Tourist and excursion objectives

- features, villages, considerable places

Jetrichovice, Růžová, Hrensko, Vysoká Lípa (High linden), Ceská Kamenice, Chribská, Tokán, Rudolfův kámen (Rudolf´s stone), Dwarfs near Rynartice, outlook tower on Studenec (Cold hill)

 

Jetrichovice

Heraldry of co-village Jetrichovice - 4 crowns are Jetrichovice, Vysoká Lípa, Všemily and Rynartice.

Jetrichovice by the end of 60ies of 20th century.

Village Jetrichovice, situated down the brook Jetrichovická Belá, grew up after year 1280, according to German name of its locator (= man who performed settling, for example scratch about for settlers etc.) in connection with other villages rising in adjacent Decín´s region and in connection with rocky castle Falkenštejn (Falcon´s stone) and after destruction of castle Jetrichovice descended on castle Tolštejn. Upon Prussian invasion into Bohemia in 1778 soldiers and deserters sacked the village. Source of support was agriculture and home weaving, certain time there was climatic and mineral spa. Today serve village especially to recreation, there is also great number facilities of tourist business. Above road stands church of st. John of Nepomuk (Jan Nepomucký) from 1752. Baroque single-aisle shrine was enlarged in 1791, in 1828 was annexed tower (bell from 1506 stemed from Litomerice). Fixtures and fittings are mainly from 19th century. Confessional from about 1799 and sculpture of Virgin Mary from about 1730. Around church is cemetery, the oldest tombstone is dated 1797. By the road stands beaten cross from date about 1800. In surroundings of Jetrichovice you can see embrasure´s chapels from 19th century carved in the sandstone rocks. In village stands traditional half-timbered and timber houses. Accorging to legend in the surroundings of Jetrichovice courses in the night chimera of black huntsman escorted by flamy dogs. Chasseur offer rifle to bang. Once an old veteran took this rifle and when he fired on graceful deer - in an instant she metamorphosed into blond girl...

View of church in Růžová from the southwest.

Růžová

Heraldry of village Růžová - the hill on the smaller shield is Rosy hill.

Tavern in the middle of Růžová.

Village Růžová is situated 12 km far from Decín in central part of Růžovská highlands. Růžová rank among the largest and the oldest villages in the region - the first scriptural mention is from 1352 already. Church of st. Peter and st. Paul forms dominant of village. It was built in 1710 and canonized in 1712. In 1988 ruin of church was seized with fire - only circumferential walls remained. But through voluntary contributions of german and czech belivers whole church was restored. On 7th October 2000 church was re-canonized in presence of archbishop from Litomerice. Another meaningful building is former wind mill from 1878 on the hill Petrín at edge of village.In Růžová there is a large amount of houses of traditional architecture (timber or half-timbered, for example building of tavern or building of local authority). Part of Růžová is 3 km distant settlement Kamenická Strán, that is one of the fairest traditional estates Decín´s district, with ruin of Dolský mill on the river Kamenice (1,5 km far-away from Kamenická Strán). Closely above Růžová Pastevní hill bucks to altitude 399 meters above sea. Pastevní hill offers with its naked top unique breadth of views to Decínské cliff´s, Saxon Switzerland, Czech Middlemountains and Lusatian mountains. (panoramatic photo of view from Pastevní hill - 360 grades - 145 kb)

Village Růžová is one of ideal bases for hiking. Above all to the highest top of region Rosy hill (Růžovský vrch in czech, Rosenberg in german) - 619 meters above sea, that surmounts its surroundigs about 300 m. Whole top is protected natural reservation of national importance with original leafy forest and warm-love flora.

Rosy hill - majestic king of Czech Switzerland hills.

