The Rieger Park
I was born in Prague, in the city with a stone bridge over the Vltava River, the city I know so very well. I believe that also the city has its memory. That round piece of ground lined with trees which have grown rather tall – it certainly remembers us. It used to belong to little girls who played here with their balls and played the tag. The laughter and cheerful shouts rose here and mixed with sparrows’ chittering. It was our island of safety as our moms were close. They would sit in camp chairs by the promenade overlooking the city skyline in a summer day’s haze. A skinny old woman with a huge leather bag would sell tickets for seating like a streetcar conductor. Mums would be having conversations in German, and the girls would attend German schools.
In the spacious park, there were more playgrounds – a big one where youngsters would play football shouting saucy Czech swearwords at each other, and a smaller one for younger children. The Czech girls would play the tag and the hopscotch, which was also one of our favourite games, but we called it “Himmel und Hölle”. (…)
Riegrovy sady, 1907
Text source: TOMANOVÁ-WEISOVÁ, Helena. Setkání v Praze =: Begegnungen in Prag. Prag: Argo, 1996, p. 43.
Photo source: Archiv Hl. města Prahy