Bečovská botanická zahrada
Bečovská botanická zahrada Bečovská botanická zahrada Bečovská botanická zahrada

Bečov Botanical Garden

Jiří Šindelář

The botanical garden was developed between 1918–1935 at the initiative of Jindřich Beaufort-Spontin and the gardener Johann Kodýtko. It was a unique work of garden and landscape architecture. In its own time, the vast compound was called “the other Průhonice,” evoking the comparison with the famous landscape park near Prague. After 1945, the Bečov Beaufort properties were acquired by the Czechoslovak state, and the gardens were taken over, and later developed into a communal enterprise, gradually falling into disrepair and finally shutting down. The spaces were taken over by a manufacturing cooperative, who constructed there workshops, warehouses, loading spaces and a furnace room. The fate of the park and its spaces was very uncertain at the time. The departure of the duke’s gardeners left the garden storage uncared for, prompting the dispersal of the plants housed there into private gardens. This situation lasted until 2004, when the ČSOP Berkut organization bought part of the garden from the township of Bečov nad Teplou, and in 2005 began setting up an organization for its revitalization. Apart from making opening the garden up to the public, the current organizers also organize public events, such as educational programs and an eco-center, as well as offering year-round activities for kindergartens, schools and other interested groups. They also organize city camps for children, as well as similar activities, including staging a hike called Z Bečova za minerálními prameny / From Bečov to the Mineral Springs for kids and adults, and take part in Zažít město jinak / Experience the City Anew.