A commemorative plaque dedicated to the achievements of Strossmayer has been unveiled on Prague’s Strossmayer square. The idea of installing the plaque was put forward in 2015 by the Croatian-Czech Society and the Croatian embassy to mark Strossmayer’s 200th birth anniversary, with funding provided by the City of Zagreb.
A commemorative plaque dedicated to the achievements of Josip Juraj Strossmayer has been unveiled on Prague’s Strossmayerovo náměstí (Strossmayer square) on the 14th of October at the initiative of the Croatian-Czech Society of Zagreb. The plaque celebrates the achievements of this leading Croatian figure and his links with the Czech capital. The large metal plaque was installed on a residential building under the street sign bearing the name of the square and reads: “Josip Juraj Strossmayer (1815–1905), bishop of Đakovo and Srijem, a great benefactor to the Croatian people, founder of the Croatian Academy of Sciences and Arts and the modern University of Zagreb, a champion of ecumenism, cooperation among Slavic nations and a friend of the Czech people, was awarded honorary citizenship of the City of Prague in 1888 and had this square named in his honour by the City in 1925. Erected on the occasion of the 200th anniversary of his birth by the Embassy of the Republic of Croatia, the City of Zagreb, the Croatian-Czech Society and the Prague 7 City District.” The idea of installing the plaque was put forward in 2015 by the Croatian-Czech Society and the Croatian embassy to mark Strossmayer’s 200th birth anniversary, with funding provided by the City of Zagreb.
As a philanthropist Strossmayer provided financial aid to Prague after the flooding of 1890 and offered his counsel in the founding of the Czech Academy of Science and the Arts, established in that year. Prague awarded Strossmayer with honorary citizenship in 1888, the fiftieth anniversary of his ordainment as a Catholic priest at the proposal of mayor Jindřich Šolc. Strossmayer had a square named in his honour in 1925. The square is located near the city centre in the Holešovice quarter of the Prague 7 district and is dominated by a neo-Gothic dedicated to St Anthony.
The Croatian-Czech Society has also worked to see four other commemorative plaques installed in Prague honouring leading Croatian figures that attended studies at Charles University in Prague – Vladimir Prelog, Stjepan Radić, Andrija Mohorovičić and Nikola Tesla. The Tesla monument, unveiled in 2014, is also the largest monument to the inventor in the world. Another two Croatian greats have seen commemorative plaques installed in the Czech cities they were married in at the initiative of the Croatian-Czech Society – Josip Jelačić in Napajedli in the eastern Moravian region and Nikola Šubić Zrinski in Jindřichov Hradec in southern Czechia.
Text by: Marijan Lipovac