History of region around Jetrichovice

It started by flint

- about history of settlement of Elbe´s sandstones (source: regional bulletin Ceská silnice (Czech road), author: Václav Sojka)

The oldest archeological finds - evidence of settlement of region - are dated into epoch of mezolit, so they are about 10 000 years old. These finds are mostly flint´s tools and chaffs, that were discovered below overhangs in depth around one meter. Till today were discovered 4 mezolit´s settlement localities. People of middle stone age lived in small groups up to 30 persons and they lived on hunting and picking of forestry fruits. When they hunted out most of animals in the surroundings of their camp, they moved somewhere else. In those days increase of number of people was as a matter of fact - zero, because mothers couldn´t carry more than 1 child when they relocate themselves along hunting footpaths. Next clues of primeval settlement originated from the bronze epoch, when landscape was colonized by people of Lusatia´s civilisation. In the years 1500 to 700 B.C. people firstly change considerably country-side and nature of this place, because they need new expansion for life. This expansion used to be gained by cutting and also more frequently by burning of woods. Slavs have been coming during the 6th century A.D., when they have settled valleys of rivers Kamenice and Chribská Kamenice and when they deforestated surroundings of present municipalities Chribská, Srbská Kamenice, Všemily, Oleška, Ceská Kamenice. Face of ground started to change radically during the 13th century - during the re-colonization mainly by German population. In the woods begun production of charcoal and resin. The oldest device for fusing of resin is dated into the 13th century, the youngest worked even in the 20th century. Until today archeologists discovered about 50 places of former resin-fusing devices. In the middle age people used resin to wood-impregnation, to pitching of boats and barrels, to production of lubricators (axle grease), and during the war-times to making of inflammable garlands. In the woods were emerged first forestry glass-works, they assissted not a few to disafforestation of another parts of local territory. Medieval glass-work consumed enormous amount of wood as a firing into glass-furnaces (upkeep of temperature above 1000 grades of Celsius) and for production of potash. For production of 1 kg of potash it was necessary to float 200 kg of wood ash. Colonization advanced in the 14th and 15th century, when villages enlarged, number of residents increased and almost all castles were builded up. New villages are grounded also after 30-years war - Kyjov, Vlcí hora, Snezná. Textile industry developed in whole region. Past WW2 overwhelming majority of German population had to leave behind this land, in which 6 centuries lived and worked. Current number of fixed population (without holiday-makers) achieves here and there even 1/10 pre-war stage (for example Rynartice...).


About Slav´s settlement (source: regional bulletin Ceská silnice, author: Hanuš Härtel)

Mapa slovanského osídlení v severních Čechách.

From the four villages that form municipality Jetrichovice the village Vysoká Lípa is the oldest. It grew up already in the 13th century and ancestral inhabitants were Slavs who belonged to tribal community of west-slav Serbs. Residual of this once upon time so big community are present-day Lusatian Serbs in Germany (near borders with Czech republic). Serbian clan "Milcané" resided in district so-called "Záhvozd" in the territory of Northern Bohemia. This historicaly Serbian territory we can circumsribe by line of present-day villages: Hrensko - Benešov nad Ploucnicí - Štetí - river Elbe - Celákovice - Dubá (this narrow tongue is territory of Serbian clan "Pšované") - Ceský Dub - Nová Paka - spring of river Elbe. To these oldest Serbian villages we can amend villages in surroundings of Jetrichovice: Chribská, Doubice, Kamenice (from the end of middle age with attribute "Ceská"), Srbská Kamenice, Všemily and others. In scriptural source is Vysoká Lípa mentioned first time in 1387. Slav´s name of village held itself in scriptural materials until end of the 17th century (then german name "Hohen Leipa").


Aristocratic houses in region of Jetrichovice (source: Ceská silnice)

Aristocracy used to belong during long time to motive forces of European fellowship. It guided deals of people, countries and states. The 19th century released aristocrats from political privileges, the First republic from honours and part of their estate and epoch of communism from remains. Today we are witnesses of their return to Czech republic. From the school we know, that history of Czech aristocracy is a part of history of Czech countries. Demanded proprietary and political rights of aristocracy houses (clans) were constant contention and interference with royal authority. Already at end of the 13th century aristocracy differentiated itself. It grew up superior aristocracy - lords and inferior aristocracy - knights, yeomans and aldermen. At that time originated also blazons that were witnesses of gentlehood and exclusiveness of clan. Among the first aristocrats in Bohemia we can find also aristocratic houses, that dominated territory around Jetrichovice. Their families branched out into numerous connections (kins), which gained further estates and seats. Adown centuries status of aristocracy in Bohemia has changed, and also its role in history nation and state. Some prominent houses faded others broke surface from insignificancy. Some grew poor suddenly some grew rich. Defeat of battle on the "Bílá hora" (White hill) near Prague in 1620 was catastrophe for czech protestant aristocracy. Its prominent representatives were executed, others were deported from Bohemia or they left for exile themselves and their assets were confiscated and given away to imperial generals or foreign aristocracy. In those days were crushed out old honours and carried new ones - free lord, baron, count, duke and prince that were used also in other European countries. Old and new aristocracy after it aspired after integration among imperial aristocracy. Aristocracy isn´t constituted only from genealogy and famous or unfamous has-been. Useful fruits for common wealth brought gathered estate and education and also step by step formalized bearing on country, its people and also state many a time in ulterior generations and not from all houses.

Initially the territory of Ceská Kamenice and Benešov belonged to castle in Decín, then in the 13th century this territory was separated and mighty aristocratic clan of Markvartici started to form their feudal dominium there. Members of Markvartici house (they administer Decín´s castle´s district) established castle Ostrý near Benešov nad Ploucnicí. This castle after 1283 became centre of legaly dustproof and consolidating dominium of Ostrý. By donation of this territory to member of Markvartici house - Jan I. from Michalovic - from the bohemian king Václav II. came over this territory definitely from the royal seizure to seizure of feudal aristocratic houses. Jetrichovice, Všemily and Rynartice belonged to dominium of Ceská Kamenice. Vysoká Lípa belonged to dominium Bynovec. Dominium of Ceská Kamenice developed itself as independent administrative and economic unit as late as the 16th century.


  1. Lords from Michalovice
  2. Blazon of lords from Michalovice.

    Blazon of Jan I. from Michalovice.

    It is the name of two old bohemian aristocratic clans - lordly one, that was one of the branches of Markvartici and aldermen´s one, that descended from townsmen from Žatec. All Markvartici had in the blazon the lion. Lords of Michalovice had silver lion in red field and silver-black shield. Jan I. of Michalovice - the best known member of this clan and his descendents started to colonize and economicaly exploit mostly unsettled ground. Busy colonization of Michalovici klan, that was executed from castle Ostrý, meant origin of entire number of new villages, but also castles as strong points of colonization effort. At edge of this territory northeast of present village Jetrichovice was in the 14th century established rocky castle Falkenštejn (Falkenstein in german or Falcon stone in english), which aside from administrative function observed also guarding objectives - by reason of proximity of Ceské cesty (Czech road). This important mediaeval communication (documented already in the 13th century) led from Budyšín (Bautzen) across frontier deep forest into Bohemia and led through territory of later villages Vysoká Lípa, Jetrichovice and Všemily. Michalovici who were active in political life of country (especially in Overlords coalition against king Václav IV.) occupied a strong position in the Bohemian state. To this effect was neccessary to have consolidated estate. Unfortunately they didn´t manage to hold their estate and so Michalovici were bound to give place to clan Hohenstein´s Berkas from Dubá, who gradually bought until 1410 from Michalovici entire domain Benešov and Ceská Kamenice.


  3. Berkové from Dubá
  4. Blazon of Berkas from Dubá.

    It is the name of old czech lordly family, that stemed from clan of Ronovci. Their ancestry appeared already early in the 13th century. Blazon has in gold shield two black decussate branchy branches. This blazon of Ronovici clan came from german denomination of branchy branch - "Ronn". Berkové from Dubá differed themselves from other Ronovici only with jewel (object above helmet) - early in the 14th century it were branchy branches, later Berkas carried on helmet maiden who holds branchy branches but by late 14th century as jewel was fixed pair of folded eagle´s wings with branchy branches. As pre-ancestor of Berkas we regard Lord Castolov from Žitava (Zittau), who had four sons, of whom Chval is ancestor of Lords from Lipá. Whole dynasty enjoyed severe respect among czech aristocracy. Hynek (1249-1306) at end of his life became Prague´s burgrave and also another members of this clan occupied in process of time important provincial functions. After "Bílá hora" (1620) some of them emigrated and their estate was confiscated. Berkas from Dubá died out in the 18th century. Only descendants of emigrants lived in Sweden, later in Germany. Berkové were branch of branched house of Lords from Dubá and Lipá, who had several domains in Šluknovský elongation, in region of Ceská Lípa and in present Saxony around Hohenstein and Wildenstein. In 1406 Hynek Berka from Dubá acquired domain of Ceská Kamenice. When he died in 1417, his son Beneš established from village Vysoká Lípa and its surroundings separate estate. Its centre could be rocky castle Šaunštejn (Schauenstein in german, Look stone in english), that was built up in early the 15th century near branching line from Ceská cesta (Czech road) to tavern in Hrensko and river Elbe. When Berkas from Dubá in 1431 mortgaged Šaunštejn with Vysoká Lípa and its surroundings to Jan from Vartenberk, the Šaunštejn became base for assaults of predatory campaigns against lusatian Sixtown (league of 6 Lusatian towns). Vartenberks and Berkas - at that time the two most powerful in that part of northern Bohemia - were by turns allies and enemies and their combats with fairy aristocracy, neighbouring Saxon princes and with mightful league of Lusatian towns (socalled Sixtown) boosted after ending of Hussite´s wars unrest in region and made room for strong hand. Because Vartenberks efforted for annexation Berkas domains to Decín, arose also conflicts over castle Tolštejn and its accessories. When this conflict culminated in the years 1456-1465, the villages Všemily, Jetrichovice and Rynartice were kept in company with other villages of domain Ceská Kamenice as accessory of castle Tolštejn.


  5. Vartenberks
  6. Blazon of Vartenberks - this version stands since 15th century - their blazon is identical with present blazon of town Ceská Kamenice.

    Blazon of Beneš from Vartenberk.

    Also denomination Vartenberk is name of old bohemian lordly aristocratic family, that derived from large clan of Markvartici. In blazon they had splited shield with gold and black halves, this shield was winded round by green she-devil (dragon). On the picture you can see blazon of Decín´s branch of Vartenberks, that in late 14th century differed themselves from other Vartenberks by jewel - boat with ferryman or oarsman, in the 15th century it was maiden with oar in hand, Cenek from Vartenberk obtained from emperor Zikmund Lucemburský Hungarian Dragon order, whose sign - green she-devil - winded round the shield). Markvart from Brezno found after 1268 near town Mimon castle Stráž or in german Vartenberk. His son Beneš socalled Great was father of four sons, who found by the way also Decín´s generic branch. This survived furthemost time, but they didn´t enjoy good reputation. The last Vartenberk - Ota Jindrich (died in 1625), "furious head and man of luxurious life" engaged Estate´s rebelion in 1618, but he was pardoned and he bought estate Markvartice, where he "slaved his dependants without remorse, so he was murdered by them". His brother Jan Jirí lost after battle on Bílá hora all his estates and he died in Saxony in 1630 and thereby the house of Vartenberks died out. Zikmund Vartenberk and his sons Jan (administered castle Ostrý and Tolštejn) and Jindrich (master of Decín) plundered in lusatian Sixtown till these league sent their armies against them. These forces burned down castle Kamenice, captured castle Tolštejn and isolated rocky castle Falkenštejn. For their indebtedness they had to sell their domain - one of the largest possesive complexes in the northern Bohemia. It came to pass in 1511 namely to Mikuláš Trcka from Lípa. After four years of possession domain descended on Saxon Salhausens. When they divided their estate in 1522 - the domain of Ceská Kamenice went to Bedrich Salhausen. In 1535 this domain went as dower of his daughter Anna into hands of Prokop Vartenberk Novozámecký, while Vysoká Lípa remained a part of domain Benešov. Not until this time domain Ceska Kamenice became separate estate, that rest in hands of Vartenberks until year 1614. One of the last possessors Zikmund died in 1608 and he is buried in Ceská Kamenice. His brother Jan for his debts sold domain Ceská Kamenice to Radslav Vchynský from Vchynice senior - member by then small knightly clan.


  7. Vchynský (Kinský)
  8. Blazon of clan Kinský after receiving honour of empire princes.

    They are old-bohemian alderman´s clan date perhaps from the beginning of the 13th century, when they called themselves still Vchynský from Vchynice and Tetov in accordance with name of stronghold and villgae by town Lovosice in northern Bohemia. They used to use former name until beginning of 30-years war (1618). In blazon they have three silver wolfish teeth in the red shield and on the helmet two eagle´s wings (red and silver). But for example in the 15th and 16th century appeared gold teeth in black shield, which sometimes projected from top or bottom side of shield. In the oldest times as jewels were buff horns. When the Kinský´s in the 18th century gained honour of empire´s princes they could put on shield prince´s crown. As well as other clans Kinský´s divided themselves into several branches. More notably they muscled in the second half of the 16th century. Radslav Vchynský gathered through his political careerism and rapid economic policy large estate, composed by the way from domains Ceská Kamenice, Tolštejn, Teplice, Benešov etc. He lined up with estates (aristocracy) and later he had to emigrate. After death of childless Radslav came in for his estate his nephew Vilém Vchynský from Vchynice, who could come back from exile, but he was murdered in 1634 along general Albrecht from Valdštejn in town Cheb. Vilém´s estate was confiscated and divided. Finally after all Vchynský´s (here already Kinský´s) achived to hold domain Ceská Kamenice in their clan, because they had been converted to catholic belief. In 1628 they were promoted into countship. (In the year 1628 there was extinguished protestantism introduced at time of Prokop from Vartenberk and his wife Anna from Salhausen. Protestants had two choices: emigration or converting on catholic belief. Many people thus emigrated into Saxony.) In the year 1634 was over the three-centenial era when administrative, economical evolution and evolution of property rights in domains Ceská Kamenice, Benešov and Decín inosculated each other very often. Owner of domain Ceská Kamenice became in 1635 Vilém´s nephew - count Jan Oktavián Kinský (1612-1676) - forefather of all further Kinskýs. After him came in for estate his son Václav Norbert Oktavián (1642-1719), in the years 1706-1711 the Highest Chancellor of Bohemian Kingdom, who substantialy supported development of crafts and commerce in Bohemia - in the domaion Ceská Kamenice in the concrete glass industry, draper´s industry and wood-working industry - and he became founder of economic power of the clan. Because the agriculture wasn´t profitable there - Kinský limited it, agricultural farmsteads parceled out and on their lands he founded new dominical villages (for example Rynartice). In the time of his descendants - after 1848 - the feudal rights were canceled and property of aristocracy was reducted. In the thirties of the 19th century Kinskýs started to take care of accessing of natural beauties on their domain and its propagation. Since 1832 Rudolf Kinský let to improve roads and protective cabins, build paths, foot-bridges and bridges, whereby he started to systematically enable surroundings of Jetrichovice. In the year 1852 Vilemína kinská let to access castle Falkenštejn. To the Mariánská skála (Maria´s rock), Vilemínina stena (Vilemína´s wall) and Rudolfův kámen (Rudolf´s stone) were built up stairs and on their tops small constructions - summer houses or fire-fighting sentry-boxes. After 1918 aristocratic honours forfeited relevance and the first land reform was achieved. Until 1945 Kinskýs possessed manor there.


