any new construction still in effect according to the area’s valid planning documentation.

In practical terms, the plan will make the area more accessible. The river approaches are to be established and the river will become accessible for canoeing, kayaking and small recreational boat traffic. Any new construction will be strictly limited to hiking, biking, and educational trails only augmented by support accessories such as trail markers and orientation sign panels. St. George Park is designed to serve as a natural landscape park displaying and emphasizing the local natural and cultural values. The primary users will be the local dwellers of the nearby neighborhood of Plzen-Doubravka and the bikers using the international bike route #3 Praha – Nuremberg.

The proposed landscaping includes new greenery planting arrangement to separate and protect the existing V Rohaci and Na Prelatske Louce meadows from the sewage water treatment plant and other industrial objects as well. The whole park will be free from any commercial use and have no links to the surrounding industrial plants. The park open greenery system will be composed of meadows surrounding the two river confluence. There will be new riverbank greenery and vegetation buffer zones of high growing original species will be established as well.

New landscaping also presumes complete removal of the existing woods growing on the original Pecihradek fortress site, making this historic object more presentable clearing very impressive views in the direction of Plzen city.

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. . .deterioration or disappearance of any item of the cultural or natural heritage constitutes a harmful impoverishment of the heritage of all the nations of the world.

World Heritage Convention Concerning the Protection of the World Cultural and Natural Heritage, 1972