Strategic position of the hill and far-reaching sight from its top played its role already during Napoleon´s wars - there was established military observation point. On the top we can find relics of lookout tower and tourist restaurant. First lookout tower (from wood beams, height 14 m) was built 29th May 1881 on command of prince Edmund Clary-Aldringen. Year later was built restaurant. Rich prince financed constructions and section of Mountain assocciation from Růžová (Rosendorf) built up and marked tourist paths to the top, they also worked up scheme of outlook panorama. Leaders of mountain association and prince Clary-Aldringen in the meantime prepared project of enhancement of restaurant and construction of stone outlook tower. While the first part of this plan was realized in 1889, the second intent wasn´t realized at all. First tower was damaged by lightning and thus on 4th July 1893 was opened second lookout tower (height 24 m, six paned, from wood with sheet covering - excellent work of carpenter Thiele from Růžová). He had hard task. On the top of hill there weren´t long and massive logs enough so they had to be imported from afar. Yet before the winter they had to be wrought and set together rough. Snow and skidding sleds allowed to carry the logs to the top of Rosy hill. It costed 7 thousand guldens, but expenses came back very soon - per annum 10.000 visitors came up !!! Second tower came under hurricane in 1903 (it crashed right on restaurant). In 1904 was built new third outlook tower (on the command son of Edmund Clary-Aldringen - Carlos. The third outlook tower was inaugurated on the 22nd of May 1904. Wood outlook tower looked like the first then the second tower - its height 18 m). Outlook from its peak deck was breathtaking and far-reaching. Even famous Dr. Hantschel paid attention to its outlook on entire page of his guide-book. Visitors could see about 20 outlook towers on Czech and Saxon hills. Third tower died out in August 1931 - restaurant burned down and tower without technical back quickly broke up. From that time Rosy hill waits for its fourth lookout tower.

 

Another possible objectives are gorges of river Kamenice with cruises on passage boats, Labská Strán with rocky lookout deck above valley of river Labe (Elbe) or Hrensko with possibility to visit Pravcická gate. Further you can cross the river Kamenice by Dolský mill and ascend to Vysoká Lípa with rocky castle Šaunštejn or you can from Dolský mill set out up stream of Jetrichovická Belá to Jetrichovice with its sandstone structures of Jetrichovické wall´s (cliff´s). Along Rosy hill you can come down to Srbská Kamenice with restored church of st. Wenceslas and then you can visit museum of pre-war fortification 1936-1938 against Hitler´s expansion.

Hrensko

Entry of river Kamenice into the river Elbe (Labe) in Hrensko.

In the 15th century there used to stay only tavern for oarsmen and rafters (Horniss Kretzmar), the first scriptural mention is from 1445. This tavern was situated under hill Hornich (pet name from word Horn=ledge, edge). The word Kretzmar (=tavern keeper, ale-house keeper) has Slavic origin. Through the ages grew up the name of this place to word Herrnskretschen. The first documentary scriptual mention about Czech form of the name (village Hrzensko or Herrnskreczma) we have from the year 1614. To the year 1475 relates scriptual mention about Hrensko as the place of investigation of onslaught of three chandlers near Kessel. This place was widely famous - from the east comes turning of Czech road, by the enty of river Kamenice there was storage of wood, lumber-jacks and raftsmen constructed some huts, the mill was working. In possession of domain changed several owners. In the era of Salhausens there was bigger interest in log-driving. From their impulse new settlers came in the years 1530-1550. Wood-logs weren´t the only goods transported by water borne already. In the Hrensko´s warehouses there were stocked grain and artisan´s products, glass, but also to Bohemia imported salt. Bussiness just flourished. In those days was common, when the owner of domain without permission of the king established toll-house and collect toll. This practice occured in Hrensko too. Bedrich Salhausen built up there river-ferry to Saxon Schöna and road to Janov (Streckweg), that was partly carved to rocks and by this road new "upper" tavern. Chandlers went over Vysoká Lípa and goods were kept away from Decín´s custom-house. After indebtedness and bankruptcy of Salhausens got possession of all assets their creditor - Jan from Vartenberk on the Kamenice. He annexed it to domain of Bohemian (Czech) Kamenice and in 1614 sold this new domain to Radslav Vchynský from Vchynice, senior. He left entire estate to his nephews - among them toVilém, who was later murdered together with Albrecht from Valdštejn in the town Cheb. Vilém´s asset was confiscated and divided - Benešov´s domain (Hrensko was part of it) fell to general Jan from Aldringen. Clan of Aldringen continued after 1664 as clan Clary-Aldringen. Clan Clary (origin Tuscany nobility) came to Bohemia during 30years war and on the ground of alliance between Anna from Aldringen and Jeroným from Clary acquired the clan of Clary all domains and honours of count´s clan of Aldrigens. After death of general Jan from Aldringen in the 30years war was his estate divided between his inheritors - it came about, that residents of Hrensko and Mezná were subordinate to 4 authorities. In 1709 in the era of František Karel were all 4 parts united into the Bynovec´s domain. Also 30years war didn´t avoid Hrensko. Imperial horse regiment and 100 musketeers under command of colonel Kossetzky attacked without success Saxon town Sebnitz, so they at least came down upon Hrensko - it was burned down... In the 17th century has grown up importance of Hrensko as trading centre - subjects of domains Bynovec, Rumburk, Šluknov and also residents of Saxon villages went and fetched stored grain from lord´s granary. In 1726 business was endangered by direction of Prague´s governor about abolition of granaries on the utmost borders of kingdom. But Clary-Aldrigens defended their right to keep granaries. In this era the woodcutting and wood treatment remained decisive productive there in Hrensko. In the 18th century there were 4 lumber-mills (one of these was in 1892 changed to hospital for patients of cholera epidemic). In Hrensko the wood-logs were bound together and then rafted to Saxony and farther to Hamburg. Speciality were mighty logs, that were sended to ship-yards in Hamburg for masts of big sailing-boats. The wood was also processed in a family way to shingles, dishes, tools, hop-poles and further goods. In charcoal piles in the middle of forests charcolliers made wood-coal and grease. Highly regarded articel were mushrooms - they were imported to markets in Ustí nad Labem, Decín and Varnsdorf. Trade with grain beared on advancement of mills. In Hrensko used to be two there - older (nr. 42) and younger "upper mill" on the river Dlouhá Belá (Long Belá), which was rebuilt to hotel (today hotel "Klepác"). An important industrial branch was also mining and treatment of sandstone. One of the many quarries was also in Hrensko by "Thievish path" near frontier there. The path called Smugglerway too is documented to the year 1492 already. It was smuggled off above all salt, but also drapery, tobacco and other goods. Effort to clamp down on smugglery and boost incomes from trade was flagrant since the end of 30years war (1648). In 1656 is documented in Hrensko station of salt supervisory and in 30ies of the 18th century station of customs collectors (publicans). One of the stations of frontier revenue quard was situated on Mezní Louka (=Frontier meadow). Big importance had establishing of steam-navigation - the first steam-boat passed throught Hrensko on 14th of June 1838. Wood wealth and cheap Elbe´s river transport created conditions for trade with wood above all. Agriculture was limited by difficult weather conditions and little fertile soil. Most of peasants and gardeners attended to additional work. Only one industrial company in Hrensko was chemical factory for production of colours to sheep wool and silk, but very soon turned bankrupt. Then in same object was established branch office of Dresden´s firm for production of sewings - it was in blast until 1945. In addition to this in Hrensko functioned only small seized plants - for example production of chemical colours and inks (nr. 1) or production of liqueurs and fruit juices.