  9. Clary-Aldringens

It is the name of Austro-Bohemian dynasty, that came into Bohemia in the time of 30-years war (1618-1648). Aldringens quartered two black wolfish traps put through crown in gold field with 3 gold stars in blue field. Clarys had quartered shield - three blue shingles in gold field and argent (silver) sidelong situated tower in blue field. In 1666 upon alliance of both clans came about join of their blazons - fields of Aldringens constituted upper half of shield, fields of Clarys bottom half of shield, between them was put red line and gold escutcheon of pretence with imperial eagle (=twin heads) on whose breast was austrian escutcheon with letter "F" as emperor Ferdinand I. Habsburg. Jewels were three: hand with wolfish traps with crown (Aldringens), hand with gold flag (with blue shingles) and blue flag with three gold stars (Clarys) and black imperial eagle. František Clary accrued into Bohemia with imperial army. He bought confiscated estates near town Žatec battle at Bílá hora. His younger son Jeroným married with daughter of field marshal Jan from Aldringen, received domain Teplice and accepted blazon and honour of counts from Aldringen. After confiscation estate of Vilém Vchynský in 1634 possession of domain Benešov (so village Vysoká Lípa too) get general Jan from Aldringen in whose dynasty (from 1644 Clary-Aldringen) this estate stayed. Anymore it lasted half of century than the villages of domain of Benešov could incorporate themselves into compact and stabilized complex = clary-aldringen´s domain Bynovec. As manour Bynovec this estate came away in their hands until 1945.


Last aristocratic houses, that affected in our region - Kinský and Clary-Aldringens didn´t identify themselves with Czechoslovakia that came into existence in 1918. In the second half of thirties suppored Henlein´s motion and his efforts to attach czech border region (Sudetenland) to the Reich. Chlumec´s (czech) branch of clan Kinský didn´t denationalize itself thus they get their estate back. They live normal life and with their employees carefuly take care of their woods, land and ponds.


History in the light of construction of rocky castles in territory of Czech Switzerland

1. From the oldest epochs

If we want to properly make sense of tough questions of carved castles of Bohemian-Saxon Switzerland it is very useful to understand and to be conscious of evolution of this edge and its surroundings at time from beginning of era - i.e. from the time of first historical informations.

If we stand on the hill Spravedlnost (Justice hill), that surpasses close above village Doubice, we easy grasp, why the Zhorelec´s accounts (present german town Görlitz) so often talk about journey across the mountains: hills south of Chribská appear as coherent range and Růžovský vrch (Rosy hill) on the west as sentinel encloses "table" hills of Decín´s region. This territory was really nodal point between Bohemia and Lusatia.

Ever before evolution of both countries wends similar ways. After Celtic period, that left for us souvenir in form of Latin name of Bohemia (from celtic tribe Bojové) and in names of main czech rivers, especially nearby river Jizera, our country entertain some Germanic tribes by beginning of era. Although history is silent about it, we can with fair certainty presume, that their core has left territory of Lusatia and Bohemia and there stayed only small group of Celtic-Germanic residents. Between them entered new population of Slav´s origin.

Our ancestors didn´t come into uninhabited country how used to like draw old chroniclers and legends. Proportion of new habitants to old wasn´t equal. Mostly both sides lived in peaceful coexistence and country was largely slavized (it became Slavonic). If Franconian Fredegar and his contemporary Prokopius Caesarius, that Slavs came into Bohemia about half of 6th century, we should take it with a grain of salt. Slavs were coming already before by fits and starts and in stages. In 6th century they were already dominant in country. Into Lusatia Slavs came any sooner.

Beautiful however romantic is image of forefather Cech as leader of new folk. People, who later formed tribes, belonged to several different Slav´s groups, though the differences between them couldn´t be large. On territory of our region asserted Serbian´s group, that strongly overpassed present borders of Bohemia, some people even claim, that Polomené mountains (south of town Ceská Lípa to castle Kokorín and especially socalled Kummerské mountains nearby Máchovo jezero /Mácha´s lake/) was settled by Serbian population and even Melník´s Pšované they number among Serbs. It is very audacious and indemonstrable allegation in such temporal distance. More believeable is assumption that Serbs contacted there with relative tribe of Lemuzi. It is quite clear that both czech north elongations (Šluknov´s and Frýdlant´s) were initially part of Lusatia, or let us say "Záhvozd" (Behind-forest), while whole bohemian region Žitavsko (Zittau´s region in present Germany) wedged between them. Žitavsko was since long ago under authority of Prague´s diocese - so part of Bohemia. Yet Lusatian chronicler J.Guben (named after his birth-place Gubin on divide between Lusatia and Silesia) enumerated among bohemian towns that weren´t captured by Hussites first and foremost right Žitava (Zittau in german). On the other hand Záhvozdí, whose fundamental part was Frýdlantský elongation and territory to the north of it belonged to the Míšen´s diocese (german town Meisens), just as vicariate in Hanšpach (present czech Lipová).

Degree of slavization of rests of former population was among historians disputable. It is one of the most difficult historical questions, that was always resolved from view of nationalism. We have only circumstantial evidences and there goes finally about matter of belief. According to Palacký in 9th-11th century in Bohemian countries there were no Germans, however guests. Bretholz, who truly loved Bohemian country, considers Germans as permanently embedded, because we don´t have any informations about departure of Teutonic tribes of Markomans and Kváds from Bohemia. Just for lack of informations we cannot resolve this question not even with most careful linguistic and archaeological exploration with irreversible certainty.

Since end of the 11th century started to take effect colonization, through the medium of it were completed settlements of sporadicly populated regions, also territories in our region. We talk about inner colonization (Slavonic) and external colonization (German). As well this fact is construed very differently and we can say that according to logical considerations every opinion is somewhat right (aside from two german extreme opinions - Bretholz: Germans weren´t colonists because we have no information about it, - A.Bachmann: Germans came above all as "kulturträgers" /=culture carriers/). It is neccessary to call attention onto 2 circumstances of crucial importance: 1. Against fact that German colonization in Bohemia was non-organized (though anywhere violently overlaped inland czech colonization - especially there in the north) we find north of Bohemia (Lusatia, Silesia) intentional germanization. 2. Beside German patricians in Lusatian great towns held there only small stratum of Slavonic the poor. This 2 conditions are crucial for further historical evolution. We have to add even fight of royal houses. Bohemian state strongly form itself during reign of three Premyslovci´s Boleslavs (10th century), last Premyslovcis (end of 13th century) and first Lucemburks (Luxembourgs) (first half of 14th century) and similarly in the north was formed Meisens´s march (episcopate, since 1089 feud of clan Vettins), and in 1123 was transformed by Konrád Vettin into state (Saxony). Since 15th century Vettins as electors became danger for our Bohemian countries.

Three times Czechs strove to connect to themselves kin Serbian tribes. In 984 Boleslav II. became even overlord of Meissen temporarily. He was indeed ejected and margrave Eckhard conquered not only territory of Dalemincis (around Lipsko /Leipzig/) but even by end of 10th century territory of Milcans (centre Budyšín /Bautzen/). For a span there ruled Polish prince Boleslav Chrabrý (Valiant), but when the Poles were forced out from Prague in 1002 the Bohemian and German armies were moving (during reign of Jaromír and Oldrich) along hard roads (probably through our territory) into Milcan´s territory and then attached it to Bohemian state. Later this territory was given to czech king Vratislav II., but he gave it in the second half of 11th century to his son-in-law Viprecht Grojcanský as dower, who started there with germanization. Czech king Václav I. strengthened czech feedback in north by support of famous monastery Údolí Panny Marie (Valley of Virgin Mary) and attached it during time of frontier conflicts (1223-1241) to Žitava´s region. Conflicts are ended up by document issued in 1241 on czech castle Königstein (now Saxony). This document describes frontiers of Míšenský (Meisen´s) region, Bohemia, Záhvozd and Milcan´s region - latter Upper Lusatia. It is important for recognition of inhabited and uninhabited ends - frontier get along rivers, brooks and hills, therefore there is paucity of names of villages and towns.

From Krušné mountains frontier observed the river Kotlava (Gottleuba) to Elbe, then frontier went back to river Krinice from which it turned rapidly to northwest, so Honštejn (Hohnstein) and part of present Šluknovský elongation belonged to Bohemia, then the frontier turned to north of Žitava (Zittau), from where it made towards Frýdlantský elongation (Záhvozdí). Milcans´s region came over presently to Braniborsko (Brandenburg region).

2. Passing to the north

Premysl Otakar II. - brisk, ambitious and talented sovereign - very soon after accession to Czech throne in 1253 started to drive his own state program, aside from power expansion into this program appertained also changes of inland circumstances. With this effort hung together systematic support of german´s colonization and interferences with organization of state and possesive conditions of aristocracy.

Such intervention the king realized on northern march of Bohemia too. In the year 1253 were resigned to Braniborsko (Brandenburg) Budyšínsko (Bautzen region) and Zhorelecko (Görlitz region) as dower of Božena - daughter of king Václav I. and it was necessary to safeguarded by now open northern frontier of country. Apparently the king in Žitavsko (Zittau region) where belonged also surroundings of town Rumburk and Krásná Lípa, in Frýdlantsko and adjoining land wanted to constitute after massive colonization framework of small sized fighting feuds as it was in Loket´s region or in surroundings of royal castle Bezdez.

This intention wasn´t completely achieved - it was accomplished rebuilding of town Žitava (Zittau) into important town by existing castle (its surroundings belonged directly to Bohemia in those days) and in Frýdlant´s region has arisen body of small sized rustic feuds. Anyway the king seized for his plans the largest part of Žitava´s region (perhaps only without castles Ojvín and Krásný Buk) and hereditary Žitava´s castelans (custodians of castle) - Ronovcis - wrote themselves in 1263 after Žitava´s castle. They had to make shift with compensation - territory west of Žitava´s region (by colonization too little pained) - later Honštejn´s region (after castle Hohenstein - High stone) for up to river Police (Polenz in present Germany) and Šluknov´s region. Past hundred years those two territories occured in hands of Berkas from Dubá - descendants of Žitava´s lords. Therefore we have to ascribe in the first place to Berkas colonization of western part of Šluknovský elongation and first interest in fortifications (south border of domain framed river Krinice and therefore in area of this domain arose two castles - Vlcí hrádek /Wolfish castle/ and Brtnický castle).

Likewise it was between towns Decín and Chribská. Markvarticis - Decín´s castelans and ancestors of all houses with blazon of lioness - constructed even in 13th century the castle Ostrý (Šarfenštejn by Benešov nad Ploucnicí) (Sharp stone in english) but even they had to cede Decín´s region with castle Ostrý to the king. Through the medium of intensive colonization the king eked out actual settlement partly still Serbian and partly achieved by Markvartici´s colonization (for example municipalities Benešov and Markvartice). This activity continued also under Jan from Michalovice (descendant of former holders - probably took his name villages Jonsbach and Jonsdorf) to whom territory belonging to castle Ostrý in 1283 restored the king Václav II. It wasn´t only act of justice but instead it was effort of young king (or rather his advisors) to retain powerful and brave lord, who was staunch already to his father Premysl Otakar II. In addition Jan from Michalovice - at same time owner of south-bohemian Velešín - had to be conducive against ambitious aspirations of Záviš from Falkenštejn and clan of Vitkovcis. However Záviš´s side muscled in internal policy in a short time and for several years affected the king´s doing.

Hence perhaps lord Jan at first didn´t interpose in public and he rather put his mind to economic fixation of his dominions. Among them was also territory from Vysoká Lípa to Chribská and on north to river Krinice - so places where grew up the castles Šaunštejn, Falkenštejn, Chribský castle and Kyjovský castle. In 1287 Jan disposed even with village Schlegel in Žitava´s region near Varnsdorf, as it reflects about extensive expansion of his power. To Jan (he died probably in 1306) or to his son Beneš (in documents he is mentioned until 1322) we have to ascribe concern in colonization onwards along river Elbe into Míšensko (Meissen´s region) - especially when the biggest part of this territory held in years 1289-1304 the Czech king Václav II.. From results of this effort remained to descendants of Michalovici´s clan still in 1361 castles Alt-Rathen and Neu-Rathen north of castle Königstein in Saxony. House of Michalovici established then already at end of 13th century and by beginning of the 14th century from their north-bohemian domain one consolidated block, that for a certainty enclosed route into country and that was capable not only for prosperity but also expansion (this expansion was probably awried by dispossession of Meissen´s region after death of king Václav II.). Michalovicis approved themselves also in service of the king (For example lord Jan acquired reputation with series of tournaments during his journey into Paris, that was chanted by German poet Jindrich from Freiberk. It appears that lord Jan in addition to his excellent advertising campaign prepared to Bohemian king also contacts with French court.).

In 1306 to later Bohemian king Jan Lucemburský (Luxembourg) helped to get the throne also Jindrich from Lipá - descendant of clan of Zittau´s Ronovci - and he obtained as bounty whole Zittau´s region back, in 1319 he changed it (including castles Ojvín and Krásný Buk) with king for estates in Moravia. King Jan namely in those days needed Zittau´s region urgently for redemption of claims of Silesian prince Jindrich Javorský to Bautzen´s region under litigation over Braniborský (Brandenburg´s) heritage. Jindrich Javorský get from this heritage in addition to Zittau´s region also Zhorelecko (Görlitz´s) region. But it appears that territory belonging to castle Krásný Buk king Jan gave up to lords from Vartenberk already before. In their times function of old castle took up new castle Tolštejn. From that castle Vartenberks controlled region around Vysoká Lípa and Rumburk during most of 14th century, they however didn´t enjoy castle Krásný Buk. In 1337 Jindrich Javorský though surrendered to king step by step his possessions in Upper Lusatia but he pushed to retain his claims even after it - even in 1337 conquered Lusatian forces under his command castle Tolštejn and in 15th October 1339 castle Krásný Buk. Grateful pretence to his doing was robbery of Vartenberks and their captains. Castle Krásný Buk probably died out in those days - this is the last report about it (Castle used to stay on the hill - today beech-wooded - above right side of river Krinice, right away behind village of same name Krásný Buk, that arose from its extramural settlement. Access routed from platform in north through double or triple rampart and over deep round moat by drawbridge to hill with inside castle: wooden palace with rotund wooden tower - its brick bottom is fair till today.).

