Kladno Sketches

2019      duration: 10 minutes

1. Zámek – peaceful gardens      2. Poldi – ironworks      3. Svobody – Freedom plaza

Kladno is a Czech city in the Central Bohemian Region 25 kilometers northwest of Prague. In the middle of the 19th century, the discovery of coal there led to the establishment of one of the great ironworks and then steel mills in all of Europe.

Kladno is near Lidice, the village destroyed by the Gestapo in 1942. Of the Lidice men who were all shot in the atrocity, many had walked to Kladno each day to work in the coal mine or the Poldi steel works.

Poldi has thrived and survived for more than 100 years, through two world wars and occupations of the country, but the factory finally closed and most of the buildings are now abandoned.

The city remains a thriving place with a population of 70,000, a large church, municipal building, state library and archives, monuments, theaters, museums, and beautiful parks. The Czech people have always been hard working, they love gardens, especially roses, and they love beer in the fine pilsner style they created.

Suffering under so much occupation and oppression throughout their history in the center of Europe, Czechs especially value “svobody” – freedom.