Hrensko in the first half of 19th century - entry of river Kamenice into river Elbe.

By the 19th century was "discovered" another "industrial branch" - tourist business, for which fascinating romantic landscape offered the best conditions. Clary-Aldringen´s made sense of this fact (though behind schedule) and they achieved to take advantage of this unique opportunity. Enterprise in tourist business is connected with prince Edmund Clary-Aldringen (1813-1894). It was an interesting man with interesting wife - Elisabeth Alexandra (1825-1875), so-called Elisalex, she was great-granddaughter of Russian marshal Kutuzov and granddaughter of count Tiesenhausen, whose heroic death in battle by Slavkov (=Austerlitz) in 1805 is described by Lev Nikolajevic Tolstoj in his writing "War and peace" in figure of Andrej Bolkonsky. However let´s get back to tourists business. Clary-Aldringen´s took care of town Teplice - main center of their domain, so active were the other. Already in 1826 edited Thun´s the first guidebook through amenities of Decín´s domain, Rudolf Kinský since 1832 let form roads and construct foot-bridges and bridges, in order to open up Jetrichovice´s surroundings, in 1864 princely forester Ferdinand Náhlík from Rynartice edited guidebook through part of Czech (Bohemian) Switzerland that belonged to Kinský´s. First of all Pravcická gate and its surroundings presented itself in guidebooks through Saxon Switzerland by turn of 18th and 19th century already. Clary-Aldringen´s reacted in 30ies of the 19th century, when they shaped promenade way from Hrensko to Pravcická gate, they also supported building of hotels, boarding houses and restaurants in Hrensko (in 1862 for example hotel Grünner Baum /=green tree/ near church). In 1884 was founded company "Gustav Kreibich" that dealed not only with glass and haberdashery trade, but even with sale of photos and postcards of Hrensko. Under pressure of growing interest they opened up the most attractive part of river Kamenice - Gorges. In 1879 were in Hrensko and Vysoká Lípa established groups of "Mountain corporation for Bohemian (Czech) Switzerland" (in german language Gebirgsverein für die Böhmische Schweiz) after example of corporations in alpine countries. At the head of Hrensko´s association was elected Anton Clary. Insiders built up path, roads, guard-rails, benches, bridges, top-outlook-cabins and look-out towers, guide-posts and tourist marks, further edited advertising and educational brochures, organized meetings of nature-fanciers. After 1933 entire series of actions in Germany (such as prohibition of money-export, prohibition of wood-import, etc.) resulted in brekdown of trades and crafts in Hrensko. Clary´s were among aristocratic followers of K. Henlein, who also influenced lord Runciman, when he visited Czechoslovak borderland, in order to certified that the Sudeten Germans were oppressed from Czechs. Few days after "Munich accord" (= sell out of Czechoslovak ally - France) = after the 30th September 1938 had to deserted from Hrensko (and whole borderland) civil servants and Czech segment of population. Hrensko was annexed to the Reich, in 1939 amount of visitors raised though, but in war-years decreased again. In WW2 branch office of aircraft factory from Bremen was set up in former textile mill and into the rocks drifts were hollowed out. Towards the end of war was hid archive of "Central office for security of the Reich" (once conducted by R.Heydrich too) in Hrensko there. By end of war transports of prisoners from evacuated concentrations camps were going through Hrensko. After war tourist business constantly declined, upturn came round in 1964, when the Gorges (Silent and Wild) were restored.

