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The Royal Game Park (Stromovka)

The Royal Deer Park / Stromovka (Tree Park)
The park was probably established by the king Přemysl Otakar II in the 1360s. The first written reference to the park is from the year 1319. At the turn of the 15th century, the king Vladislav decided to build the hunting lodge in the Royal Deer Park, the the stretch was around 55 hectares. This lodge was rebuild during the golden era of Rudolf II in the 1590s. The existing pond was also developed and other three water reservoirs were built up to keep the trouts and water birds. The pheasantary was also constructed. The water supply of the reservoirs was worked out by constructing the adit, later called Rudolf´s. The adit is 1097 metres long and it took nearly a decade to build it. During the following centuries the park was destroyed several times by the  ceding troops. The park was reconstructed after the year 1742 and in 1804 it was made accessible for the public. The Rudolf´s lodge was rebuilt into the viceregent´s lodge in years 1808-11. The whole park went through the complete change into the landscape park in the second half of 19th century, the pond was dried and the road for carriages was constructed.
The public gave the park a nickname Stromovka. The characteristic of the park was radically changed when the railroad Prague-Dresden divided the park into two separate parts (1845), later also the Buštěhrad railroad was built in the south part of Stromovka. In 1891 the area of the park was reduced by using the part of that for building the exhibition site for the Jubilee national exhibition. In 1949 the whole park is handed over to the control of the city of Prague. During the 1960s the area of  park was reduced again by the construction of former Soviet Union embassy. The 1990s were characterized by the further reconstructions of the park- the Rudlof´s adit was reopened, the ponds were completely cleaned and the their shores were restored.
The Stromovka park faced the most difficult time during its history in 2002, when the great flood hit Prague. On 14th August the water  covered almost two thirds of the park. As the result or the catastrophy  tons of mud and thousands of trees had to be cleared away. Unfortunatelly the complete restoration of the park is going to take decades.

There is the book about  the flood in the Royal Game Park (with German and English text)

"Královská obora Stromovka 2002" by Mervyn Sterneck, ISBN 80-903366-0-4

 

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