Rostański, K.M., 2006, Cultural connotations in parks of industrial Upper Silesian Agglomeration – compare of the past and present views, in: ECLAS (Dragovic, T.), ‘Cutural dimensions of urban landscape’, Spectra Centre of Excellence & Road 2006,
- Author : Rostański, K.M.
- Year : 2006
- English Title : Cultural connotations in parks of industrial Upper Silesian Agglomeration - compare of the past and present views
- Published in Book : Cutural dimensions of urban landscape
- Pages : 57
- Abstract in English : The article compare ideas of the composition of two green areas. The biggest Polish public park in Chorzow and Silesian Botanical Garden in Mikolow being under construction.
During the years of 50-thies and 60-thies was build Provincial Park of Culture and Rest in Chorzow. Its main composition belongs to social-realism style. That should have underlined character of Upper Silesian Agglomeration as industrial region being the symbol of the creation of communist world. During period of construction its elements gradually evolved to modernism style. Previous ideological values, which determined early structure shows typical forms of classicism. Main alley leaded straight trough symmetrical rows of trees and bosquets. Symmetry ends up at the concrete bordered pond with an island. This alley is crossed by perpendicular alley with the same very symmetrical arrangement. Symmetry and long perspectives represented dignity, power and stability of communist ideology and authority. Some classical pavilions built for the public amusement have this form to show historical connections of communist ideology. People should have been aware that “communism was the highest and the most matured type of political systems, and in natural way evolved from the previous systems”. Of course the most important group of people were there workers, so near main alley and mentioned pavilions you can see sculptures of workers and village people. Classicism on the one hand and the folk culture on the other were very important for that ideology. Later elements appeared after death of Stalin and events of 1956 year changed their forms. Modernistic elements became ideologically acceptable as the symbols of modernity. Exhibition pavilion called “cap” and the area of the lawn around, divided by circle and straight lines of paths are one of the most innovative there. New forms didn’t mean resignation with ideological approach. Main alley was closed from one side by living block - house where workers live. Axis of that alley leaded from that building, by park where workers took a rest and ended at the horizon on chimneys of the ironworks. Nowadays that chimneys are already destroyed but on town plan you can see this coincidence still.
Now, when communist total ideology has gone away appear new questions. What is real character of this region? What kind of cultural values give true view of that character?
In 2005 year was prepared conception plan of Silesian Botanical Garden in Mikolow. Its basic idea is to underline local identity in various dimensions. Biological aspects of that identity are mainly developing by following collections: of usable plants cultivated especially in this region, of arboretum where wood is rebuilding into various kinds of plant communities present in Silesia, of plants resistant to bed environmental conditions, of ruderal plants. In central part of the garden will be geological exhibition as the coal deposits affected that region the most. Not only natural but either cultural tradition is there one of main objects. That will be realising by Silesian landscapes exhibited and protected there. From highest point of area is possible to see all elements typical for Upper Silesian Agglomeration. They are: factories, settlements, agriculture areas and woods. There is a plan to locate there Scansen museum of old traditional professions. In the pavement structure there are hidden dimensions too. Form of path pattern differs according to section. System section will have more or less perpendicular structure, to show character of nature order. Statues of Carl von Linne, the father of modern systematic and other famous naturalists along main alley will express place of mankind in nature. Sectors of plant geography and of ornamental plants will have free leaded paths to underline beauty and picturesque aspects of plants and nature of different world regions. Social dimensions are visible there too. History of Silesia was not easy. In the beginning it was one of the most important regions in Polish country. Next was moved to Czech country, Austria and Germany. Now is again in Poland. But what about people living there? For all this centuries they have been feeling themselves Silesians, being not convinced what country was their real origin. What however is characteristic for them, they still use old Polish language with some influences of German. That language they were used in homes and what is especially important in church. That is one of the most characteristic elements of Silesian identity. So in designed structure of the garden appeared little Franciscan chapel. That gives opportunity to create around it Garden of Nature Miracle and affect wider road pattern. The chapel is a central point of path axes of the System section. Because of the scale of the garden it is not easy to see that and like in peoples life one is aware of God as the centre of world and the other is not convinced to that. In plant geography section are intended to be “Gardens of the World”, ie gardens expressed, in some way, national or regional identities. That should show multinational character of Silesia.
Creating space with cultural connotations increases its value. Without that remain only aesthetics but it is the most sensitive to lack of maintaining among other dimensions of park space.
- Outline in English : The article compare ideas of the composition of two green areas. The biggest Polish public park in Chorzow (The Culture and Rest Park, nowadays Silesian Park) and Silesian Botanical Garden in Mikolow being under construction.