When officially opened on 19th June 1955 the garden featured 17,000 rose plants on three hectares. During 1956 the garden was extended with additional donated roses from the UK, Europe, Asia and America.
The Lidice Memorial Rose Garden commemorates the massacre of the citizens of Lidice on 10th June, 1942. UK politician Sir Barnett Stross was instrumental in the creation of a large rose garden and the post-war reconstruction of a new village of Lidice. He worked with Harry Wheatcroft and designer Frantisek Marek to establish the ‘Garden of Peace and Friendship’ as a symbolic connection between the old and the new Lidice.
During the 1980s the garden deteriorated and by the 1990s the garden was on the verge of ruin with the remaining roses growing wild. The Minister of Culture, Pavel Dostál, and the Prime Minister, Miloš Zeman, are credited with saving the garden when they established a new institution, The Lidice Memorial, in December, 2000.
The garden renovation was undertaken in 2001 by the Silva Tarouca Research Institute for Landscape and Ornamental Gardening led by chief architect, Pavel Bulír.
Today the rose garden contains more than 24,000 rose plants featuring 240 varieties. The garden’s artistic and visually important features remain as they were when the garden opened in 1955 and understandably its power to inspire has not been diminished by time.
The Lidice Memorial Rose Garden received the WFRS Award of Garden Excellence in 2015.