The Gardens of the Slovak National Uprising is the oldest park in the town of Žilina. They were built in the late 19th century between Všivák stream and a row of urban villas on former Park Street, some of which still retain their original Art Nouveau architecture. In 1941 the Všivák was redirected underground parallel to the park. Currently, the park built between 1969 and 1977 extends as far as Tesco (formerly Prior department store).
The gardens bore different names in the past. First they were known as Elizabeth’s Park in honour of the murdered Austrian Empress, Elisabeth Bavarian, known as Sissi. The Austrian and Hungarian Empress, Queen Elizabeth, was murdered on 10 September 1898 by the Italian anarchist Luigi Lucheni. After this tragic event, the newly built park was named in her honour. In 1904 a wooden bandstand was built in the park.
After 1913, the park became Millennium Park. The name was supposed to commemorate the millennial anniversary of the arrival of nomadic Magyars in Hungary in 896. The park was a typical park for promenading, with chestnut alleys and the occasional linden or maple. In 1919 to 1938, the park was named Šrobár Park after the Slovak politician, MUDr. Vavro Šrobár, who worked in Žilina at the end of 1918 and the beginning of 1919 as Minister Plenipotentiary for the Administration of Slovakia. A new bandstand was built in the park, allegedly designed by the famous architect Arthur Szalatnai-Slatinský. Sunday concerts on the promenade were a particular feature. Military music concerts were mainly performed here by soldiers from Žilina’s local base and after liberation their place was taken by company brass bands. After 1939, the park was renamed Hlinkov Park and in 1945 it became Sedláčkov Park in honour of Anton Sedlacek, who fought for the liberation of Czechoslovakia and was hanged in front of the Craftsmen’s house as a warning by German soldiers on 15 November 1944. A plaque on the building commemorates the event.
In 1955, a stone sculpture was unveiled at the beginning of the park on the 10th anniversary of the town’s liberation. The sculptor, Rudolf Pribiš, was born in Rajec and is a national artist. A bronze bust memorial of Anton Sedláček, by Stanislav Bíroš from Bytča was erected at the end of the park in 1964. When the park was reconstructed after 1990, the bust was not returned to its original standing place. In its place now stands Žilina’s most beautiful fountain the "Žilina virgins" by Vladimir Kompánek a prominent Slovak artist, also from nearby Rajec. In 1962 to 1993 the fountain originally stood on what is now Hlinka Square, and was moved to the park during the reconstruction of the square. In 1992 the park was renamed the Gardens of the Slovak National Uprising.
Source: Mgr. Peter Štanský and Milan Novák
It can be visited
■ exterior during a guided tour of TIO Žilina.
Position of the monument on the map: C3