"Colourful Sunday" helped restore a precious garden in the centre of Prague

Sunday saw a special event organized in a garden adjacent to Prague's second biggest psychiatric clinic, Karlov. Dozens of visitors came to watch theatre performances and listen to music, raising money for the little-known Saint Catherine's Garden to be restored properly and opened for the public in the near future. Alena Skodova was there and brings this report:

I spent nearly the whole of Sunday morning in Saint Catherine's Garden, named after a church which stands in its midst. There were several makeshift stages prepared for theatre performances and music, and on several the show was already well under way. One of the organizers, Daniel Tacha, told me about the main idea behind the event, going under the title "Colourful Sunday":

"It came into being after a friend and I had visited some people we knew at this psychiatric clinic, and realized that right in the centre of the city there was a fascinating garden which people knew nothing about. You can also find St. Catherine's church here, which has not been a working church for more than 200 years. We thought that the whole space could be used in some way, so we decided to organize the event which would not only remind people that there are psychiatric patients nearby but also raise money to revitalize the garden."

The highlight of Sunday's cultural programme had a Mediterranean flavour, a tournament of the French version of bowls "petanque", which anyone could take part in. The two competing teams bet a certain sum of money, which the winning team then handed over to the organizers towards the renovation of the garden. There were also folk singers, young theatre troops and a rock band playing in the garden, and an organ concert in St. Catherine's Church.

After the first round of petanque, I spoke with two journalists from the weekly paper, The Prague Post, Kate Swoger and Evan Rail and asked them what had inspired them to come along:

"To support the park, it sounds like a great idea, and petanque is also fun to play, so we came here as a team to enjoy it and support the activities there."

How much money did you bet on your match?

"A hundred crowns a game, and we're doing OK so far.... Yeah, we have just won our first game, so it's a hundred crowns to support the part now and we hope we'll win more games."

Have you played petanque before?

"Yes, I have, I've played it in the States and here in the Czech Republic with some friends because it's becoming more popular, I think, with young people in the Czech Republic."

What about the church, it has not been in operation for 200 years...

"I didn't know that. But the photographs they're showing here show that it's a beautiful building and it should be restored, it should be made available as soon as possible."

So you've helped a good thing...

"Yes, I think so, I believe so, it's a great activity and I think we're all happy to be here."