On local affairs of king Jan were periodicaly involved both Beneš from Michalovice and later his son Jan alias Just, who probably ebarked there in this time too - his feudal juniors on 9th November 1343 in return captured from Lusatians castle Ojvín. It is probable that by similar occasions stood to Michalovicis in good stead castles Šaunštejn, Falkenštejn and especially Chribský and Kyjovský castles, which were fairly "charging gates" into Lusatia. All castles ensured also monitoring of important routes from river Elbe to Žitava (Zittau) or to Budyšín (Bautzen) and they didn´t lose their import not even now, when new territorial acquisitions in Saxon´s foreground were not in for lords from Michalovice.

There aimed meantime plans of emperor (kaiser) and Bohemian king Karel IV. (Czechs title him "father of country" for his credit of Bohemia). How seriously this plans were enforced show us his later territorial acquisitions north of Bohemia: Braniborsko (Brandenburg), Dolní Lužice (Lower Lusatia), Silesian principalities and large amount of small sized possessions in Meissen´s region and other Saxony. Karel worked systematically: already in year 1343 to protection of routes from Bohemia to Lusatia crewed with his garrison castle Milštejn near Cvikov and by most important route into Žitava he let construct in year 1357 castle Karlsfried. Among his tactics was also support of union of Lusatian towns - socalled Šestimestí (Six-town).

Therefore Karel´s interest applied also to lords from Michalovice, after death of Jan Správný (1354) approved this interest to orphan Petr. Perhaps also for his sakes Karel drove up to northern Bohemia in 1357 and especially in plaguy year 1361 through permission of hereditary agreement he righted him to estates of southern-bohemian branch of Michalovici´s clan. It was profitable also for Karel - Petr purchased Karel´s approval by transformation of his so far absolute ownership to both castles in Saxon´s Rathen and to northern-bohemian town Úštek into feud received from "Czech crown" (official title of Bohemian kingdom was "Countries of Czech crown"). Feud was relationship more dependent and at same time (with regard to Rathen) it better indicated outwardly Karel´s sovereignty in given territory (Drive for accentuation of Czech sovereignty upon possessions in Saxon´s foreground eventuated Karel in fact, that in his code Majestas Carolina (1348-1355) - though he had through pressure of aristocracy this code call off past seven years - he prohibited to his descendants upon threat of interdict to alienate or pledge castles Königstein and Perno, as it was applied only to major castles and towns of kingdom - also to Žitava). Petr remained Karel´s favourite and in his service he also died (about 20 years old) during Karel´s second emperor´s journey to Rome in summer 1368. Of his children (to whom was tutor till 1378 Karel´s master of king´s chamber - Lusatian Tema from Koldice) we know only Jan. Tema increased estates of his ward but later individual doing of Jan was miles off to tradition of his fathers and intentions of freshly dead emperor Karel.

Meantime it get better to house of Ronovici (or Ronovci) farther on north. Even it is hard to restore what happened in Šluknov´s and Honštejn´s regions after interventions of king Premysl Otakar II., the odds are that, this domain was intensively colonized and consolidated. This process took place during several generations, starting with Hynek (Jindrich, Hajman) - last possessor of Žitava. Series of his descendants aren´t easy to differentiate - they all had fancied name Hynek (and roughly speaking from beginning of 14th century with surname "Berka from Dubá") and also same provincial function of the highest burgrave they consecutive had undertaken.

Between first results of their task was town Šluknov, records from year 1281 designated origin of Bautzen´s burgess Rüdiger according to Šluknov - so this settlement had to stand already for certain time there. For foundation or at least aggrandizing of village and later town by house of Ronovci evinced also blazon, that town Šluknov took up from Ronovcis. Same blazon Berkas from Dubá has on the other side of border old mining village Neustadt and right in connection with it we have in documents from 1333 first mention about castle Honštejn (Hohenstein, in english High stone) as centre of local domain. Also the oldest known blazon of town Rumburk (from end of 14th century) embodies crossing "ostrve" (=lumbered or branchy branches).

It seems that Berkas held Honštejnsko (Honštejn´s region) and Šluknovsko (Šluknov´s region) till half of 14th century as ownership free of feudal relationship to king. Colonization there was long ago completed and so in addition to Šluknov and still Serbian Rožany in the year 1346 in church registries as parish settlements mentioned among others Království (Kingdom), Císarský (Imperial), Jiríkov (George-village), Lipová (Lime), Velký Šenov (Big Šenov), Lobendava, and especially Mikulášovice and Brtníky, that are next to Vlcí castle and Brtnický castle. Territory with Rumburk and Krásná Lípa possessed in this time still Vartenberks as accessories of castle Tolštejn.

At that time also there started to manifest emperor´s interest of northern borderland and territories behind it. Berkas proved in wilderness their spirit of enterprise and sturdiness and their massive castle Honštejn was pretty much advanced into Meissen´s region, whither emperor Karel IV. fixed his hopes of enlargement of Lucumburk´s empire (this perhaps resulted into that emperor in 1376 provided for appointment of Czech lord Jan from Jenštejn - later Prague´s archbishop - to function of Meissen´s bishop, who was not only dignitary but even prominent feudal lord, who asserted himself alongside of Meissen´s margraves). It was necessary to provide to lords screen against counter-press from Meissen, to establish sovereignty of Czech (Bohemian) Crown (= Bohemian kingdom) upon their land (in northeastern neighbourhood were since 7th April 1348 newly and fast organized unions of Zhorelecko (Görlitz´s region) and Budyšínsko (Bautzen´s region) with Czech Crown) and at same time to bind them more closely on himself. By that time culminated conversion from old herediatary and absolute property ownership to complicated system of feudal relationships and just form of conferment of feud was best suitable for emperor´s intentions. When he therefore enfeoffed on 16th August 1353 to Hynek Berka castle Honštejn with all-in, it probably was the question of bare transformation of actual factual status, that answered to political necessity and also to actual stage of evolution of feudal society. This act should take effect also outwardly. Emperor Karel IV. chose term of this act, when by emperor´s courtyard sojourned elector and imperial (Reich´s) archmarshal - Saxon duke Rudolf - one of the witnesses mentioned in document.

First feudal possessor of Honštejn-Šluknov´s domain has died in 1361, instead of his children took feud their uncle (tutor) and after certain time next Hynek Berka (son of dead Hynek Berka) undertook this domain for period almost 50 years. In addition to growing estates in interior country he started very early assert himself against Vartenberks, already in 1370 he held Rumburk, and from end of 14th century also castle Tolštejn, and villages Krásná Lípa, Varnsdorf and perhaps some villages east of present state border.

With growing importance of towns, their crafts and trade gained ever larger importance also network of business roads and their safety. With this fact agreed many precautions of Karel IV. and similar certainly performed lord Hynek on his territory too. Through his dominion used to route many important roads: in west-eastern course especially "salt path" from Saxony and Meissen over Neustadt to Šluknov, Rumburk, Lusatia, Zittau´s region or into Bohemian inland and further old "Bohemian salt path" from Meissen over Honštejn and Sebnitz to Mikulášovice, Šluknov, Rumburk with connection to all cardinal points again especially from Mikulášovice to castle Tolštejn over Brtníky. In north-southern course is important so-called "Ceská cesta" (Czech road) that routes from Mikulášovice over Hinter-Hermsdorf (Germany) to Czech territory lords from Michalovice by Zadní Jetrichovice (river Krinice). Then it routed either along castle Šaunštejn to Elbe´s transship points (Decín or perhaps already Hrensko) or along castle Falkenštejn to Ceská Kamenice´s region and further either to inland or along socalled "Lusatian path" to Chribská, Tolštejn and Zittau.

Old roads from Decín over Chribská - either to Tolštejn with attachment to road Budyšín-Praha (Bautzen-Prague), or over present Doubice to western surroundings of Krásná Lípa, Brtníky and to Saxon-Lusatian "magistralas" (roads between towns) - influenced perhaps already sooner locations for Chribský and Kyjovský castle. Likewise it was upon building of Vlcí (Wolfish) and Brtnický castle, when the trade roads for purpose of journey´s truncation dangerously came near hungus sandstone terraine or they even (from Brtníky to Kyjov) intersected it.

Also territory in present corner-piece of Germany between Bad Schandau and Hinter-Hermsdorf was enlivened by many communication paths, they should connected Šluknov´s region with places of transloading by river Elbe. And right there emerged in sandstone rocks great numbers of castles - very well comparable with our six rocky castles, they complemented each other to common purpose. They are Alt and Neu Wildenstein (Old and New Wild stone), Reischenstein, Falkenstein (Falcon stone), Frienstein, Winterstein (Winter stone), Rabenstein (Raven stone), Arnstein and on eruptive hills Heienberg and Rabenberg (Raven hill). Body of satellite castles continues to Honštejn: Schönberg (Beautiful hill), Schwarzberg (Black hill), Mühlberg (Mill hill), Frindsberg, Wartenberg (Guard hill), west of Honštejn castle Hockstein (on sandstone again).

Names of most castles related documents even in 15th century. Exemption to rule is already in 1372 Schwarzenberg upon occasion of defensive pact of Karel IV. (and his son Václav IV.) with Meissen´s markgraves, to pact were token up also Berkas and hereat it was demonstrated again that their Honštejn and Schwarzenberg too belonged to Czech Crown. Winterstein is at first mentioned in year 1379 as royal castle - it was probably survival of former direct king´s rights in region there.

Naturally there was no reason for another date of creation of other castles in Berka´s territory. Establishing of whole body of strongholds from Honštejn to Vlcí Hora coincides apparently into time of latter lord Hynek Berka, if not into former epoch. Entire intention - with large-scale impact - we can´t get it as single action, buildings used to grow surely gradually, sometimes perhaps they undertoke their function from one to another (in the event of change of course of road or some disaster etc.).

House of Berka was neither disinterested frontier´s guardians nor romantic knights. Defensive system (that also came in useful very well for intentions of emperor Karel IV.) served above all to economic prosperity and security of region and thus its owner too. Lord Hynek managed undoubtedly far-seeingly and he had before his eyes ideal in emperor Karel IV. So for example Rumburk under him in 1390 with its salt market objectionably competed to Lusatian towns and also later scriptural informations indicated Hynek´s activity: among duties of dependants in Honštejn´s domain was by the way provision of teams for transport of goods from river Elbe (where goods were unloaded from ships), residents from Postelwitz owed even to sailor´s service with boats on Elbe. And when we have information about glass-works in Doubice´s forest from period short time after death of Hynek, we have to put it to his account than to one from his weak and wasteful sons. Also gold mines in Neustadt worked at his time and presence of miners in region and nearby Meissen could stimulate searching of new deposits, if not mining, that is documented in later period in great number of places.

His intentions lord Hynek didn´t accomplish alone - there on castles and village strongholds and farmsteads he had captains, fojts and other officials from families of small feudatories. Their names since beginning of 15th century are constantly repeated and therefore we know that surely also sooner served to lord Hynek: Kieslings, Luttitzs, Maxens and Knoblochs, sometimes some of Kyaws too. Among them we should look for captains of Vlcí and Brtnický castle too.

His power and respect lord Hynek didn´t acquiered always unduly with kid gloves (for example in 1391 he litigated with his sister-in-law Eliška about part of her dower), but for all that he could achieved also important political position, especially during weak and distemper reign of Václav IV. Since year 1393 he was among principal members of "Panská jednota" (Aristocracy Union) appointed against king. In the year 1397 he became provincial fojt in Lower Lusatia (in those days begun /through controversy for castle Ronov by Žitava/ antagonism betweem house of Berka and Lusatian Six-towns). Only with inconsiderable break lord Hynek was over twenty years (1396-1417) the Supreme provincial judge and after certain approximation with king in 1405 also royal "poprávce" (= high official with judicial and police authority) for Litomerice´s region. He therefore very often used to stay in ancestral house in Prague, at place of present Civic library in Staré Mesto (Old Town), some documents indicated that lord Hynek in the years 1406-1408 this house reconstructed.

By that time effort of lord Hynek (based on traditions and methods of period of emperor Karel IV.) reached almost all outcomes, and completely it reached by acquiring of nearby estates of house of Michalovici in the years 1405-1408. To this result contributed out of doubt lord Jan from Michalovice (already mentioned son of Petr from Michalovice) himself. He entered upon managment of his estate barely at age of sixteen years. Within two years (1380) he married Magdalena - daughter of his former tutor and advisor of Karel IV. Tema from Koldice, and according to his advices and advices of other experienced friends (Kunát Kaplír from Sulevice - captain on Ostrý in the years 1373-1380 and Jeniš from Vodice - Kaplír´s successor) he probably at first managed his estates.

We can put to the account of influence of Jan´s advisors also privilege from 1380 for citizens of Ceská Kamenice to foundation of civic judicial book, that was connected with enhancement of their rights. Such benefaction was worth while to Jan by improvement of duties paid by town. Control of civic authority performed hereditary "fojt", civic book knows as first Mikeš Hockacker, who right away in 1381 was responsible for manslaughter. He pilgrimed for atonement to Rome and pilgrimage to Cáchy (Aachen) he even owed. Into Rome he prepared in 1389 again, so he probably had something on his mind again. His credit was probably thereby intact so he could become captain after Jeniš from Vodice - namely in they years 1386-1398 on castle Ostrý, in the years 1395-1396 and 1401 on castle Falkenštejn. Before end of his life (perhaps 1401 or 1402) Mikeš established his sons: Mates became captain of domain, other two alternated as municipal "fojts".

Jan from Michalovice was perhaps the loser for such economy and his serfs surely too. But to lord Jan was barely past helping. He didn´t lean against his old friends - people even formed by impact of kaiser Karel IV. (supreme provincial functions were in for Kaplír since 1382, Tema from Koldice died in 1383 and about Jeniš we don´t have any information past year 1382), and himself managed slenderly. Already in year 1387 he sold Velešín in fruitless effort to pay out town Úštek from debt. Without benefit and only for short time he rose to position of "fojt" (=administrator) in Budyšín (Bautzen) and position of burgrave in Domažlice (southern Bohemia). Since 1393 he looked for fortune abreast with "Panská jednota" (Lordly Union = assossiation of mainly catholic aristocrats), so that he could profit from revolt against king Václav IV. (son of Karel IV.). In 1397 he was among assassins of royal counsellors on castle Karlštejn and he conributed to both captures of king in the years 1394 and 1402.

