Parks and Nature
For rest and relaxation, visitors to Pilsen can choose from a variety of parks and gardens. The largest and most visited park in Pilsen is Borský Park, founded in 1914 on the site of a former military training ground. During the construction of housing estates in the 1960s it was extended to a forest park. Due to its size (42 ha) and amenities, it provides excellent conditions for sports fitness and relaxation time spent outdoors.
Also popular is the large Lochotín Park, located near the Pilsen Zoo. It was built in the 1930s as a spa resort, and contains the Empire Lochotín Pavilion from 1833. The park also includes Lochotín Amphitheatre with a capacity of up to 30,000, making it one of the largest open-air venues in the Czech Republic. The park is connected to the city centre by a tree-lined lane called Kilometrovka that is scheduled to be revitalized in 2013.
Although Pilsen is known to Czech and foreign tourists alike, the unique recreation area around the Bolevec ponds is virtually unknown outside the Pilsen region. This is despite the fact that it is an extraordinarily valuable location, offering numerous opportunities for swimming and walking, even for the physically impaired.
The Bolevec pond system is a unique late Gothic work from the mid-15th century, making it older than the better-known system of the Třeboň. It consists of many ponds suitable for swimming, namely Velký bolevecký (Large Bolevec), and other ponds, such as Senecký, Třemošenský, Šídlovský and Kamenný. There are also several smaller ponds used primarily for fish breeding.
The best natural swimming area is definitely at Velký bolevecký (about 50 ha), on whose sandy north shore there is a public recreation area with the Ostend swimming area. It includes changing rooms, toilets, food stalls, a maintained beach and a long pier. The beach is lined with pine trees, which provide shade to beachgoers.
Memorial to the Victims of Evil
The meditation garden with the Memorial to the Victims of Evil in Pilsen to commemorate all victims of evil, was the life’s work of political prisoner Luboš Hruška. In a recreation area on the southern outskirts of the city, he constructed an area of outstanding beauty and harmony. With its monumental Way of the Cross and the M. Kolbe Chapel, it is a popular place for rejuvenation and reflection.
The Luft garden
The Luft garden was founded between 1918 and 1933 by JUDr. William Luft as a private formal garden with two ornamental ponds, many exotic trees, a gazebo and sculptural ornamentation. It is currently owned by the city. The moist character of the land showcases a community of wetlands flora and fauna.
Štruncovy sady consists of a green triangular area between the historical centre of the city and the Pilsner Urquell Brewery. One side is bounded by a four-lane road, and the remaining sides of the triangle are created by the Mže and Radbuza rivers. Their confluence on the edge of Štruncovy sady forms the Berounka river. The park is a popular place with sports fans, being the site of the newly renovated FC Viktoria Pilsen football stadium.
For other interesting information, see Nature Trails...