Bohemian National Hall - Knights on Broadway

Knights on Broadway
Bohemian National Hall
July 23, 2022

The Bohemian National Hall, an historic building located in the Broadway-Slavic Village neighborhood of Cleveland, Ohio. 2022 is the 125th anniversary of the historic Bohemian National Hall in Cleveland Ohio. It was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in May 1975.

The cornerstone was laid in 1896 as a community hall to accommodate the cultural, social, and educational needs of Czech immigrants in their newly adopted country. Over these many years, the building has been lovingly restored to its glory. The hall continues to serve new generations with modern amenities. It houses the many activities of Sokol Greater Cleveland and showcases the cultural history and traditions of the Czech and Slovak people in the Cleveland Czech Cultural Center and Museum. In 1915, Bohemian National Hall was the site of the signing of the Cleveland Agreement by Czech American and Slovak American representatives which eventually led to the formation of a joint Czech and Slovak state, which was realized with the founding of Czechoslovakia in 1918.

On Saturday July 23, 2022 a celebration was held at the Hall that featured a Marionette Show, Crooked River Aerial Circus, a lesson on the Kings and Knights of Bohemia and a joust between two armored knight on horses. That gave the event its name - Knights on Broadway! Of course there were also brats, pastry, Czech beer and a chance to pet the horses.

Fran Burik with knights and Maggie

Fran Burik with knights and Maggie

Paul Burik with knight and Gunsmoke

Paul Burik with knight and Gunsmoke

The free community event began with a puppet show. Puppets and marionettes were popular in Europe for hundreds of years. They were often morality plays because people of that time were rarely literate so did not read. The shows also consisted of political commentary and served cultural purposes. The ruling Hapsburgs, for example, did not allow using the Czech language but they were not concerned with puppet shows so the shows were used to keep the Czech language alive.

NOTE: All the images below with a white arrow in the middle are videos. (The other images are just photos) You can click on the white arrow to watch the video of whatever is described. Make sure your speakers are on and you can make the video full screen once it begins by clicking the icon in the lower right corner.

Watch a video of the marionette show.

Introducing the puppet show

Introducing the puppet show

Czech Puppet Show

Czech Puppet

Czech Puppet handlers

Czech Puppet Show Group

Czech Puppet Show Group

Sokol President Paul Burik introduced Ted Krejsa who gave a presentation about the Kings of Bohemia. Paul then showed an historic timeline of the Kings.

Watch a video of the Kings and Knights presentation.

Paul Burik speaking

Paul Burik

Ted Krejsa

Ted Krejsa

Bohemian Kings Timeline

Bohemian Kings Timeline

The other two main events of the celebrations were the aerial acrobatics of the Crooked River Circus and the Jousting by the Knights on horseback. The Knights on Broadway! Follow the links below to see them.

Crooked River Circus

Jousting by the knights on horseback


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