Ever worse distress lashed lord Jan (who has never ceased to be thrown upon ever poorer revenues from primitive economy) into continuation of sales of his estates. His far-seeing neighbour - Honštejn´s Hynek Berka, who was able to better make the account of development of trade and crafts and also of beginnings of monetary economy of his towns - waited for his chance and he used to buy or maybe only took possession for settlement of debts of lord Jan. First on was town Ceská Kamenice with castle Fredevald and town Chribská - so region where were situated castles Šaunštejn, Falkenštejn, Chribský and Kyjovský. In municipal book of Ceská Kamenice emerged in 17th February 1406 new already Berka´s captain on Fredevald - Zikmund from Slibovice - there. They immediately liquidated Hockacker´s hegemony in town: Mikš´s son Hanes figured is same day as "fojt" (=administrator of town) last time. At same time we can find among new aldermen one of Knobloch´s clan first, who were people of Hynek Berka. That was taken possession of Chribská with its surroundings evidences for example enforcement of local liege justice by lord Hynek in 26th April 1406.

Jan from Michalovice tried after all to hold castle Ostry with town Benešov, still on 3rd June 1406 namely his mother and his wife acted for his name about certain benefit for church in Benešov. Also there very soon Hynek Berka became new governor, because already on 17th March 1409 on castle Ostrý commanded captain Zikmund from Slibovice too and in Benešov on 20th April of same year lord Hynek acknowledged to local church certain donation of Jan from Michalovice. Six castles in frontier rocks get into one hands in complex inclusive of (with the exception of close surroundings of town Decín) whole present Czech-Saxon Switzerland eastwards from rive Elbe and Šluknovský elongation. Power of Honštejn´s branch of house of Berka from Dubá came to a head...

3. Withdrawal from glory

Unpeaceful time of king Václav IV. (Wenceslas IV.) - stigmatized by lord´s revolt and preparing and inception of Hussite´s movement - was period of gradual decay of royal power. It concerns also the most northern borderland of Bohemia. Meissen´s margraves (later Saxon dukes and electors), who several times hardly held their position against expansion from Bohemia, could therefore in short time before year 1400 pass into political and military offensive against vassals of Bohemian king (for example against lords from Donín on left bank of river Elbe) and also directly against crown estates (as allies of Bohemian Lordly Union and Ruprecht Falcký (Ruppert from the Paletinate) - Wenceslas´s rival in contest for emperor´s crown - they even deeply invaded Bohemia in 1410). In 1408 they already held Perno, Wehlen and especially Königstein with their surroundings. To achievement of present state border and further expansion into Bohemia obstructed only Honštejn´s (Hohenstein´s) domain of old Hynek Berka from Dubá.

Berka´s sons could look just like these men.

Lord Hynek couln´t have doubts, that next onslaught will be pursued against his domain. His position was difficult - in north and east grew economicaly strong rival with large military potential - alliance of six Upper Lusatian towns. And just in this time - in the year 1410 - freshly built large domain of Honštejn´s Berkas is divided between five sons of lord Hynek. However old magnate held some lord´s powers - especially patron´s power (it is proved in Krásná Lípa in 1413, in Benešov in 1416, in Ceská Kamenice in 1416 and 1419, for the last time in Rumburk on 23rd May in 1419, then he probably soon died. In 1410 it wasn´t question of inheritance but premeditated step of lord Hynek, he would like to forestall feuds and during time to establish economics of particular sons through oversight of them.

Borders of particular shares determined ownership of six rocky castles and we can reconstruct them according to later documents and judicial testimonies recorded in court records.

Younger Hynek junior (two of brothers were Hynek, this fact was - and especially by Berkas - usual) obtained with castle Honštejn (Hohenstein) and western part of domain also share in Šluknov´s region (for example Zadní Hermanice - present Hinterhermsdorf in Germany, Mikulášovice and Brtníky). Border of his new domain along domains of brother Jan on Tolštejn and older Hynek junior on Ostrý went from Kyjov along stream of river Krinice - so castles "Vlcí hrádek" (Wolfish castle) and "Brtnický hrádek" (Brtník´s castle) indubitably devolved on younger Hynek junior.

Share of Jan (John) on Tolštejn contained also Krásná Lípa (Nice linden) and Krásný Buk (Nice beech) and from there it was defined by river Krinice to so-called Ceská cesta (Czech road) by Zadní Jetrichovice (Hinder Jetrichovice). From there to the south belonged to Jan region east of line Jetrichovice-Srbská Kamenice, but more to south also Žandov (on river Ploucnice). So in his share we could find castles Fredevald, Falkenštejn, Chribská´s castle and Kyjov´s castle.

Share of older Hynek junior on Ostrý (Sharp stone) extended itself between share of Jan and Vartenberk´s Decín´s region, from Benešov nad Ploucnicí to present state border between rivers Krinice and Labe (Elbe) - so it contained castle Šaunštejn.

In share of Jindrich (Henry) became resident castle Nový Vildštejn (Neu Wildenstein in Germany) and his domain was composed of present tip of Germany roughly east of line Neustadt-Sebnitz-Bad Schandau. To Jindrich devolved also many villages in Šluknov´s region (but Šluknov and some other places he had by halves with his brother from Honštejn). So into Jindrich´s share belonged rocky castles on Saxon side of border. Share of fifths brother Beneš contained Saxon Rathen with its surroundings (it adjoined Honštejn´s share).

It is only very rough picture, because in fact every domain contained also scattering of shares and rights on other estates and particular domains were pervaded by small enclaves of knights, inferior feudal tenants or pawn-possessors etc. It is conspicuous that only in Šluknov´s region wasn´t created compact unit - whole region was divided by particular villages and very often there was co-ownership. We can explain it by consistent respecting of old pertinence of Šluknov´s region to Honštejn´s region, both were once acquired together and so Šluknov´s region was divided among divided halves of Honštejn´s region. Contrary of this principle was applied to former Michalovici´s estate - its both parts (on the one hand surroundings of Ceská Kamenice and Chribská and on the other hand surroundings of Ostrý and Benešov), because they were acquired by degrees and therefore they didn´t share their destiny during next dividing.

Sons of lord Hynek senior began independently comported themselves just right in on porch of Hussite´s wars, and as their father (in 1415 lord Hynek senior was one of founders of catholic Lord´s Union) they followed catholic side and emperor Zikmund (brother of king Wenceslas IV.). However it seems that during visits of Hussite armies in their region they suffered more fear than losses. It is preserved large number of messages with demands for help which were sent to Lusatian Sixtowns and also records from joint consultations. In spite of this fact Hussites didn´t meet with a realy serious resistance during campaigns realized in neighbourhood, largely thanks to lightning speed of their movements. Such situations came in the end of year 1422, when older Hynek junior lost for some time town Benešov, in May 1423, when fell town Kamenice, in October 1425 during invasion into Lusatia executed perhaps from Kamenice through surroundings of town Chribská and also in June 1429 during another campaign into Lusatia over Rumburk and Jiríkov. It seems that Hussites didn´t delay themselves with lengthy unuseful siege of castles. They therefore without drastic war scenes rather served as reporting points and their captains informed catholic lords and Lusatian towns about movements of Hussite´s armies. One thing is certain - five brothers Berkas didn´t worry about fate of country or religious faith and they rather took advantage of hungus situation for clearing of accounts with their neighbours in all directions - with Vartenberks, Saxon electors, but largely with Upper Lusatian towns, of course they often forgot about defending of religious faith. For example in June 1423 Sixtowns covered by its detachments town Rumburk before Hussites, but in no time in Zhorelec´s (Görlitz) records we can read acrid note "good czech lords became reconciled with Hussites" (of course not for long time).

So careworn burghers had harm also from own allies and not little. Jindrich Berka, son of Vildštejn´s master, who after death of childless uncle Jan (+1426) went shares with his cognates and obtained Ceská Kamenice´s region, invaded for example Lusatia in end of summer 1427. Also in next years robbed there Berka´s captains and feudal tenants (for example Pancír from Smojno, Blekta from Outechovice, Kieselings, Luttitzis, Knoblochs) under the transparent pretexts. As their basis served six rocky castles - sometimes we have evidences in form of documents (records from examinations on instruments of torture).

Then the number of controversies was increased and for Berkas from Dubá religious moments fell back before their primitive property interests. Except for younger Hynek junior other were very bad managers (in addition to this fact it was difficult to manage during war and common shortage and paralysed trade), and so already in the year 1428 Jindrich ceded (probably for indebtedness liabilities) former Jan´s share in Ceská Kamenice´s region to Decín´s master Zikmund from Vartenberk. Also older Hynek junior pledged before year 1433 castle Ostrý with town Benešov to Heník from Valdštejn (he didn´t mind of fact that Benešov was already pledged for marriage portion of his wife Jitka from Hazmburk, of course this fact resulted in Heník´s loss in lawsuit with her son in 1437), but already before it he split off northern tip of his domain (by present state border) and pledged it to Vartenberks.

To lords who were growing poor came in handy easy gains from booties by their neighbours and they therefore provoked disputes over and over. Long hostility between Lusatian towns and Decín´s masters for hasty execution of Jan from Vartenberk on Ralsko junior before Christmas 1433 resulted in 10-years war in which were involved also Saxon neighbours (elector Bedrich Mírný /Frederick the Calm/ and Meissen´s bishop). Berkas were changing their allies often from compulsion: once they swore to Saxons against Zikmund from Vartenberk (who stacked betrayal on betrayal), another time they were on his side against Sixtowns and elector, however they always (but not only themselves) sought booty, from Lusatia they usualy punched droves.

Only in times of straits they called to mind mission of their ancestors and superior interests, which helped their clan to achieve these regions. For example in 1441 Berkas complained of alliance of Lusatian towns with Saxon elector to every direction, this alliance should "help to foreign prince to take from us and Czech Crown castles Tolštejn, Vildštejn and Arnstein".

In this time were on scene already grand-sons of lord Hynek senior: after his Vildštejn´s son Jindrich sons of his brother Beneš (who meanwhile lost castle Rathen) get possession of Vildštejn´s domain with half of Šluknov´s region between years 1426 and 1436, these brothers were Hynek, Beneš (Beneš died, when all brothers for short time took possession of Rathen, that they lost again during retaliatory campaign in 1439) and Albrecht. Changes, which happened in the course of years during permanent disorders and fights of everyone against everyone, we cannot today wholly reconstruct, but on their end - after many ceremonial but not-observed multilateral settlements (thanks to one of such peace-treaties we know price of one of rocky castles - Arnstein /present Germany/ was in 1437 valued to 500 threescores of groschens) since 1443 in documents there is mentioned only Albrecht as sole possessor of Vildštejn´s domain (with half of Šluknov´s region) and since 1444 owner of Tolštejn´s estate. To these territory he attached off lords from Vartenberk region with Chribská and Ceská Kamenice or at least some of their parts.

However raids and robberies continued, since that time even with help of ramified system of scouts and receivers (for example inn-keepers from Sebnitz and Schirgiswalde). Berkas were constantly more unpleasant neighbours, especially as allies of wild sons of Zikmund from Vartenberk. This perfidious lord served death-sentence for his permanent changes of sides in 1438 in Jindrichův Hradec´s dungeon (king Albrecht let him arrested during siege of Tábor for denunciation of treason and enrusted him for punishing to Menhart from Hradec) and his sons (especially Jindrich) recouped themselves for his death wherever they could, largely in Lusatia.

Of course Lusatians helped themselves with weapons too. In 1440 they undertook large campaign impacting territory from rocky castle Sloup by Nový Bor (from where used to attack Lusatia Mikeš Pancír) over Žandov and Ceská Kamenice to Decín´s region. Kamenice s castle they even had to conquer after two years from these reasons again. Of course many little actions were undertook too.

From Saxon side in this time came new manner of obtaining of peace and also licquidation of czech domains in Saxon borderland - money. After difficult negotiations elector Bedrich (Frederick) obtained in 1443 from Hynek Berka (uncle of Albrecht) Honštejn´s domain with share in Šluknov s region by change for Mühlberg (that was situated lower on river Elbe in Saxony) and for additional payment. On Mühlberg lord Hynek, isolated in foreign environment, couldn´t obstruct his plans. Treaty was of such consequence to him that he warranted to pay compensation to Hynek Berka if Mühlberg would be redeemed by former owners (duke Bedrich obtained it by pawn), on the other hand lord Hynek didn´t warrant anything - for example if czech king or czech estates would like to contest cession of Honštejn´s region to Saxon ruler.

Also Lusatian town threw purse with money onto scales and in 1442 bought from Jan from Vartenberk on Blansko castles Karlsfried and Winterstein (other than Winterstein in Vildštejn´s domain) on borders above Jablonné, which endangered near Žitava (Zittau), and very quickly demolished them. Of course more success with money they couldn´t await and therefore year 1444 brought culmination: nine thousand men of Lusatian army armed also with cannons invaded in May Vartenberk´s domain and spoiled territory from Decín and Ceská Lípa to east to Ceský Dub and to south to Uštek. During this campaign fell large number of castles and strongholds, especially were burnt down Kamenice and Žandov. Though this campaing wasn´t adressed directly to Albrecht Berka, we can hardly doubt that he was exempted from this campaign: his estates were situated on the way from Lusatia to Decín and old Lusatian towns had a bone to pick with him anyway. This wasn´t sole action of Lusatian towns, because robberies was repeated and therefore in second half of September of year 1444 this fact provoked new campaign from two sides: from Lusatia and from Bohemia too, when to army of Litomerice´s landfried (="landpeace" - squad of soldiers punishing trespassers of peace in country) under command of Jakoubek from Vresovice attached themselves Praguers armed with cannons and various military machines. Such wide participation we have to assigned to endangered interests of Czech towns in trade intercourse with Lusatia and Meissen. Energic intervention had success: Decín´s castle was seriously endangered (perhaps also set on fire) and also was conqured castle Jivník, about whose identity with one of six rocky castle we aren´t sure till present days.

Peace concluded on the end of year 1444 in Litomerice didn´t concern skirmishes of Albrecht Berka with Sixtowns: they continued still in 1450. On the other hand since 1446 with Albrecht negotiated Saxon elector about Vildštejn´s domain, he offered half of Šluknov´s region that acquired before it with Honštejn´s region.

Lord Albrecht formerly offered probably also Šaunšejn with surroundings, but it was already pledged to Vartenberks and pledge perhaps forfeited. And so elector obtained by treaty from April 1451 castle Vildštejn, villages in its surroundings and rocky country to Brtnický potok (Brtník´s brook) and of course half of Neustadt, since that time Albrecht had whole Šluknov´s region and in addition to it additional payment of 760 threescores of groschens. Czech-Saxon border between river Elbe and Šluknov´s region reached essentially present state.

Lord Albrecht could probably at rest manage still large domain, extending from Ceská Kamenice´s region to Varnsdorf on one side to Lipová on other side, but next frictions prevented him from doing it. Cause of these disturbances was vague demarcating of borders of shares in the year 1410, this fact wasn´t problem when owners of all shares were Berkas. Main disagreement concerned woods between Brtník´s brook and Belá (White brook), since that time Belá forms state frontier west of Brtníky. According to state of present borders we can say that Albrecht had his will, though according to some documents he wasn´t in the right.

