Photo: Nikola Balcarová
Description: TJ Sokol Královské Vinohrady is located in a spacious functionalist building near Riegrový sady
Being a Falcon has always been a matter of honor for its members. The Falcons are not only athletes, but also proud patriots. They paid the price for their love for their country, freedom and democracy for the Nazis when Heydrich dissolved the falconry organization in 1941, confiscated its property and had 1,500 falcons arrested. Their sacrifice is remembered every year on October 8th during Falconry Memorial Day, including at the Prague 2 Town Hall on Náměstí Míru.
In Prague, this memorable day will be commemorated on October 8 by a number of events. For example, there will be a fun bike ride, launching of boats and a memorial service in Tyrš’s House in Malá Strana. At Prague 2 City Hall on Náměstí Míru, this day is commemorated every year with a solemn act, when the Sokol flag is unfurled and the national anthem is played. On that occasion, the heroic sacrifices of the falcons are remembered. The Czechoslovak Olympian and Sokol official František Pecháček, martyred by the Nazis, became a symbol of the Sokol resistance. His last words were: “A brave man dies once, cowards die a hundred years. I will die in peace knowing that our sacrifices were not in vain!’
Ceremonial unveiling of a memorial plaque to the Evald brothers from the Sokol family in Vratislavova Street. In the photo, the then mayor Jana Černochová and the brothers’ sister Dagmar. Photo Czech village of Sokolská
The story of the Evald family
Their approach to moral values is also evidenced by the story of the Evald family, to whom the Prague 2 district unveiled a commemorative plaque in Vyšehrad last year. The whole family, parents and children, were Falconers. The Evald brothers fought for their homeland all their lives, during the protectorate they joined the domestic resistance – one in the Defense of the Nation, the other in the illegal Sokol organization. Both heroes were executed by the Nazis in a concentration camp. Their sister Dagmar, an honorary citizen of Prague 2, constantly reminded of the bravery of the two brothers, and at the unveiling of the memorial plaque in Vratislavova street, where the falconers kept the honor guard, she said: “The name Evald is binding. My parents were enthusiastic hawks and raised us in that spirit. For my generation, it was a matter of course to have a heart full of our country.”
TJ Sokol Pražský in Žitná street, photo of Municipal Council of Prague 2
The Sokol uniform was designed by Josef Mánes
Unfortunately, Dagmar Evaldová will not be coming to the Prague 2 City Hall this year during the Falcon Memorial Day. But other representatives of all three Sokol organizations that operate in the territory of Prague 2 will come. The oldest of them is TJ Sokol Pražský, which is historically the first Sokol in the territory of the Czech Republic. Its foundation dates back to 1862, when Sokol co-founder Jindřich Fügner became its first mayor. Its headquarters in Sokolská Street No. 43 is the first and most valuable area of the Sokol municipality. It is there that the oldest gymnasium is located – Fügner’s hall, which dates back to 1863. It was Fügner who introduced ticking between members and addressing a brother. He collaborated on the design of the Sokol uniform, which was designed by Josef Mánes. The red Garibaldi shirt was typical. Jindřich Fügner, however, did not even live to see the first All-Falcon meeting, he died at the age of only 43 from a blood disease. The final farewell was in keeping with his high social status. His remains were displayed on the hearse in the falconry for three days, and the funeral procession and ceremony at the Olšan Cemetery took place with the mass participation of the general public.
Another unit in Prague 2, Sokol Vyšehrad, operates in Podskalí. The Falcons have been practicing here for 132 years. And Sokol Praha – Královské Vinohrady, founded in 1887, has the largest Sokol building. “The falconers took care of the development of sport and versatility even during the first republic, when falconry was built under Vyšehrad and in Riegrovy sady. It is with Sokol Praha Královské Vinohrady that Prague 2 has had a very close cooperation for a long time,” added Jaroslav Šolc, Deputy Mayor of Prague 2 for culture and sports.
TJ Sokol Vyšehrad on the Rašín embankment, photo MČ Prague 2
Annual Sports Festival
Everyone, regardless of age, can come and play sports on the oval behind the falconry in Riegrový sady in the summer. The municipality also provides so-called swimming pools for seniors in the Vinohrady Sokol swimming pool, many events are held here. Occasional cooperation also takes place with two other Sokol units.
Every year, the Prague 2 district organizes the Festival of Sport in the sokolovna in Riegrový Sady, a one-day event that aims to present the various sports clubs operating in Prague 2. Primary school pupils in particular can try the chosen sport there and check whether it is the right one for them. . The offer is wide, from athletics to rowing. And because the examples are endless, students have the opportunity to meet well-known athletes who are top in their field. Tyrš’s Sokol motto still applies: A healthy mind in a healthy body.
TJ Sokol Královské Vinohrady, photo MČ Prague 2
The MČ supports sports for a long time
The city district of Prague 2 has long supported sports and other forms of active spending of free time of local residents in other forms as well. Starting with financial subsidies, through co-organization of events to the provision of suitable premises. This year alone, it allocated 400,000 crowns to support sports. Some of them went to all three Sokol local units, but also to, for example, USK Prague, the Palaestra club, the Judo club and others.
Posted by: Markéta Vančová