The first hotels were set to operation in the second half of the 19th century already, in 1870 in nr.13 "Hetschel" (today hotel Labe), in 1878 in Upper mill "Zur mühle" (today hotel "Klepác"), in 1882 hotel "Felsenkeller" (=rocky cellar), in 1892 hotel Schwezerhaus (=Swiss house). Dominant of Hrensko was several centuries "Panský dům" (Herrenhaus) - real center of business and social life, that outgrew from ancestral lower Hrensko´s tavern (see the picture above - the house on the left is Herrenhaus). Still in 1722 object of Herrenhaus was shaped to 3 houses - at first was suzerain´s room, at second was tavern and at third storage with vault. In the 19th and 20th century was the whole object re-built several times for hotel´s purposes. In 1914 served to hospital for officers. Finally it was broke down in connection with construction of road in 1938. Not even the second oldest tavern from the half of the 16th century went through present days. It was rebuilt to hotel (Deutsches Haus=German house, later Ceský Lev=Czech Lion), after WW2 burned out and was teared down (it used to stay near the bridge and church). One interesting object rested only on paper (study and rough-casts) - namely Elisalexburg (called after wife of Edmund Clary-Aldringen). Owners of domain wanted to build on bank of river Labe (Elbe) romantic summer-house, in 1853 was drafted study, but as the construction would be too much expensive everything remained only on paper.

Habitants of Hrensko didn´t have for a long time their own parish, so they had to go to churches in Arnoltice or Ruzová. Not until years 1786-1787 in Hrensko was built baroque church of st. Jan (John) Nepomuk - they say from impulse future sovereign Josef II., who in the year 1779 stopped by in the way to Decín there. Best known Hrensko´s priest was P.J.Preiss (1791-1869) - author of many drawings (especially of technical sights). After 1874 was established cemetery, in the wood by the way to Janov stands pseudo-gothic chapel and close to chapel we can find chapelness carved into the rock. Sculpture of st. Jan Nepomucký (st. John Nepomuk) is from year 1756.

Lower part of village Hrensko - don´t be afraid this is not oriental bazar in Vietnam even it looks like. Upper part of village Hrensko - entry into hiking routes of the west part of Czech Switzerland.

Hrensko was inflicted of disasters everyday (in lesser extent fires) and less common (floods). Flooded rivers Kamenice and Labe (Elbe) took with them everything what fell in their way. Water element blustered often - for example catastrophic flood in 1845 when 2 houses were completely destroyed and completely withou damage remained only 8 higher situated houses, in the year 1862 was destroyed school, in the year 1888 was flipped two stonebridges, in 1897 damaged seven houses and in 1900 flooded ground-floor of 38 houses. Against floods were built up flood walls, danger was reduced by level control of river Kamenice. Falling sandstones are anomalous but for Hrensko typical menace. That´s not only problem of several last years. It has come down that sandstone rock north of entry of river Kamenice (called Maria´s rock after sculpture of Virgin Mary) onco upon a time blocked river-basin of river Elbe and emperor Charles IV. ordered to do away with these rockblocks so they no more obstructed river-navigation. Danger was boosted by sandstone mining. In 1826 fell down rock by vicarage, in 1906 by Switzerland´s house, in 1907 by the house nr.97, in 1938 were destroyed 2 houses by factory. In 1978 fell down collosal sandstoneblock among two tourist buses... Old timers and geologists are one in mind that few-tones boulders fall in interval of 11 years, minor boulders one time per 3 years. The men at the wheel push for prevention of danger - dangerous rocks are removing or strenghtening and catch nets are installing. But don´t be afraid - hazard is definitely lesser than if you travel by the road or pass crossing. Present day Hrensko of course is not by a long chalk the peaceable border summer resort as it was to the end of the 80ies of 20th century, but rather one large market or oriental bazaar - another modern disaster for Hrensko. It impairs not only good reputation of Czech republic but even credit of whole region of Czech Switzerland, that is largely dependent on foreign travel and not on sale of cheap Asian goods. This is the big worse.