Disputes, owing to which Albrecht denounced allied treaty from 1446 to elector in 1454, lasted still in year 1456. It was for a long time last time, when known events came closer to Brtnický (Brtník´s) or Vlcí (Wolfish) castles. To lord Albrecht came meanwhile worse troubles. During administration of Bohemian state by Jirí (George) from Podebrady was performed restoring of orderliness in land occupation. In the years 1420 to 1453 (with short exception) weren´t executed records in land register and many estates were acquired in those days illegaly. Therefore also Albrecht had to apply for legalizing of estates originating from former share of uncle Jan (John) = extensive landscape from Tolštejn over Ceská Kamenice region to Žandov. Though he obtained confirming in 1457 from king Ladislav Pohrobek (Posthumous child), but public proclamation of this document evoked resentment. The most consequential objection to that document raised Vartenberkas, who claimed on basis of document issued by Albrecht´s cousin Jindrich in the year 1428 whole mentioned territory excepting of castle Tolštejn with close surroundings. In landscape at issue were situated Chribský and Kyjovský castles (probably already abandoned), glass-works in Doubice´s forest and Falkenštejn too.

Lord Albrecht had many witnesses in proceedings - former officials and feudal tenants of his grand-father (lord Hynek senior). In Prague evidenced Zikmund, Henrich and Nikl Knoblochs, Kašpar from Žebnice (Sebnitz), Jurgl Koprcz and Mikeš from Žebnice (called "good Mikeš"), who was burgrave on Tolštejn "many years until his marriage". Notwithstanding lawsuit evolved for lord Albrecht not very well and because he was finding cause (we have to say that he was right) by Jirí from Podebrady, he refused to pledge his faith to him and he fell away from him in 1462 during dispute of Jirí with pope. In 1463 Albrecht was therefore sentenced to death and forfeiting of all his estates during his non-appearance in court and was conquered castle Tolštejn from order of king Jirí from Podebrady too. Lord Albrecht didn´t feel safe and he sought protection of papal legate in Vratislav (Wroclaw in present Poland), where he made a martyr for faith of himself. He at least reached out for result, that also pope and emperor Bedrich III. (Frederick III.) were engaged in his case, but of course without any auspicious outcome for him. Estates in issue and other forfeited property king Jirí alloted to Albrecht´s opponents, so since 1464 became possessors of former Albrecht´s estate lords from Vartenberk.

Not long before, in 1459, king Jirí concluded treaty with Saxon dukes in Cheb, according to which Saxons handed back their gains in territory of proper Bohemia (especially Most and castle Osek with Duchcov). On the other hand king acknowledged them possession of many Czech feuds in Saxon borderland (among them were also Honštejn, Vildštejn and Rathen). By this treaty definitely ended efforts of some Premyslovcis and Lucemburk Karel IV. (Charles) for holding and extending of Czech domains in Saxon borderland.

Part of Honštejn´s Berkas from Dubá was by sentencing and exile definitely played to the end short time after Cheb´s treaty, by which ended their historical mission. Probably all six "mysterious castles" were abandoned and turned to ruins likewise castles on Saxon side of border according to records of some Honštejn s official already in 1456. Above ruins in labyrinth of rocks settled silence.

4. Long silence

Licquidation of Berka´s domains brought only momentary benefit for Vartenberks. It was very slight plaster for king Jirí on failure of negotiations of his counsellor Marini for anti-Turkish coalition with exclusion of pope. He had to await disputes with pope by reason of unworkability of his coronation oath - he gave his word to pope to hold consistence of church in Bohemia, especially when interior religious situation became constantly sharper. And when entered scene of history next man of uncompromising consequentiality - pope Pavel II. (Paul), Czech state found itself in fatal peril after year 1466. Lusatia and large part of Silesia drew off from Czech state, major part of Moravia was lost and in Bohemia Union of catholic lords was preparing to fight with king Jirí. Though final battle with Hungarian king Matyáš (Matthias) didn´t take place, all lands suffered from devastating war. Though king Jirí persisted in Bohemia (and in part of Moravia, where he had similar opponent Hynek from Bítov on Cornštejn, as Albrecht Berka in Bohemia), he had to find out that his dream about foundation of new sovereign house disappeared in the regions of past recall. He therefore persisted in conclusion, that his successor will be Polish Vladislav Jagellonský, and so he saved unity of Czech state.

And again blazed up fights between Vartenberks and Sixtowns. In 1467 was plundered Ceská Kamenice´s region during campaign of Lusatians against removed officials Beneš Kolovrat and Carda Úštecký. Czech aristocracy paid back their campaign in 1458 by invasion and plundering of territory east of river Nisa, but they lost their booty. Lusatian forces captured near Tolštejn Czech spy and they forced him to give signal to Czech forces that road is safe. Then they massacred easy-going squads and took them their spoils. There was killed also warlike member of Lutici´s family and near dying was also another Vartenberk´s feudal tenant Kryštof (Christopher) Hermsdorf. Year later Zittauers sieged Tolštejn and they could to conquer it, but unexpectedly forces of king´s son Hynek appeared by Zittau and they delivered to weak Zittau´s forces by town-mill severe defeat, besiegers couldn´t help them.

However already in February 1470 Tolštejn was in possession of Zittauers, but it was given back to Vartenberks, when they guaranteed in Bautzen peaceful behaviour. During these fights was destroyed Jedlová´s glassworks with village Glasendorf (Glass-village) near present railway-station Jedlová. About Doubice´s glassworks we don´t have any mention, but we can assume that it didn´t escape to its doom. In his element found himself Velfl from Varnsdorf, who was promoted by king to Kladsko´s captain (former territory of Bohemia lost in 18th century) and he in this role operated in Silesia - unfortunately then set in more cruel conditions than king Jirí remedied in the beginning of his reign. Wish Albrecht Berka found better relation to his king in time of his straits, he could spare to him and to himself many problems...

Papal legate unyieldingly insisted on restoring of Tolštejn´s region to Berkas and when Kryštof and Zikmund Vartenberkas denied, that they inherited it from their father (Jan Vartenberk died already in the year of capturing of Tolštejn in 1464), then was burdened onto region interdict (prohibition of liturgies) and it continued still during of Saxon rule. It was sometimes held up (last time in 1512), but it seems that it was never cancelled. Albrecht Berka at least applied for position of captain on castle Tolštejn, when Saxon elector didn´t obey appeal of legate and domain he didn´t give back to former owner. Vainly Albrecht promised in his application, that he will advance economy of domain by utilizing of known mines, from which he probably already mined in times when he was still owner of domain.

Violent Vartenberks weren´t good managers and their domination on Tolštejn didn´t last long time after death of king Jirí (1471). They ran into debts by expensive buildings and journeys (Kryštof traveled into Rome and also to Spain) - and again played their role groschens of Saxon dukes. In spite of treaty with Jirí from Podebrady should Tolštejn´s region follow fate of Honštejn´s and Vildštejn´s regions and become part of Saxony. Fortunately Bohemian assembly and new king Vladislav Jagellonský didn´t sanction this purchase and Saxon captain Rechenberg had difficult position there. Since 1485 settled there clan of Saxon Schleinitzis and Saxon elector in fact renewed former domain of Albrecht Berka because he bestowed them also Honštejn´s region. But new masters were admitted among Czech aristocracy and they took their bearings to Prague. These far-reaching changes after half-century war-danger from Bohemia intensified estrangement of Lusatia. Nevertheless Lusatia persist in Czech kingdom still one hundred years, only in 1635 it was beyond redemption.

Vartenberks left also Decín, their domain bought in 1511 Mikuláš Trcka from Lípa, but he didn´t like this region for reason of robbering on roads and many Germans, therefore after four years sold large domain to mighty clan of Saxon Salhausens. So also there gate of German penetrating was wide opened, especially after appearance of Martin Luther (1517). Utraquists (Protestants) headed for extinction and declaring of sympathies by Martin Luther to Jan Hus made easy penetration of German Lutheran faith into Bohemia. Generaly we introduce next evolution of our region. Schleinitzis went in Albrecht Berka´s footsteps there, they mined copper near Šluknov, zinc and lead between villages Brtníky and Snežná. Jirí Schleinitz founded near old galleries in Krížový vrch (Cross hill) small mining town Jiretín pod Jedlovou (Georgetown below Firhill), he expected rich finding place of silver. Unfortunately mining wasn´t profitable, Schleinitzis ran into debts and after year 1580 they sold out by parts their small country, which basis was Šluknovský výbežek (Šluknov´s elongation), eventually they disappeared. In the year 1607 bought some estates mighty Radslav from Vchynice and Tetov (Kinský), and when he obtained in 1614 from Salhausens also Benešov nad Ploucnicí and from Vartenberks Ceská Kamenice (in Decín persisted themselves clan of Bünaus), it looked like rebuilding of former domain of lord Hynek Berka. But in year 1634 Radslav´s heir Vilém was assassinated along with Albrecht from Valdštejn and extensive new property was sold out and gave away. North of river Krinice we can see two branches of clan of Mansfelds. Benešov as part of Teplice´s domain obtained imperial marshal Aldringen. Zealous Catholic Jan Oktavián Kinský obtained from emperor reduced Ceská Kamenice´s domain to which were attached Nassendorf and Hely. Krinice became again for long time border of domain. Castles were utilized only by wicked elements.

In the north Šluknov was separated from Rumburk, then was divided and again consolidated domains Šluknov and Lipová. Aristocratic houses were coming and leaving again, and they left behind them various relics: Liechtensteins Rumburk´s "loreta", Slavatas remembrance to the most pacific peasant´s rebellion, cruely supressed by imperial commission in 1680. Last Vartenberk Ota Jindrich (Henry) died in 1625 by hand of peasant in unimportant Cervený dvůr (Red courtyard) in Markvartice for reason of religious oppression.

In Lipová settled for longer time Salms and one of them - František (Francis) - built up in vicinity of northern rocky castles hunting chateau in the years 1770-1774. He called it Šternberk according to name of his wife. This vicinity and bad knowledge of castles probably caused, that we sometimes can read, that this summer seat was built on place and from ruins of older castle. Today we know that from castles of this type they couldn´t build anything. Also forestry maps from years 1736-1737 contradicts that conjecture, because place of future Šternberk is clear, though same maps records vestiges of Brtník´s and Wolfish castles.

Enchantment of these castles wasn´t broken by prince from fairy-tale, but by ordinary forestry egineer František Fuss, who entered services of Salms about 350 years after extinction of these castles. He came in 1792 and just right in 1793 he issued book of travels. He traveled from Prague over Tursko and Velvary to Litomerice with stage-coach. There he had two choices - journey with ship along river Labe or journey with wagon over Ctrnáctihorí (Fourteen-hills) to Decín. He decided himself for second choice. From there he had to sail with ship to Žandava (Bad Schandau) and from there to Šluknovský výbežek (Šluknov´s elongation).

As soon as he learned about castles, he determined to investigate them. Because Brtník´s castle was badly accessible, he surveyed Vlcí hrádek (Wolfish castle) and described it almost well. But he judged from apparently small size of castle (and also because he didn´t investigate in cultural tier), that it was only refuge to some individual during war times. Nevertheless he called part of wood "Pustý zámek" (Abandoned chateau or castle) on map from 1805. Ground plan of castle he drew incorrectly but he delineate face - he probably noticed carved face on western side of excavated tetragon. So Fuss is first reporter and initiator of searching for history of castles. He correctly comprehended that information about these two ruins caused topographer J.Schaller to place there Horní Karštejn (Upper Charlestone) "with mountain chateau" and Dolní Karlštejn (Lower Charlestone), while both Karlštejns are in Kamenice´s domain.

He was disappointed by his visit of castle because he didn´t find anything. His book is also interesting in other way, because it notes many things: life of people, their relation to authorities. Romanticaly he characterized impressions from sunset on top of Vlcí hora (Wolfish hill) and he mused about life on distant stars. This small (two hundreds years old) work showed after long time our witnesses of famous and fatal times. It inspirated probably F.A.Heber and other investigators - unfortunately not even today we don´t have vouched informations about this places and we can only show body of reasonable assumptions.


About battle under Studenec

Lusatian mountains on its west end declines hardly into the Elbe´s sandstones (especially Czech Switzerland). As the last in the line raises there square-built top of hill Studenec alias Studený vrch (Cold hill).

Prussian infantry.

It was in the time of 7-years war during reign of Marie Terezie. She assumed the reins of government when she was pretty young. Of this fact tried to utilize surrounding countries - they wanted to share Austrian, Bohemian and Ungarian provinces. Particularly the then Prussian king Friedrich II. (socalled Great) pressed for acguisition of Silesia. In April 1757 he invaded with his 120 000 army by three streams Bohemia and near Šterboholy (by Prague) he defeated Austrian army. Part of beaten army fell back behind fences of Prague. Friedrich started to besiege the Prague. Early in June Prussians opened 3-weekly bombardment of Prague, which starved and suffered. With help to Prague set out Austrian reserve armycorps formed by marshal Daun. Prussian king wanted to prohibit Daun in further advance to Prague so he took field against him. Both armies encountered in bloody battle by Kolín. There Prussians sustained a decisive defeat, they gave up all hope of taking Prague and they started to countermarched from Bohemia. King Friedrich with great deal of his army refuged into Litomerice and he gave command to his brother prince August Vilém. Triumphal marshal Daun followed Prussian armies, which step by step evacuated position by position. Part of army cut away under command of prince August Vilém from Mladá Boleslav to Ceská Lípa, where he through his irrelevant optimism resided there for 2 weeks. After there was encounter on 15th July near Jablonné v Podještedí the Prussians surrender of this town and so they lost the key to their retreat to Žitava (Zittau) through saddle under Hvozd. So they took to flight from Ceská Lípa into Žitava by alternative route over Horní Libchava, Volfartice and Kerhartice.

General András Hadik in 1783.

Soldier from period of 7-years war by shooting from striking gun model 1752.

