Bučina - Růžový Palouček

Bučina - Růžový Palouček

Bučina is a small village in the Svitavy Upland at an altitude of 428 metres with a population of around 200 inhabitants. The whole region was once influenced by the Unity of Brethren in nearby Litomyšl and the persecution during the counter-Reformation period was particularly hard. Many of the until that time secret local Protestants joined the Reformed Confession after the declaration of the Toleration Patent. They initially met at Bureš’s farm in Bučina. They were trying to get back the local Roman Catholic Church of St. James the Greater which was allegedly Protestant in the period before the Battle of the White Mountain but their effort failed.

For this reason a new congregation decided to build a new house of prayer in 1786 on the municipality land where a Protestant cemetery had been founded four years earlier. This house of prayer was simple, small and dark and a rectory was built soon afterwards. Later there were further improvements; in 1831 the organ was added, together with the Lord’s table ten years later and the building also got a new roof. The new rectory, which was built in 1866 serves (after some repairs) up to the present day.

Substantial rebuilding of the original house of prayer in Bučina took place in 1833. The front shield, displaying chalice and inscription “Let Us Praise Our Lord,” was built in the Renaissance style. The house of prayer got a new entrance door, windows and the interior was also improved. The pulpit was placed at the front, behind the Lord’s table, and the organ was built into the choir above the entrance. The house of prayer was rebuilt again later, most recently in 1996. It stands in the middle of the Protestant cemetery, which can be entered through a simple but impressive Neo-Renaissance gate.

At the end of 2003 the Ministry of Culture of the Czech Republic declared “the village of Bučina’s toleration Protestant church with its surrounding wall, entry gate and cemetery” to be a protected site.

One of many memorable spots which are connected with a sad part of our history is Růžový palouček (Rose Lea). We can read in old chronicles that this meadow once belonged to the former peasant Jan Drábek from Bučina. It is a meadow where from time immemorial, rose bushes grow, which cannot be found anywhere else in the neighbourhood. They are called French roses (botanically named, Rosa Gallica). It is said that at this place the Czech Protestants bade farewell to their native country, which they had to leave during the era after the Battle of the White Mountain. In 1921 a monument with the names of the exiles who left to live abroad, designed by A. Metelák was unveiled here. At that time a ceremonial speech was given by writer Alois Jirásek.

In 1925 this area was turned into a park and in 1989 it was declared a cultural heritage site.