 

Ceská Kamenice

Square in Ceská Kamenice.

Ceská Kamenice was founded around the second half of the 13th century on the crossing of trade routes below castle standing on the Kamenický hill. Name was derived from river Kamenice (according to zcech adjective "kamenná" = /stone,stony/, that´s water with rubbly watercourse). About the oldest evolution of the town predicates "town book" of Ceská Kamenice from 1380, that belongs to the oldest relics of its kind in Bohemia. Fortified town gave king Václav II. (Wenceslas II.) to Jan from Michalovice, later were owners Berka´s from Dubá and Vartenberka´s, in the 14th century came colonists (settlers) from Meissen and its surroundings, since 1515 dominated there Salhausen´s clan and since 1614 Kinský´s clan. Michalovic´s clan obtained various freedoms such as right to make and sell beer, right to have fairs and annual fairs, etc. In the years 1423-1430 the town was occupied many times by Hussite garrison, in 1444 was captured and burned down by armies of Lusatia Sixtown (Šestiměstí =/Sixtown/ = league of six Lusatia towns). In the years 1625, 1680 and 1775 the rural rebellions took place in the region. Ceská Kamenice was striked by 30years war too. In June 1757 the bloody battle of socalled Sevenyears war took place near village Studený. In the 18th and 19th century town suffered by epidemic - for example epidemic of black variola blasted down about 600 people in 1778. In the 30ies of 19th century Ceská Kamenice became important manufacturing and merchant center - in the town are enhancing stockings manufactures, clot weavers and leather-dresser manufactures, on stream are also two mills. In the years 1830-1840 Jan Jirí Asten established paper mill - the first concern with steam engines in neighbourhood of Ceská Kamenice. Today besides traditional industrial branches and in lesser extent agriculture the town Ceská Kamenice becomes more and more center of tourist business.

Historical core of town grew up as fortified small town and today it´s sights-protected zone. Medieval architecture is eked by wood baroque estate and by latter classicism stone buildings. From original town-walls and town-gates only "Zámecká brána" (=Chateau gate) was kept till today. Jindrich (=Henry) from Vartenberk built up new manor on the place of ancestral courtyard in the years 1541-1543 - south wing with arcades is Renessaince, north baroque, entrance gate on the east side carries blazons of Vchynský´s (=Kinský´s) and Trcka´s clans from 1631. The most valuable sight is church of st. Jacob (Major) on the Jacob´s square (Jakubské námestí) in the neighbourhood of the chateau. It originates from the 14th century, completely rebuilt in 1562 and especially in 1604-1605. Inside we can find late gothic parloury three-nave, classicism and rococo decoration mainly from the 18th century. In interior grips us baroque wood-cutted font. There used to play organ young Antonín Dvorák - because he used to study in local german school and on practice he dwelled in one of local butchery (his father want him to be butcher). In crypt of church there is 8 caskets of Vartenberk´s clan and some valuable tombstones from the 16th century. The tower of church was built in 1552-1555 (initially it stood alone as watch-tower and it was a part of town fortification), after re-building in 1605 it was attached to church as bell tower. Near the church there is building of former parisch school from 1562. On the oblong square in the centre of the town stand numerous valuable houses and also baroque fountain from the year 1775 with sculpture of Virgin Mary from the year 1860. On the square is paved horse-shoe that marks the place, where the livestock could stay when the market took place in the past. Initially Renaissance town-hall from 1493 was rebuilt and enlarged in the year 1591, todays image of town-hall is from classicism. Town-hall carries the latin epigraph: "Palladium civitatis" (= screen of community). In the north part of municipality is situated chapel of Birth of Virgin Mary - baroque building from 1736-1739 built by J.Schwarz and J.J.Kacinka, with mighty dome, decorated by murals and frescos of Ferdinand Brunetti and with painted windows. Main rococo altar made J.Klein in the year 1746. The chapel is embosomed with tetrawinged cloisters with tower. In the small park on the place of former cemetery we find monument to victims of WW1 and WW2. In Horní (Upper) Kamenice stands classicism house from the year 1810 with brick ground-floor and timber floor. Timber houses with typical elements of Northbohemian folk architecture we can see in various parts of the town - above all are Salhausen´s houses by the road to Janská. An interesting technical sight is object of former Renessaince brewery from the 16th century, baroquely rebuilt in the 18th century with saddle-roof and skylights. Natural showplace is protected red yew near church of st. Jacob, whose age is estimated at 400 years. With the town Ceská Kamenice is connected many famous names. There was born professor Jan Klein (1681-1762) - director of Math department in Prague´s Klementinum and creator of astronomical clocks, further Johann Emanuel Pohl - botanist and doctor - famous for his exploration in Brazilian forests, further Josef Hegenbarth (1884-1961) - painter and after 1945 director of galery in Dresden´s Zwinger, in juvenelity dwelled there often composer Ch.W.Glück (his father was forester on local manor) and of course already in question Antonín Dvorák, who dwelled by Josef Ohm in Upper mill (on cross road to Nový Bor and Chribská). Surroundings of Ceská Kamenice took down on his drawings painter Karel Liebscher (1851-1906).

