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THE SQUARE OF ŠKROUP

Zizkov - Prague 3

GPS: 50°4'50.16"N, 14°26'54.96"E

The Square of Škroup is situated north of the Square of George of Poděbrady. Laubova, Blodkova, Zvonařova, Pospíšilova and Ševčíkova Streets are radially running to it, i.e. these are streets mostly named after famous Czech composers and excellent musical performers. The square was founded in 1910 and its circular circumference was built up with four-storied apartment houses. Nowadays, the central part is modified like a park.

Since its foundation it had been called the Square of Smetana until 1940, of course after Czech composer Bedřich Smetana (1824-1884). During German occupation it was inconceivable that the square, though apparently unimportant, could be named after this devoted Czech. We may suppose that his patriotic operas Libuše, Prodaná nevěsta, Braniboři v Čechách and especially his magnum opus, a cycle of symphonic poems Má vlast (My home country) hampered the most. Thus during 1940-1945 it was called the Square of Suk, after Czech composer Josef Suk (1874-1935). After the end of World War II the name of Smetana had been returned, however as soon as in 1947 the Square got name of Škroup, a Czech composer and author of tune of the Czech anthem Kde domov můj (Where is my home), František Škroup (1801-1862).

It is interesting that this small square went down in the Czechoslovak history at that time. When the communist regime rejected the query of opposition to arrange a meeting in the Wenceslas Square, surprisingly it allowed the meeting here in the Square of Škroup. And thus such fist allowed event took place on the Day of Human Rights on 10th December 1988 since 15.00 – 16.30. The square was not sounded, loud-hailers were used. Marta Kubišová freely sang the national anthem in public there after twenty years. Also Václav Havel and others spoke there.