Austrian infantry however outstriped them by Ceská Kamenice and occupied downhills of Studenec. Prussian army on 18th July at night tried to get through with many baggages and supplies over Horní Kamenice and Líska to Chribská. Because it was extremely dark night they had to burnt lanterns and torches upon their journey. Alight nocturnal procession in mountain pass above village Líska was assaulted from three sides by units of general Beck. After throes, which continued also entire next day, the Prussians understood that with heavy supplies they couldn´t pass through. It was destroyed many of baggages, ammunition and pontoons. Casualties among Prussian soldiers were extremely heavy. Also Austrians sustained casualties - 72 dead and 94 wounded soldiers. No less bloody combats took place before village Studený. Four corps of general Hadík with 8 cannons occupied knoll along road and on 19th July they attacked passing Prussians. Hereat they captured 46 carts with baggages, ammunition and 184 horses. When Prussian reinforcements arrived they counterattacked, but Kleefeld´s corps beat them back. During day-break Austrians with difficulty carried away haul. Austrians counted 164 dead and 264 wounded man. Prussians had 486 dead, 135 captives and 423 deserters. General Beck without his favourite horse who was slain in battle rode to castle Tolštejn, another part of army pitched a camp in Jiretín pod Jedlovou. Fights around Studenec ended on 21th July. Battle was very hard as predicate contemporary records - they talk about "heaps of corpses". Next day - on st. Mary Magdalene - dead were burried. The place by village Studený, where man could seen very long time overgrown hills of graves, was called until 1945 "Cakrtovy hroby" (in german "Tchakerts Gräber", in english "Cakrt´s graves"). The most of dead was burried on the forest clearing, where later during constructing road from Ceská Kamenice to Chribská there was built gamekeeper´s lodge. Above graves of soldiers they fixed on the beech big cross and this place people started to title "U Krížového Buku" (in german "Bei der Kreuzbuche", in english "By cross-beech"). Later, when the beech was choped down, people replaced also cross for the new one. Passer-by raised the hat to cross even they mostly had no idea about cause of setting up of cross. Tradition of cross-replacing survived into present days. Last time it was replaced about 1980 by Jirí Marek from Decín. After 1995 when the gamekeeper´s lodge get new owner new cross from timbers was constructed by the road.

Heavy combats of 7-years war till today commemorate under Studenec two stone monuments. They were stood there in the years 1903 and 1906 by emeritus officer Eduard Lehmann from Chribská. Sandstone monument from 1906 stands by crossing in saddle between hills Javorek and Zlatý vrch (Gold hill). It was carved by sculptor Julius Hermann from Ceská Kamenice. Past WW2 it was several times laid in ruins and re-built (last time in 1984), therefore it is very batter. On the pedestal there are crossed sabres which are wreathed by laurel and oaken twig. Above frustum there was white dove of peace with oaken leaf and in front we can read german epigraph: "To the honour of down brave Austrian and Prussian warriors, who there in dutiful filling of their duties in days 18th to 21st July 1757 died by heroic death for the Kaiser, King and country. God give them everlasting peace".

Next monuments built by Eduard Lehmann stands on the northwest bottom of Studenec on the right side of road about 350 m behind village Studený in the direction of Kunratice, where before man could see mentioned mass graves. They are again sandstone and stands side by side. On the right high weathered monument there are carved crossed sabres wreathed by laurel and oaken twigs and on the plinth there is hardly readable inscription: "Constructed on 23rd August in 1903 by Eduard Lehmann". Left monument has form of slight frustum. Both were past WW2 knocked off so they broke into several pieces. Later they were compiled again. In 1997 people suceeded to replace left monument by its exact precisi replica as original wasn´t repairable. On its fron side was innovated epigraph: "In memory in this place burried Austrian and Prussian soldiers, who was killed in combat on 19th and 20th July in 1757. God give them everlasting peace".

Inscriptions on the monuments near Líska and Studený advocate devotion and peace to all down irrespectively of the fact on whose side they stood. How fair and deeply human idea ! It gives us foresight of bright future of each human - namely certainty of death, in that we will alltogether absolutely equal.

(source: web-pages of Lusatia mountains http://www.natur.cz/~kuhn/index.html)


In the year of Our Lord 1864

- from records of father Hoentschel that were embedded in steeple of church of St. Jan Nepomucký in Jetrichovice in 1864 and founded in 1995 by church reconstruction (source: local bulletin Ceská silnice)

In the year 1748 Jetrichovice was diseased by drastic animal black death. It tells document from 1789. In 1756, by beginning of seven-years war, this region was pothered by Prussians. In 1771 Bohemia was attacked by famine. After famine followed severe diseases. Kaiser Josef, co-ruler of his mother empress Marie Terezie, travel through country and helps to people. Big hardship affected Jetrichovice and Rynartice during hereditary war between Austria and Prussia. In 1778 enemy Prussian´s army halted in Ceská Kamenice there. It marched 31st July and stayed until 9th August. Four days 8 thousand of enemy soldiers looted Jetrichovice and they demolished everything what fell in their way. They lifted animals, grain, food, domestic and agricultural tools. To wretched people didn´t remain neither that they hid in surrounding dingles and caves. This sack and demolition resulted in loss of estate valued at approximately 18 thousand of guldens, as affirmed under oath fore officials of Litomerický district peasant Eliáš Fiedler for all village Jetrichovice. In Rynartice there was set on fire dwelling house of Dallwitzs. After last Prussians assaults Kaiser (emperor) Josef II. traveled through our regions so as to he could by own eyeball ascertain himself in what way (almost unimaginable) the Prussian detachments could dive into our country. Emperor went also through Jetrichovice, he stayed there for half an hour and finally he gave to municipality 12 ducats. In 1770 it was imposed numbering of dwelling houses, that was in 1780 even improved. Since long ago head of village were reeves - municipal judges, they had authority to maintain the stability of village, to be on hand of aristocratic officials and arbitrate lesser conflicts between local citizens. Municipal reeves - judges - were nominated by aristocratic office or they were hereditary reeves.Reeves had privileges to brew, to carry on butchery with right to slaughter, to bake bread etc. In Jetrichovice we have two preserved names of hereditary reeves. They were: Johan Christof Michel (nr. 59) and his son Josef. During time of his agency Johan Christof let to build in honour of St. Jan Nepomucký chapel. Chapel was base for present church. In 1778 village started with further construction of church, that continued for next two years. After death of Johan Christof Michel came in for reeve´s function his son Josef, who was last hereditary reeve in Jetrichovice there. Then followed Johann Kny, after him for 13 years Paul Heinrich Bleicher (nr. 24). During his function it was built section of road through socalled "Frauenloch" in the direction of Rynartice. In 1842 our region was cut up badly by dryness. It dried up also fruitfully water-supplied wells, and even larger brooks. Years 1846 and 1847 were years of misery and hardship. Especially the poor laboured with hunger. People ate garbages, mushrooms etc. Even some haves pledged their estate and they was in the hole. For the poor municipality cooked socalled Frankfurt´s soup. The years 1848-1850 were good for businessmen, farmers and craftsmen - business developed and turnover grew. It was lack of labour force and petty cash, that was as well as silver and copper collected and hid by all people. By enacting of new constitution country and also municipality get new form. 6th September started with election of mayor and municipal board new organization of government of our village. The mayor was elected Franz Fiedler (nr. 35). He was ardent, dutiful and perspicuous for modern achievements. Function that he executed was much more extensive than at time of reeves. In mayor´s dwellings there was established office, old writings and official documents and papers were sorted and stocked, new official books and protocols were carried. Regularly assemblies of municipal board took place and about decisions aldermen balloted by major vote. Mayor Fiedler started to aggrandize whole village (1852-1854). For new sidewalk in front of church was organized gathering. For 130 guldens new municipal road was built up. With his fellow worker P.Lósel he grasped to raise money for church clocks. In honour of marriage of kaiser Franz Josef with Bavarian duchess Alžbeta (Elisabeth - Sisi) people in 24th April 1854 planted on "Schulkreuze" lindens. In 1858 was get over road to Vysoká Lípa. In 1857 started to cure in Jetrichovice and its surroundings district doctor of the poor. The first was Wenzel Knorr, than Ludwig Salus and after him Carl Starch. In 1881 was get over road to Hrensko and so our village was connected with river Elbe. In February 1862 were so fruitful rain, that local brook overflowed its banks and flooded road. Majority of houses in Všemily was under water. Prices of grain were low, harvest good. With regard to lack of cotton (civil war in USA) the earnings of workers in surrounding factories were low. In winter 1862-1863 there wasn´t any snow. In spring 1863 came winter, that lasted until summer. Many bee colonies perished, harvest was average. In 1864 winter was restless, spring and summer cold and rainy. Harvest was only average.


About "new school" in Vysoká Lípa (source: local bulletin Ceská silnice - text fragment from chronicle of Vysoká Lípy)

A.D. 1839. ...Against educational conditions took effect some indisposed circumstances. Many poor parents need their children to works at home very often. Another children are missing necessary clothing for arduous winters - so long there. Many parents send their children to grass livestock in summer. We could do away with these defects, if people would grass livestock together. Of course the largest minus is old and purposeless school building, that is not only rotted but even too small. Also school-desks are very bad and heavily broken. Temporal school catechist Mr František Svoboda, co-operator in Jetrichovice, as well as teacher Franz Hieke feel these defects everyday...

....Reeve Joseph Kessler from nr. 39 wanted even in same year to achieve urgent reconstruction of school and therefore he made a request to gracious suzerain, so that it permits us necessary building material. Hence whole municipality can hope with confidence, that all defects will be eliminated very soon. This objective is more difficult now as municipal wood is cut very much and hence the pay-off from wood and resin is much lesser than in past years...

...On 23rd July 1839 the gracious suzerain gave back our request concerning new school with verdict, that construction will be possible after completing of new scholl in Růžová...

A.D. 1842. .... On 4th May we began with demolition of old scholl building. On 18th May we lay the headstone of new school. Building was finished in same year. Gracious suzerain contributed to building by 100 guldens. Wood was cut in municipal wood. Andreas Richter from nr. 28 baked bricks on his land and he claim for 1000 pieces of bricks 22 Wein´s guldens. Other costs paid municipality. Works with team performed allotment holders gratis...

... On 29th September the school was dedicated and on 3rd October took place the first teaching in new school...


Bootleggers (source: local bulletin Ceská silnice)

From various archival records we can learn, how in 19th century and early in 20th century "worked" in our region bootleggers. Besides at present, when we wail over demoralization and boom of impeachable activity, smuggling is engaged again. Of course it has another forms - more modern. A.Paudler in his book "New ridge route" from 1904 writes about smugglers from 19th century.

...Bootleggers crossed the frontier in large groups consisted of three, five and even seven hundreds men !!! Mostly they disbanded themselves as late as by village Huntírov into smaller groups in which they went home. So they wandered along here and there very dangerous paths many miles from border to inland as much as they more or less happili arrived home. "If you would go along way, along we have to pass in the darkest night, by white daylight you would exclaim: No money worth my while that I could break my legs and neck on that way." It declared one of those who passed through this experience. Another man who was enticed for award beyond compare higher than normal wage told: "It was evil night. Pursuers were still upon our heels. It was chill and we had to ford the river Kamenice three times. One could be at the point of death from it. I did it only one time but I will not do it in my life again. And truly I didn´t smuggle never more. I tried to make my living by another way." A.Paudler also in his narration from 1904 reminds us, that "from Jetrichovice we can reach through valley of stream Jetrichovice´s Belá the Dolský mlýn (Ground mill). Right away at beginning of valley stands Blech´s house, that is reportedly the oldest house in Jetrichovice, and also saw-mill there. In its proximity stands house, whose dwellers provided refuge for smugglers about year 1830. That lasted til then one man from frontier guard get next to a daughter of house owner. It was end of asylum for bootleggers..."

And let we remind you anymore what on 1st August 1889 told Jetrichovice´s mountain guide Johan Knobloch: "In the year 1829 broke out in Rumburk uprising against revenue officers, who haunted smugglers hidden in wind mill on Strážní vrch (Guard hill). Many people closed in upon revenue officers in barracks in Hrncírská ulice (Potter´s street) for that reason that they shot son of miller-woman - nice young boy. Barracks were assaulted and from the windows was ejected large amount of equipment. Finally aggressors were repulsed, many of them arrested and then in prison some of them died...."


It used to be... - from memories of Mr Werner Hieke - Jetrichovice´s native who was born in 1924

... alias description of one common year from early thirtieth ...

Part 1. - End of school year

By late June we used to obtain school reports. We gloried in nice reports. It meant that we go to upper class or that we can after vacations enter another school. By late June and early July were coming into our village first guests - "summer visitors". It were mostly same people every year and they therefore put up at same households. Into our house used to go guests from Berlin, Dresden and other Saxony´s and Prussia´s cities. Conditions were in those days very similar to of this date. Crossing of frontier didn´t make difficulties and prices were on Czech side of borders more favourable than in Germany, where some goods were already short - for example rum, butter etc. Czech beer smacked also in those days and it was very cheap. There were so more reasons - beside charming beatiful landscape - to spend holidays by us. We rented three rooms, that we out of season used as bed-rooms. Before season we clear out them and we arranged them for guests. Rooms were clean but without any luxury. Renting of rooms to guests from another country imported for us, that we gained through relationship with them wider overview of the world, we learnt different way of life, we discontinued to be closed and limited as inhabitants of similar villages, to which tourist trade kept clear of them. There was one assumption - same language. We made ourselves understood by them without interpreters.

To us children offered possibility to earn any crown for various services - carriing of suitcases, explanation and showing of way etc. For accompaniment during trip (some sort of guide attendance) we get 1-2 crowns and in Dolský mill or in Na Tokáni we received also soft drink or knackwurst. Arrival of guests contrasted with present-day one. They were delivered by carriages from Hrensko or Mezná Louka. Later started go bus and when one man bought car he carried taxi-service. Automobile in village - it was for us children big experience. You can´t imagine what peace was at that time in village there. Once something grumbled in the air - we looked up and we saw small airplane of count Kinský, to whom belonged forests around place Na Tokáni. These forests were his big hobby. He let to plant out izards there and also he let to build up log-houses for his guests in place Na Tokáni there. I forgot already if I saw any izard when I was child. They were very timid. It also applies to grouses, deers and venisons. Deal of woods belonged to peasants, whose hunt association arranged every autumn rabbit-hunt. On that time we were holded at home, so as we didn´t run into shoot to hunters.

In addition to hunt and other associations, there also operated "Mountain association", whose objective was to build and maintain tourist paths and support foreign travel. My father was throughout long years chairman of this association, so I used to learn from a child, what such actiivity of association amounts. In winter we painted new and improved old tourist direction indicators, we repaired stairs and ladders in rocks and also benches from cut laths - but this benches used to break up quickly.

To German guests relished there naturally Czech cuisine - especially Czech cakes - socalled "Klekselnkuchen". They were with pot cheese and currants, with poppy and jam. For breakfest we used to bring from baker hot rolls. And when came up to table already mentioned cakes - contentment of guests flourished. For guests we also used to buy real bean-coffee, that was for us cost unavailable - we drank only "melta".  

Part 2. - Summer holidays

Production of charcoal.