 

Chribská

Municipality Chribská is situated along both shores of river Chribská Kamenice. Aside from proper municipality belongs to Chribská local parts: Dolní Chribská (Lower Chribská), Horní Chribská (Upper Chribská), Nová Chribská (New Chribská), Krásné pole (Fair field) and Rybniště (origin from czech word "ryba" = fish). The name Chribská is derived from old-czech word "chrb, chrib", which means small hill. Ancestral Slavonic settlement grew up along old mercantile path from Bohemia to Lusatia. The oldest scriptual mention is from 1383, in 1428 Chribská was promoted to small township and in January 1570 to town. Emperor Maxmilian II. accorded to Chribská permission to use own town-blazon, which was derived from blazon of Lords from Vartenberk. In the lower part of escutcheon is king´s crown and above it is fishing boat in which sits young maiden with white cap and oar in hands. Already in 1414 in Horní Chribská was founded glass smelting-house there (the oldest still working glass-works in Czech republic. In the town there wasn´t any lord´s residency, town was centre of trade and handcrafts, therefore there wasn´t any town-walls around the town and whole town remained socalled "open town". To defend of Chribská municipality kept guild of archers and from the end of the 16th century guild of fusiliers too. Chribská was suffering of frequent visits of armies. In 1633 wetn through the town army of Albrech from Valdštejn, in 1639 and 1648 was raied by Swedes, in neighbourhood of town fought armies in Prussia-Austrian wars in the years 1757 and 1778. Considerable damages was caused by flooded river Chribská Kamenice too (the biggest flood in 1705). Besides glass industry, there were developed further industry - especially textile industry based upon traditions of home-made weaving (producing of sewings, silk, yarn etc.). To the east of Horní Chribská below Malý Stožec was constructed in the years 1912-1924 minor valley´s water-dam, for purpose of prevention from flood. Today it serves as reservoir of drinkable water. An interesting technical sights is aqueduct - stone bridge on which the water for industrial purposes was driven over river. In the middle of town there is irregular square, splited by river Chribská Kamenice. On the knoll above square stands church of st. George (gothic origin), completely rebuilt around 1570, in 1620 was executed enhancement of the church tower. In 1670 the whole object of church was adjusted baroquely and on the beginning of the 20th century re-gothized. Around the church there is abolished cemetery with pseudo-gothic chapel from 1875. On the south side (by enter from the town) there are retained two arms of cloisters with four-square corner chapels from the second half of the 18th century, in cloisters there are chapels of the Way of the Cross (Calvary). Into the exterior walls of the church were put tombstones from the 16th and 17th century, additional tombstones from the 19th century are built into cemetery´s wall (by the way tombstone of owner of local glassworks Antonín Kittel from 1820 too). An interesting baroque building (dated 1726) is vicarage (nr. 9), which portal is decorated of blazon of Kinsky´s. In the town retained numerous classicism houses from the beginning of the 19th century with decorative portals. Baroque sculptures of st. John of Nepomuk and Immaculata had to moved from the bridge on the square (because of expansion of roadway) behind the church. On the square we can find new-gothic town-hall (todays restaurant) from 1866 and eightlateral fountain from the first half of the 19th century. In the town was born Tadeus Haenke - doctor, botanist, geologist and traveller (1761-1817), who has died under confused conditions in the territory of the current state Bolivia. He is by the way discoverer of the flower "Victoria Regina" too. His botanical collections from the South America are on hand of Prague National Museum. Tadeus Haenke´s marker is situated on his native house next door to town-hall. Another distinguished native was painter Eliáš Hille, whose catholic family had to move to Schwerin in 1593, since the domain belonged to Protestant authority.

