On 10 June 1942, the entire village of Lidice became an innocent victim of World War II. Today, the Lidice Memorial is located here, whose mission is to preserve the memory of the extermination of the village and the suffering of its citizens.
At the memorial site where the old Lidice stood, you will feel and get to know the cruel past. You can visit the museum building with the multimedia exhibition And the Innocent Were Guilty… The Lidice Memorial also includes the In Memoriam Hall, which is used for thematic exhibitions, as well as the Pod Tribunou Hall. A number of events and programmes are held here. The permanent expositions change from time to time.
Looking at the works of art on display in the complex sends chills down the spine. The bronze sculpture of 82 children of Lidice that perished in the gas chambers in Chelmno is especially moving. It was created by academic sculptor Marie Uchytilová, who dedicated the memorial to all children who died during WWII. In the commemorative area there are also statues of a mourning woman at the grave of the Lidice men, a mother and child at the foundations of the original school and a woman protecting her face from the flames at the foundations of the former church.
- Tip for you: Five years after the tragedy, 300 metres from the original village, the foundation stone of the new Lidice was laid. You can see for yourself what kind of houses were built here at that time if you head with a guide to the family house with the description number 116. The house is a part of the Lidice Memorial and contains the permanent ‘Building New Lidice’ exposition within its authentic spaces.
The nearby Lidice Gallery displays the gifts to Lidice from artists from all over the world in the permanent ‘Remember Lidice’ exhibition. Temporary exhibitions take place on the first floor. From May to October, the marble gallery hall displays the current year of the Lidice International Children’s Art Exhibition. They also organise various cultural events, concerts and theatre performances.
Between the new and old Lidice lies the Rose Orchard. The more than 24,000 rose bushes growing in the Rose Garden symbolise the men, women and children of Lidice.
- Interesting fact: In 2015, the rose garden was awarded the Record of the Year at the Pelhřimov festival – for the highest number of rose bushes in one garden. The World Federation of Rose Societies bestowed the Award of Garden Excellence to it in the same year, which made it one of most important rose gardens in the world.
Where to head next?
The men from Lidice and the adjacent villages made their living by farming, crafts or working in the nearby Poldi steelworks in Kladno and the adjacent mines. There is not much left of the once world-famous complex, but you can still get acquainted with the industrial past of Kladno. Start at the Kladno Château, where you will learn that a mole discovered coal in Kladno, which inspired Zdeněk Miler to create the Mole. Continue on to the Tower Block Museum, the construction of which in the 1950s was linked to the city’s heavy industrialisation. To learn about coal mining in Kladno, head to the Mayrau Mine, which is a protected monument. In this historic open-air museum, you will feel as if the last workers left only yesterday.