As children we used to run whole summer barefoot, which relished with us. Court of our neighbour Langbauer was for us evening chilren´s playground. We - children of same and similar age - were enough for various games. We used to like to go to woods, to climb trees and rocks, to build "castles", to swing on branches, to build various dens. As every children in any epoch, we formed squads. We usually divided ourselves into "hornáky" (Upperers) and "dolnáky" (Lowerers). Border between our territories was though invisible, but scouts of both sides carefully observed if opposite side constructed new "castle", so that it could be destroyed. From cortex of pinetrees we carved out small ships, from fresh wood whistles. Pocket-knife was very important tool, which perhaps possessed every boy. Either he bought it for earned money or he get it as present. On the brook we used to build barriers, from hollows on meadow we used to expel grass-hoppers and other vermin. The most favourite place of our childlike rejoicings was Donsberg (present Cedicový vrch) and Kilbstein. We had there a sort of cavern, that originat from excavation of sand dedicated for buildings. There was also mini-lake (rather large slop) in that I fell one time, but though I couldn´t swim I get away from it. On hill Donsberg there was basaltic quarry and already from afar we heard stone-mason. There was quarried stone for roads. In village there were also another craftsmen. We couldn´t rip off from observation of blacksmith, when he shod horses. In valley under ruin of Falkenštejn worked wood-collier, there were also joiner and shoemaker and every from them was interesting. To summery activity belonged picking of raspberries, blackberries and huckleberries - those I brought home many litres. Mother then baked huckleberry-cakes and she offered them to summer-guests by afternoon-coffee. It was delicacy, that they loved above anything. Children of peasants had to help by work to their parents naturally. We helped to our parents by work too. We also assisted in cultivation of vegetable gardens, which didn´t miss by any house. Home-grown vegetable served not only in own household but even fresh vegetable we offered to hotels and pnesions (boarding-houses). Holiday in nowadays sense of word couldn´t come into consideration and I don´t know any from our friends, who would ride away in summer. Nowhere was as fair as there. 

Part 3. - Hygiene and back to school

We used to take part in washing, which wasn´t such ordinary thing, how it could appear. When was "washing day" we had to bring water into laundry, that had to be in every house. By us we used to bring water from well about 30 m deep. I remember that I once get down into this well on connected ladders to aground. Till today I feel narrow width, moisture and darkness. Water we filled into big pot - "washinger" - and then we poured powder detergent and clothes. We boiled it and then we gave the clothes into wooden wash-tub, that was good product of handy joiner. In wash-tub we laundered with wash-board. When clothes were according to opinion housewife clean, we wringed it and in basket we brought it to brook to places of present glass-shop. There was a sort of "rinse-pond" in that was holded larger amount of water. There we rinsed clothes till we relieved it of rests of soap and detergent and water was clean. Clothes we brought home. According to weather we hung clothes outside or in the house to dry it. When was fair weather we "plajchovali" - clothes were staggered on grass and at intervals we besprinkled it with water from can. Such clothes afterwards for great satisfaction of housewife smelt of cleanness and sun.

One day, usually Friday, was dedicated to bathing. All that time the kitchen (the warmest place in the house) transformed into bathroom. From laundry we brought big pot ("wahinger") with hot water and we filled it into wash-tub and then we (children first, then parents) pretty took a bath. During week we only washed ourselves in cold water.

And so two months of vacations fled away, summer guests started to ride away, mornings and evenings were ever colder and school begun again. In Jetrichovice´s school there were two classrooms. In first classroom there were 3 school classes by 10 children each of them - so altogether 30 pupils. In second classroom there were classes 4-8. From 5th class amount of pupils decreased because they mostly went to burgess-school in Ceská Kamenice and some of them to gymnasium in Decín. Also I used to go into burgess-school in Ceská Kamenice, where I had to go every day.by bike. Those 12 km used to run very quickly. On way joined us children from surrounding villages and we anyhow froliced together. Of course that we sometimes bruised our noses, morning we had to rise with the sun and home we used to come long time, but it didn´t matter to us. Majority of us were boys, because there dominated idea that girls don´t need education and profession because they get married anyway. At citizen´s school in Ceská Kamenice there were about 40% local children in class and about 60% or more commuted from villages. In no case we weren´t worse than civic children and we gloried in it. When snow fell we couldn´t go by bike to school. Our parents found for us low-cost "privát" (lodging), where we lived from December to February. Home we rode on Saturday after school and on Sunday we used to go back to Ceská Kamenice.

Part 4. - Municipality

In the year 1928 our village was electrified, first meters of road (till then only gravelly) were asphalted, first taxi started operate in our village, first bus service into Ceská Kamenice was established. In summer bus used to go also into Hrensko, from where German tourists were transported into Jetrichovice. Some buses used to go also to Decín, but it was for us too far afield. But it was useful for people who wanted arrange for something or to buy something - they didn´t have to go on foot to town. I don´t remember that there were constructed new houses - buildings were only reconstructed or improved. People didn´t have extra money for new houses. There was only one new building (and it was constructed very long time) - present seat of local authority, surgery of doctor and Police of Czech republic. I also don´t remember that there was any fire. People were very careful - they knew what destruction could caused fire between mainly wooden houses. We also had municipal firemen (their chief was Langbauer) who hard trained. Alarm was alerted by trumpeter who passed the village by bike. Siren horn bought village later. To station we used to go to Rynbište or to Ceská Kamenice´s Nová Ves (New Village). First trains I saw by my uncle who lived in Nová Ves right by track. To see passing locomotive - it was experience for me !

Mail was delivered morning and afternoon too. First telephone was opposite present pension Drevák (aslo today there is call-box). As a young boy I couldn´t make sense how is possible to speak with anyone remote only through phono electric wire and phone apparatus. Our village reached also sound radio. We have among first who had it. I remember that it consisted of several separate parts. Always on Sunday my father put amplifiers into windows, he toned up sound so that also our neighbours could listen radio and then he tuned up appropriate radio channel. We used to listen intensive broadcaster from Königswusterhausen (south of Berlin). Father also put up antenna - he held up two wooden rods (about 6 m long) and then he put up between them 15-20 m long wire. Before approach of thunderstorm announcer used to report: "Don´t forget to ground antenna !" In our village we had doctor MUDr. Guth, there was also dentist. Children were beared at home through midwife. To hospital "špitál" we used to go only as exeption and in completely grave cases. When someone died, he was prepared at home and in company of vicar and altar boys he was took to church and then buried in local churchyard. On All Souls Day (holiday of all dead people) were almost all graves decorated by autumn flowers and evergreens and were ignited candles which protected before wind by glasses shined long time till midnight. In those days - more than another time - was evident that churchyard with its dead is a part of village too ... 

Part 5. - Winter and Christmas

There was alaways much snow so that it was enough for coasting and skiing that was in our conditions only in rising. First skies of village children were from boards of exhausted wooden barrel. I belonged to exceptions, who had real skies that invited of other children. We were about 20 (children about 10 years old) who peopled bank from hill Donsberg (present Cedicový vrch - with TV amplifier) to almost down middle of village. We rode down fearlessly over all hollows and across roads, we constructed also "ski-jumping bridge" on that we fell very often. To coasting we utilized roads, especially roads from Rynartice. It was long and abrupt enough and because in those days there was almost no traffic it wasn´t so dangerous how it could seem. In the evening came to coast also adults. When was hard frost and water freezed we used to ice-skate on pond by Starý mlýn (Old mill) and on pond by Grieslův mlýn (Griesel´s mill) (present recreational building for children from Prague). There also people used to cut out by saws big blocks of ice and then they took them by horse-vehicle into vaults of local inns. Ice served as present cold stores, because ice in vaults last out till summer and it refrigerated drinkables. Some rustics had big sledge to that they harnessed horses. Passage with such sledge was also exciting experience. Horses was used also in winter to pulling of cut down trees from wood. When it get warmer and snow became softer we used to make snowmen and various buildings, we engaged in battles with snow-balls and home we were coming wringing wet but happy. Considerable event was Christmas. Christmas Tree we naturally didn´t buy in those days. During autumn we looked out some tree in wood there and before Christmas we cut it and put it at home in sitting-room. We children used to find presents always in morning 25th Decembre unlike today when presents are dealed already during Christmas Eve. Presents (even they were small) always took us by surprise. But this surprise wasn´t so big because we known what we came in for. In our family it was always book - annuals, calendars etc. We used to find in them tales, puzzles, pictures and so we during bad weather and in evenings used to read and riddle. 

Part 6. - Carnival

There wasn´t house where people wouldn´t breed pig. They were fed with potatoes (home-grown) and various odds and ends of food. By end of January and early February came time of pig-stickings. We asked butcher who killed pig, portioned meat and made pig-sticking´s delicacies. These were cooked, from decoction we had soup, that we tasted and with hamper we distributed it to our neighbours. Those rejoiced as well as we, when for a change they were killing pig. Meat was bottled and saved for high days. I have to reminde you that in addition to pigs were bred in some small farmsteads goats because of milk for children. Cow milk had only big rustics. There were also bred rabbits and nowhere were absent hens to be eggs. Mostly we were self-suppliers. In March came time for carnival. In those days youth always prepared jolly fancy pageant, that on Shrove Saturday passed through village up and down, of course with music and this pageant was finished by local inns. There people used to drink and dance. Carnival masquerade was opportunity for our parents to rollick little. Of course in appropriate limits. I remember how my father with great will prepared quaint carnival masks, which appealed to all. Band that played up on carnival used to perform of course by another occasions as were various feasts, processions, weddings and naturally burials. We children also made carnival mummers and in groups we used to pass through village. It was event to which we looked forward very much and then we long time told about it. 

Part 7. - Easter

Before Easter used to go about local rustics and they have asked for hamper - they used to obtain sometimes money, various food, most often home fat. Therefore this carol was called "Speckfechten" (= Beg for fet). Carolled money were calculated for Easter shooting "Osterschiessen". It took place after Ressurection. On the hill behind church flocked together young people and they placed there mortars and on Sunday morning they greeted by shooting Ressurection of Jesus Christ. Young "gunners" spent night from Saturday to Sunday outside by mortars. We don´t need to commemorate that it was very jolly night. We children looked forward to time when we will grow up to this exciting event. For us the main Easter holiday was Holy Thursday, when we used to go about our neighbours and we adressed them, that we "we are coming only because of greeting of Holy Thursday...". For this greeting - carol, we used to receive egg, chocolate or as exeption orange that was in those days for us children big curiosity. Good Friday wasn´t holiday, but it was for families day of Easter cleaning, when we pefrormed spring-cleaning and we also prepared rooms for expected "Osternausflügler" (Easter-holiday-maker). Those were coming in large amount and so they had to sleep in hayloft very often. Among those Easter-holiday-makers (mostly from neighbouring Saxony) were also very often rockclimbers, which we as children curiously contemplated. They hard climbed on surrounding rocks, (that we climbed without any difficulty), eguipped with ropes, clinches and rest climbing accessory equipment. Only to Kocicí kostel (Katzenkirche, in english Cats-church) we couldn´t climb withou equipment - it was too steep. On Easter Sunday we of course used to have festive dinner. Mainly roast mutton, kid or lamb, sauer kraut and Czech dumplings (our version of Czech "Knedlo, vepro, zelo" = Dumpling, pork, sauer kraut). And till next Thursday we had vacations.

Part 8. - Spring

By end of April many a man used to look up for his girl-friend proper birch with green leafs. Last of April man cut off it, decorated it with varicoloured ribbons and at night before 1st May (generally in stealth) man infixed it in fencing in front of house of that on who man fancied, but who didn´t know about it rather often. There were some bolds, who mounted the birch on roof of cottage. Public community used to always watched in front of which building emerged such birches. Month May was connected with many ecclesiastical fetes. The first was Ascension Day, when used to pass procession. Vicar, altar boys and believers walked about local fields and blessed them so that they give good harvest. On Sunday after 16th May - fete of patron of village and Jetrichovice´s church saint Jan Nepomucký - there took place the biggest Jetrichovice´s feast, real fair, whereto belonged (as it was customary) festal dinner and lot of various attractions. We children looked forward to chain merry-go-round alreay powered by electromotor (till 1928 man powered by muscular young man), to flip-flaps and to stands with various goods. There used to go clothes, needful articles for household and for us children rare ice cream, gherkins, various confectionery etc. At this feast assembled our relatives from surroundings and they generally gifted us by some crown for candy. Pocket money that we used to obtain from parents we had for costs connected with school in town. Next feast wasWhitsuntide. I remember that on that day my father put into corner of sitting-room young birch as symbol of spring. In church there were Whit celebrations. Ten days after it there took place Fete of Lords´s body and blood - God´s body, when through village passed procession with music and bridesmaids again. In procession we carried ostensories and above vicar the canopy. Problem of marshals of May Day processions in former communistic régime: who will carry banners with rated slogans - commemorated to us winged statement of Czech vicar Mr Kozák, who, expectant to carriers of canopy during one proccession, exclaimed: "What there is neither devil, to carry canopy ?".

Afterwards before us was June and with him: end of school year and superb two months of vacations....


It has happend in the year 1938 (source: regional bulletin Ceská silnice, author: from narration of his father booked Antonín Foret from Varnsdorf)

Jeden z klasických řopíků z obranné linie předválečného Čsl. opevnění. Mezi bunkry byly průseky, dnes zarostlé, zájemci se mohou vydat po jejich linii.

In summer of that fatal year 1938 man could feel even in Jetrichovice strange animosity. In the garden-restaurants and along touristic paths there were far lesser amount of tourists and visitors than usually. Several tens of Czech inhabitants, mostly state employees, had to undergo still greater malice and even open hostility from side of German fellow-citizens, with them still recently get along well. Till then the roar of fuehrer of "new Germany" begun to roar and speeches of certain teacher of gymnastics (Henlein), who in Litomerice already in 1937 declared "hour of liberation of Sudeten Germans", "our Germans" how we called them in the era of first republic hadn´t serious reasons to complain. Czechoslovakia fairly observed "Saint-Germain´s pact about national minorities" from 1919. Even in Jetrichovice no one drove Germans to speak Czech. Council school (1st to 5th class) was in Jetrichovice there and "Citizen´s school" (6th to 8th or 9th class) was in Ceská Kamenice there. German real Gymnasiums were in Decín and in Varnsdorf there. As only minority in the world Germans had their own colleges - 1 university and 2 engineering universities. Nevertheless the Sudeten question became international problem. When the lord Runciman ended off his negotiation and channels in republic (he visited even family Kinský in Na Tokáni) it was clear that his mission was unsuccessfull. Terror of Germans against Czech inhabitants escalated and Hitler ever and anew asked for annexation of Czech borderland to the Reich.