 

Winter in Vysoká Lípa.

Vysoká Lípa and "Czech road"

Folk architecture in Vysoká Lípa.

The first scriptural mention is from the second half of the 14th century, when the king Wenceslas ruled - in this time Vysoká Lípa belonged to the clan fo Michalovici. In the year 1406 manor Vysoká Lípa came over into the goods of master Berka from Dubá and on Hohenštejn. To the village belonged furthermore Mezná, Janov and Kamenická Strán too. One kilometre to the north from the village there are ruins of rocky castle Šaunštejn. It was constructed by clan of Berkas, later it belonged to clan of Vartenberks, they used the castle as strong-point that guarded part of bussiness passage to the Saxony. Some times castle was besieged by forces from Saxony and Lusatia. In the year 1444 garrison of the castle withstanded besiege of 9000 warriors. Last mentions we have from period of 30-years war (1618-1648), when the castle served as refuge of Swedish deserters. Those looted in the surroundings and not even local aristocracy could evict them. It achieved only king´s army. Today the visitors use adapted stairs and ladders, they watch around from lookouts into the fascinating country and only hardly can imagine how the castle looked like in the ancient times...

We continue alongside Czech road, that served in the 13th and 14th century as main thoroughfare to near-by Saxony (clan of Berkas had in Saxony large estates). From Vysoká Lípa to the frontier it is 8 kilometres. After moderate ascending we discover on the right side high rocky knot. It used to by executioner rock of Šaunštejn. In the rock a little on the right is carved Nazi symbol - swastika with date 1932. Then road moderately descend and after 0,5 km we turn to right on the red marked path - alongside ancestral "old Czech road" that could bring us betwen rocks of Hoskový ridge, hill Koliště, in front of the post-office in Jetrichovice. If we wouldn´t leave asphalt Czech road, we would edge still to frontier in Hinder Jetrichovice. Around Czech road we find for example natural reservation Babylon (since 1976) or site of discovery of tall pien-trees (unique of Jetrichovice), that was used to produce of boat masts. Next side cut on the right side brings us to the Wet hollow (Mokrý důl) and over Camp hollow (Táborový důl) to the Na Tokání. But if we continue along Czech road to the river Krinice (it forms border between Bohemia and Germany) - to the places, where even before 50 years was situated settlement Hinder Jetrichovice. There used to be hotels Jelen (Deer), Zelené údolí (Green valley) and Krinické údolí (Krinice´s valley), summer restaurant Waldruhe (Wodd still-life), house of forester and gamekeeper´s lodge of aristocratic clan Clary-Aldringen. River Krinice branch away to the west to Saxony there. Beside old stone-bridge used to stand custom-house. This place was visited by tourists in a high degree before secon world war.When the Nazis in Germany took up the reign, many witch-hunt people ran through this place into Czechoslovakia. Czechoslovak guardians of frontier had difficult service there - be reason of oppression and attacks from local and ambient Nazis. Today we can find in this places only ruins and silent peace. Only occasinally pass through this places some tourists alongside green-marked path to the "Virgin fir" (Panenská jedle) or in opposite direction to Mezní Louka (Frontier meadow). Czech tourists bethink maybe themselves of the most succesful movie of czech cinematography - "Splendid princess" (Pyšná princezna) - scenes with woodcoal-factor were shot even under one overhang by the Czech road. Today former felling area, where was the coal-factor´s cottage, you would find of no effect - it is overgrown by trees already.

(adapted from local bulletin Czech road, author: Miroslav Tůma)

 

Sunset behind Rudolf´s stone. On the right you can see top-lookout-cabin.

