At the beginning of the First Republic, the writer Alois Jirásek (1851–1930) became one of
the most important figures in social and political life. He was a member of the Revolutionary National Assembly of the Czechoslo-vak Republic. He welcomed the T. G. Masaryk in 1918 with a speech at Prague’s Wilson Station. In 1920, he became a senator for the Czechoslovak National Democracy in the National Assembly. He used to meet the so-called Friday Men and was nominated for the Nobel Prize in Literature four times.
In 1922, the city of Hradec Králové decided to pay tribute to him by building a monument in the Officers’ Park (today’s Jiráskovy sady Park). The commissioning authority was a branch of the Association of Czechoslovak Officers.
It is a mound made of granite stones made by the company of Jaroslav Samek according to the designs of sculptor Josef Srdínko (?) and painter Bohumil Lízner (1881–1957). Srdínko graduated from the famous sculp-ture school in Hořice and Lízner was one of the most important artists in Hradec Králové.
The highest part of the cairn is a sandstone stele with a relief profile of the writer by Jaroslav Plichta (1886–1970), a sculptor from Hořice and a native of the nearby village of Třebechovice pod Orebem. Below the ste-le, there is the inscription “Master Alois Jirásek” and the years “1851–1930“. The prominent part in the center of the monument is a rectangular relief made of Carrara marble with a symbolic scene from the Hussite trilo-gy written by Jirásek with
a quote from its first part: “We will go. Me, my brother, all of us. Wherever you know.” (Bratrstvo / Brotherhood I, Chapter XX).
The unveiling ceremony took place on 4 June 1922, during the writer’s lifetime. The relief profile of the writer was not unveiled on the memorial until 1931, shortly after his death.
The appearance of the monument refers to Slavic mythology Jirásek wrote about. The mound represents metaphorical symbolism while the portrait relief represents historical realism. During Jirásek’s lifetime, two busts were created by Jan Štursa (1880-1925) in 1921. The first bronze one is located in the foyer of the National Theatre and the second is set in the
National Park in the town of Štramberk. In 2010, the monument was completely repaired;
the author of the re-pair design was Aleš Zlatohlávek and the work was carried out by Kamenoprůmysl Hradec Králové (Ltd.).
Alois Jirásek Memorial is part of the listed the urban conservation area in Hradec Králové.
- Státní okresní archiv Hradec Králové, fond Archiv města Hradce Králové NAD: 283 Pamětní kniha, inven-tární číslo 522, s. 115–117
- Státní okresní archiv Hradec Králové, fond Archiv města Hradec Králové 64 Umělecká výzdoba obce – po-mníky, pamětní desky, památníky, inventární číslo 2403, karton 571
Jiří Vladimír Tolman, Hrst vzpomínek na starý Hradec Králové, Hradec Králové 1928, s. 123
Jiří Malina, Královéhradecké obrázky, Hradec Králové 2006