In January 2022, Ústí nad Labem Zoo applied for a grant to implement a project entitled A Treasure called Lumpe Park – Cross-border Promotion of the Values of a Conservation Pioneer’s Legacy.

The reason was simple – the park was the direct predecessor of today’s zoo and thanks to the enlightened approach of its founder, Heinrich Lumpe, it was unique at the time. It was a wildlife sanctuary, a place of recreation & relaxation, entertainment and of promotion of a conservationist’s view of the world. It was also an interesting site in terms of architecture, geology and floral life. Its owner was also famous for his personal commitment to the preservation of the values of the natural world.

Thanks to surviving materials, we know that Mr. Lumpe left behind many treasures, whether in the form of ideas or physical objects. But how big are those physical objects? What is their significance in a national or European context? And what of value from the former park is actually in the zoo grounds today? What else can be used? Given Mr. Lumpe’s extensive body of work, this may seem like an interesting, but also long and challenging, journey. However, the zoo is aware of the importance of Lumpe’s work in terms of its own existence, so much that it has decided to head off on this journey to discover what remains of Lumpe’s park and what has fallen victim to the ravages of time or was sacrificed and had to give way to the development of the zoo, especially in the 1960s, 1970s and 1980s.

The project invited the most competent partners – major institutions on both the Czech and German sides – to help it, as Heinrich Lumpe’s park was also a venue of cross-border importance. On the Czech side of the border, they are Ústí nad Labem Museum and Jan Evangelista Purkyně University; on the German side, this involves ZooFreunde Dresden e.V., an organisation supporting Dresden Zoo.

And what are the goals of the project?

- Seek out and identify everything that has survived from the former park which is worth saving and restoring

- Digitise all and any materials found, making them available to the public

- Run an awareness-raising campaign in the border area, including events for visitors to Ústí nad Labem Zoo and Dresden Zoo

But this is just the beginning. After a detailed examination and assessment of all outcomes, the long-term plan is to restore the most valuable parts of the former park. Heinrich Lumpe was a German living in Bohemia, in a town where German was spoken predominantly. However, his park was intended for nature lovers regardless of nationality or language, and tens of thousands of people from Bohemia and Germany flocked to it every year. That is why Ústí nad Labem Zoo wants to make this rescue and preservation project a matter for the whole border region.

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zimní sezóna: říjen - březen

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