On Friday 23rd September 1938 in 22.00 the president of republic issued a decree of mobilization of Czechoslovak military forces. In 22.00 Czechoslovak government declared state of armed readiness with connection with general mobilization (18 years of reservist = 1 250 000 men). Already in 15 minutes the first reservists reported by their mobilization organs. By 48 hours from declaration of mobilization enter a arms 80% of all reservists !!!. 5th day after declaration of mobilization mobilization ended. All already builded frontier fortifications were filled. In our region played role in defence of state border and adjacent zone (10 km to inland) unit of "S.O.S.-Stráž obrany státu" (Guard of defence of state) from Jetrichovice. Its operating space ranged from closure "Czech road" in Zadní Jetrichovice (Hinder Jetrichovice) - at that time romantic summer resort with hotels and guest-houses on the river Krinice - to Cerná brána (Black gate). Commander of unit S.O.S. was recipient of Financial guard Antonín Foret (1904-1979) - assistent of commandant of Financial guard in Jetrichovice (nr. 114), he acceded to office after untimely dead B.Forst. Unit of S.O.S. was formed from members of Financial guard, gendarmerie and after mobilization even reservists (mostly glassmen from Kamenický Šenov). They have superior armament as well as our whole army - Nickel´s pistol CZ 9 mm, repeating-rifle model 24 with 7,92 mm, and famous light machine-gun Bren model 26 - manufacture of Brno´s arsenal.Chests with ammunition and supplies of hand-grenades represents not bad gunpower. Standpoints, that some of men inhabited already several months from partial mobilization in May, were situated next door to todays green-marked touristic path from Zadní Jetrichovice to Panenská jedle (Virgin fir) - first in close proximiry of Czech road above gamekeeper´s lodge, second about 1500 m east from Jankuv´s hill below point 385 m. Simple log-cabins were built in the rock, in which were scarved these words: OUR COUNTRY YOU HAVE FAITHFUL GUARD, CSR and date 1938. To first encounter with fanatic "ordners" evidently from nearby German village Hinterhermsdorf took place day after mobilization on Saturaday 24th of September in the morning. Nazis crashed by detonation the frontier push-bolt on the Czech road and with several cars they broke to our country. They were supported by machine-gun on the German side of frontier. Gunplay lasted from 6.50 to 10.00. On our side were 3 heavily wounded (penetrations of knees and lungs) and greatly aggrieved facades and roofs of houses in Zadni Jetrichovice. However attackers didn´t get through. Resolute resistance against lesser or greater attacks in our borderland persisted another one week. People, who were ready to bring self-sacrifice of soldiers of first sequence, were all of sudden drew off. On the 1st October 1938 in 2.00 German army begun to annex without struggle our territory. Day before agreed together on this solution puissants shucks of that time in Bavarian Munich.....

Distressfull and derogative counter march of Jetrichovice´s unit S.O.S. came to an end till 3rd of October 1938 between Libechov and Melník, where the Czech inhabitants took them up. Only there was time to think of their next of kin and assets, that they abandon in snatched borderland. In villages around town Melnik many of them found new home after evicting from Czech borderland.


Czech-German dialogue (source: local bulletin Ceská silnice)

They are already years since signing of Czech-German Declaration of Conciliation. Now it is already free to evolving of new companionships. To past we shall not forget never more. Because, he, who will not learn from own past anything he is bound to live out his past ever and anew.

So let we recall, that into territory of Bohemian kingdom were called since 13th century German settlers. They grounded there their communities, they also initiated and created big pices and by virtue of their economical power they radiated their political and cultural influence. This impact had after battle on Bílá hora (White hill, 1620) power support in all spheres of society and czech nation retained its identity thanks to deep roots maintained by intelligent patriots and thanks to lively romantism of 19th century. Let we recall, that till the end of 19th century Germans in Austria-Hungary didn´t feel any want to exaggerate their national pertinance and qeustion in those days valid borders of czech state. Let we also recall, that in determining of Czechoslovak borders in 1918 prevailed principle historical before national. Czech Germans became so citizens of new Czech state that came into existence within its historical borders. Sudeten Germans in relationship with the czech population and environment, with common history and intercommunicated culture established completely unique union. The "First republic" enabled to its German citizens development of education from basic to academic and further development of culture - there issued a number of journals, newspapers and books, German theaters also put on an act. Situation suffered changes in thirtieth due to economic crisis, that striked especially frontier areas of state and also due to assembly of Adolf Hitler into front of Germany. He made the account of economical crisis to nationalistic-social (Nazi) demagogy. In Czechoslovak borderland growed Henlein´s Sudetendeutschepartai (Sudeten German´s party), that orientated itself to breakage of Czechoslovakia and to annexation of socalled Sudety to Reich. Under influence of Nazi propaganda was advocated more openly hate for czech democratic state and its czech population. In fatal year 1938 took place rushes of gendarmeries, there were chased czech railwaymen, revenue officers, teachers and all Hitler´s opponents. After "Mnichov" (Münich´s deal) Sudeten Germans welcomed German army of occupation with erected right hands and frantic cry "Heims ins Reich" (= Home to Reich). Most of them gave precedence to Nazism (before Czech democracy), that by and by drifted them into war, in that many of them were killed. During of few days had to leave "Sudetenland" million Czech citizens. They weren´t fended off, but they ran away by night, with crying children and with torsos of their things, which they could hurry-scurry take with themselves. Then (after 15th February 1939 when rests of Czechoslovakia were annexed) years of occupation had been followed with tens thousands of inprisoned, executed and martyred, liquidation of villages (Lidice, Ležáky), hard labours in German war industry. After defeat of Nazi Germany victorious powers decided about displacement of Sudeten Germans. They pursue a aim to do away with one of hotbets of animosity in Europe. Let we admit that the displacement was not only act of fair punishment for commision of betrayal and caused harm but even act of vengeance for committed sufferings - not only in our country, but even in whole Europe. It is no doubt that displacement of Sudeten Germans deeply interferred their destiny and that they were hardly stigmatized forever. Every forced exodus is cruel and harsh, every exodus is wrongdoing. Speakers of "Landsmannschafts" of course till today talk only about discretions and claims of Sudeten Germans, they talk as if wrong began as lately as after their displacement from Czechoslovakia. They didn´t admit their part in breakage of Czech "First republic" and they also didn´t acquiesce with their beating in WW2 and with its incidences.

Abstractedly from rant of that speakers every day thousands of Czechs and Germans encounter one another, they visit themselves each other, they trade, they go in for sport, they acquaint themselves with cultural legacy, they help each other by solving of everyday problems. They live and they want to live in peace and friendship. That is also in our village Jetrichovice, whose many residents based their economical subsistence on service´s provision for especially German visitors of our region. Czech-German relationships have never been only conflicting or hostile, but even constructive, enriching and friendly. That was when the ones weren´t subordinated and others didn´t place themselves before the ones. Let we learn from it. We are free nations in free Europe. 

Münich´s deal, by German population heartily loved, brought to us attachment to German Reich. It was on Sunday, when Czech soldiers, gendarmes and financial guard trooped away. There were several troubles but quickly organised municipal guard provided for order. Then followed entering of German troops downstream from Rynartice. Ecstasy was grand, old dream came true ! Presently took place voting in that 100% of citizens went in for new policy and attachment to Reich... ....On 6th October 1938 Fuehrer (Adolf Hitler) passed Ceská Kamenice (Böhmisch Kamnitz) (downstream from Chribská) and he was tempestuously welcomed by population.... .... On 19th October took place in Jetrichovice´s church votive devotions with big attendance.... ..... On 4th December 1938 took place by-elections into "Grossdeutschland Reichstag" (Great-German Reich assembly). Result: 98,9% YES...

On 24th September 1938 Czech state mobilized... From our village went man (on which mobilisation applied) into woods around Vysoká Lípa... They lurked whole day with hardship and in danger of their life. Other men brought them necessary food... Sole hope entertained them: They knew, that someone will help on time - our Fuehrer Adolf Hitler.... On 2nd October many houses had flags with swastika. There are triumphal arches with signs: "We thank to our Fuehrer !" or "Ein nation, ein Reich, ein Fuehrer !".

... Past municipal elections in spring 1938 were also 10 social-democratic mandates, among them was also my father. After annexation of borderland to Reich, in which should 100% of Jetrichovice´s inhabitants declared for Hitler, he was eyesore of inhabitants. He was arrested, sent to Dresden and from there haled off into concentration camp Dachau. My mother was banished from functional flat in sanatorium and she remained with 3 children without earnings....

Mr Michel (machine minder and technician of Jetrichovice´s children´s sanatorium) I met already in July 1946, when I supplicated them about reparation of my bike, that then repaired quickly and very well his in those days 14 years old son Roland. Since that time we were very good friends, who in spite of language barrier have a good rapport with one another. That which I knew about his life directly from him and his friends newly validated me and completed with more detailed informations his daughter Hilda. He was born in Jetrichovice and he was skilled machinist. As young German social-democrat belonged to group, that not long after WW1 initiated building of big and modern sanatorium there, intended above all for working-class children from districts Decín (Tetschen) and Ústí nad Labem.(Aussig). Village Jetrichovice was sought-after summer resort already on the end of 19th century for its extremely kindly climatic conditions. Building site of sanatorium was felicitous in forestry creek at edge of garland of Jetrichovice´s rocks. Building lasted from 1924 to 1927. Important thing was to ensure sufficient sources of drinking water, which succeeded by excavation of 46 m deep well directly under sandstone jags. Bbuilding of this sanatorium had big important: from relatively poor village, which inhabitants lived on limited agriculture, on forestry work and little on summer guests, became relatively prosperous village. Mr Michel then became for 24 years machine minder and technician of that sanatorium. Unfortunately came thirties - time of assembly of Hitler´s Nazism in Germany and Henlein´s movement in CSR (Czechoslovak republic). Even in spring 1938 received in municipal elections social democrats 10 mandates in Jetrichovice there, which worked Henleiners (followings of Henlein) into a frenzy. After "Mnichov" (München) (comment: when people in Czech republic say "Mnichov" they have in mind events connected with end of October 1938) Johan Michel was arrested and imprisoned in concentration camp Dachau. Neither of his three children couldn´t study. This persecution without doubt beared also on fact, that in September 1938 he warned Czech members of financial guard before assault of Henleiners and thereby he rescued them from wounding and maybe from death. In year 1945 Johan Michel reverted to his work in children´s sanatorium and he worked there till his sudden death. I have several fine remembrances of him. How he (by my visit in 1947) he was proud of medal, which was awarded to him from Czechoslovak government for his active participation in antinazism revolt. Or how he became experienced mentor and instructor by my little succesful beginnings in orcharding. So far I hear his warning words: "Keine Birne, keine Kirschen, Herr Profesor !" (No pears, no cherrys, Mr professor !). His orcharding´s knowledge were excellent and he had increased them constantly. I still see him, how he steps in Sunday´s autumn afternoon in go-to-meeting overcoat with tie on neck and with cigar in his mouth along road from Rynartice. He was for me typical conscious and presumptuous German worker. I consider characteristic for Johan Michel, that he never tried to speak czech. No for reasons racial but he was in fear that his broken czech language could hurt his czech fellow-citizens. Let the native soil is feathery for him on Jetrichovice´s churchyard.

In eighties group of young historians from neighbouring Hinterhermsdorf and Sebnitz searched whole route of this march and they collected informations about deals of its participants. They obtained them from state, district and municipal archives and from allegations of by that time alive eyewitnesses. From concentration camp Schwarzheide - branch of concentration camp Sachsenhausen - drove members of SS on April 1945 column of 600 men before onwards Red army probably to Terezín. In column there were Czechs, the French, Poles, the Dutch, Ukrainians and first victims of Nazism - Germans. Among Czechs there were half of Jews. On 21st April the column passed through Saupsdorf and continued to Hinterhermsdorf. On 23rd April on Neudorf´s road near frontier collapsed further 8 men there. They were shot and earthed by forestry road. This is that place in Temný důl, where stands wooden cross. Here are the names of victims: German antifascists - Paul Fischer, Wilhelm Slatin, Herbert and Kurt Altschule, Erwin Teichner, Friedrich Kaufmann, one Pole - Matejsky and unknown French. Every day diminishing column get on Chribská, Varnsdorf and on ... The last day of war lived to see only one half from 600 men. Others perished along way of exhaustion or they were shot.

Early June, were displaced first German inhabitants from municipality. They were mothers and children. They went to state frontier, only with 30 kg belongings per person. At first they belived that displacement is punishment, that they have to expiate... Next month some of those who survived war tried to return home. They ran upon Czech night-patrol, then took place gunplay in which they were wounded and so they escaped across frontier... Then occured deportation of 50% local inhabitants. They were escorted to groupage camp in Decín. There were also my relatives. From there they rode away to north by train to Germany - district Wismar. Those who returned home later (probably from front) went into groupage camp in Jánská and members of NSDAP party into abandoned concentration camp Rabštejn. From there they were allocated to hard labour for Czech farmers and into mines....

All inhabitants had to wear on left arm white ribbon. Post wasn´t delivered and there was partial curfew. After several weeks started first mass deportations. First group was escorted through Vysoká Lípa to borders, there completely despoiled and left alone. Another deportees had to go through Rynartice, Doubice to Ceský mlýn (Czech mill), where they received "laufpass" (the grand bounce). It was allowed 25 kg of baggages per person. Extra brutal event took place during transport through Zadní Jetrichovice (Hinder Jetrichovice). By its clustering owner of Michelshof - Wilhelm Fiedler with his son - came behind time. At question of one officer why they came late Fiedler answered that to such business they came soon enough. A few hundreds meters from Jetrichovice were W.Fiedler and his 16 years old son shot. Forester Leo Prinz and owner of tobacconist's Josef Gahler had to earth both corpses into soil... Remain of inhabitants was escorted to Rabštejn into expatriating camp and later deported from county...

Former inhabitants of Jetrichovice, Vysoká Lípa, Rynartice and other villages attended their native municipalities as individual tourists also during past régime of divided Europe. After 1990 they started to encounter as former municipal community. Already in May 1992 they were greet with open arms by mayoress of municipality Ing. Zemanová, she informed them about development and problems of municipality and she heard out their declaration: "We always look forward to reunion with old friends in beautiful landscape and we feel, that we are also for some local inhabitants welcome guests. Many of us gladly found out, that their native house is preserved and is or was with love renovated again. Among us seniors, who after soulless war as young people had to leave our home, aren´t revengers neither those irredeemable who want to recoup everything... We are peaceful men and women, who plead guilty of German nation for period of Nazism and we learned from our past..." In such spirit run meetings every May on holiday of st. Jan Nepomucký - patron of Jetrichovice´s church and village. From the word go the natives significantly participated in accumulation of resources for renovation of church. Families of Stumbaum, Fiedler, Schulz, Günter and a number of others appropriated for this intention ten-thousands crowns. In 1993 during vacations there worked on church and cleaning of churchyard along Czech and Polish students also German students leaded by professor Dorn from Grosschönau. Natives in rich number took part on re-consecration of church on 30th October 1993. Natives from Vysoká Lípa and Jetrichovice participated also in renovation of monuments to downs from WW1 and they gave into church marker to downs from WW2. They give at our disposition old photos, some documents and notes, they write into bulletin Ceská silnice (Fritsche, Hieke, Brinkmann, Fiedler). With great pleasure about 100 natives visited exposition about municipality, that took place from May to June 1993 in building of local authority. Exposition of documents and photos proposed to inform present inhabitants and especially youth about origin and development of our village till today and to contribute to consolidation of their bearing on work of ancestors, whether they spoke Czech or German language....



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