THE BANKS OF THE VLTAVA RIVER

The west border of the Sedlčany Region is created by the Vltava River, the most watered and the longest river in the Czech Republic. It springs in the Šumava Mountains, fl ows through Česke Krumlov, Česke Budějovice and Prague, and after its 424 km long course joins the Elbe River at Mělnik. We would like to introduce you some intriguing corners of Vltava banks where you can feel the touches of dozens, hundreds, and even thousands years long history. Though some sights the water, and some other the time took off, you still fi nd your tour along the Vltava River interesting and sometimes even surprising. And this is what we will try to satisfy you about by this leafl et.

The number of archaeological sites proves that people has inhabited the area along the Vltava River since B.C. Malé and Velké kolo sites at Oboz and especially Červenka hill at Hrazany, where the Celts built their oppidum-a small fortified village, belong among the most interesting archaeological sites. Many objects from those times are shown in expositions of the Sedlčany Town Museum. Here you can see stone tools, pottery, giant storing bins, bronze jewellery as bracelets and earrings, or two thousand years old pair of tongs, etc. Also in Middle Ages the Vltava banks were much-frequented.

The Czech kings chased in surrounding forests rich in game, and the strongholds and castles on the Vltava River banks witnessed a lot of conquering and many knight‘s duels. The ruins of king‘s castle Vrškamyk came down to the present days, and itsromantic remainders are now a favourite destination of tourist trips. The Ostromeč and nearby Kozy Hřbet castles used to tower above the junction of the Mastnik Creek and the Vltava River. In this area the first battle of the Hussite Wars was fought out in 1419. The origin of epigraphs on so called Psanské skály rocks used to be linked with this era; however, the latest findings date their origin at the end of 16th century.

The afar visible chapel on the Maková Mountain and many rocks with unique outlooks belong also among the most attractive places of interest within the Vltava River area. One of the most famous rock outlooks bears the name of Method Zavoral, a former abbot of the Strahov Premonstratensian Monastery. In 1939 a stone cross was erected on this rock. During the same year dozens of defence forts were built along the river banks to protect the country against possible attack by arming Fascist Germany. Most of these bunkers were destroyed by German occupants – but several of them can still be found, for example, in Kamyk nad Vltavou or at Zrůbek.

Post war history of the Vltava River is marked by construction of the gigantic Žďákov Bridge and especially by the Vltava Cascade. The biggest river dam on the Vltava River was built at Solenice, and named Orlík after the Orlík Chateau. This dam is 90 m high, and its crown is 450 m long and 10 m wide. According to calculations it weighs 2,216,000 tons, retains almost 720,000,000 m3 of water, and creates a reservoir of the 26 km2 area. The Orlík Dam upheaves the Vltava River level back in its length as far as 68 km.

The present live on the Vltava River belongs no more to raftsmen, stonemasons and millers but above all to holiday-makers, fi shers and sportsmen. The Vltava River attracts fans of aquatic sports, and during summer it is ploughed with boats full of satisfi ed passengers, and the banks are occupied by cottages and tents. Lovers of virgin nature will come into their own too. The excursion to the Stone Town at Velkábelongs among the most exciting experiences. Here the rocks created fantastic shapes resembling e.g. a granny with back basket, chieftain Žižka, chimney, skyscraper, etc…

But the real jewel of the region is represented by the Drbákov-Albertovy Skály Reserve. The heart of every nature-lover will be pleased by the abundance of herbs of different species and colours. Local educational trail is accompanied by information panels which inform visitors about curiosities of this location. But maybe you yourselves will fi nd other places from where the Vltava River provides you with its best beauty. Maybe you vote for the Na Altánku outlook at Solenice where the Vltava River reflects itself in the Zduchovické skály rocks, and creates a symmetrical horseshoe…