Rudolf´s stone

Charakteristic dominant of rocky ridge along Maria´s rock and Vilemína´s wall belongs to Jetrichovice as well as in other dimension Matterhorn to Zermatt. If we love something we ignore absolute measurement. As well from this reason Jetrichovice´s rocks were called Jetrichovice´s Switzerland in 19th century. Among sandstone lookouts of "Jetrichovice´s Switzerland" Rudolf´s stone surpasses of its 484 meters above sea and its wide breadth of views. It´s situated a little alone in the wood to the north from Jetrichovice, surrounded by deep dingles and gorges, so slothful tourists surrender to visit its top. For unique round outlook Rudolf´s stone was used as anti-fire observation-point in the past. Woodmen of princes Kinský constructed on the top penthouse and they kept eyes whether wood is on fire or not. Later tourist marking-path from Jetrichovice was established and top-cabin on the top was constructed. Since that time flowed much water, and because in period from the end of war to the end of 80ies service was not committed, the top-cabin commemmorated rather shanty of cast-away than lookout cabin. Long time inteded reparation was carried out by constructive company Technoservis Melo from Rumburk in 1993. Because the access stairs and ladders was reparated already in May 1992 by workers of Protected environment area Elbe´s sandstones, we can safe climb to the top again. Formerly there was customary to watch sunrises and sunsets from the top. Also today exist romantics catched up by this experience.

In the year 1864 described Rudolf´s stone Mr Ferdinand Náhlík. Diction of his narration is a little different than we are accustomed, but in present hurried epoch it doesn´t harm us: "After 170 round safe wood or carved stairs, we come over rocky walls to peak platform, firstly climbed in 1824 ... Outlook from Stone of prince Rudolf I recommend to everyone, beacause it is one of the most beautiful views in Czech Switzerland. Grand and grateful is visit of this rock in the time of sunset, when the sun submerge in flamy shine behind Velký Winterberg (Big Winterhill, or in German language Gross Winterberg) - look at the photo... Also in time of sunrise Rudolf´s stone is visited in plenty. Finally pride of the morning ruptures and to the lights of visitors of rocky headland open fairy look to the countryside. Sandstone hilly country opens before us with its sharp rocky peaks and steep cragged walls. In the foreground woods extend far away to the north, so they bestrew grotesquely cracked sandstones. As far as the eye can reach peaks of pine-trees rise from far-reaching and coherent pine-wood chases... From endless wood-complex rise hills by Žitava and zone of hills by Saxon border, further Saxon hills Big Winterberg with lookout-tower, Unger and Falkenberg, in Bohemia lonesome hummock of Rosy hill, that hides view to Milešovka by Lovosice, further Jedlová by St. Jiretín, Studenec with its lookout-tower between Chribská and Ceská Kamenice and finally Decín´s mountain chain. From the top of Rudolf´s stone we can see very good, how mountains are dispersing into zones behind Ploucnice, by Decín and Benešov, between Chribská and Jiretín, further altitudes by Bor and Kamenický Šenov and finally into continual zone behind Bor. As though Rosy hill, Studenec and Jedlová would be three high sentinels, that quard Jetrichovice´s deep woods. These hills are eruptive basaltic formations, they over-top other hills by their high elevation above sea-level. Every genuine Czech remembers by the visit of the Stone of prince Rudolf on the name and doings of personality, of whom name obtains this rock formerly called High stone (Hoher Stein in German language), todays called Prince´s stone too... This rock carries the name of His immortalized Grace prince Rudolf Kinský from Vchynice and Tetov - descendant one of the oldest czech aristocratic clan ... promoter of our etnographer Celakovský ... first curator of Czech Fund ... Let the gentle reader dedicates remembrance of this generous, by entire nation worshiped and past early death bemoaned man, who was prince Rudolf Kinský ...".

Todays tourists that orientate themselves in accordance with maps can be amazed, that in the most tourist maps name Rudolf´s stone they simply don´t find. On his place is name Ostroh (Headland). This name received sandstone look-out past WW II., when in framework of whole-social trend of removing "improper" names come upon the tapis prince Rudolf Kinský too. Denomination Ostroh wasn´t accepted by local public and so terminology commission in 1963 capitulated and decided to restore title Rudolf´s stone. It´s a little paradox, that in the 19th century was situation exactly inverse - since 1824 official name was Rudolf´s stone (Rudolfstein in German language), but common people called it Vysoký kámen - High stone (Hoher stein in German language). Name High stone describes its form far best because it originated already in ancient times, when people called thing with true names.

(adapted from local bulletin Ceská silnice (Czech road), author: Ing. Karel Stein)

 

Rock-men in Rynartice

Dwarfs carved into the rock near Rynartice enjoy an attention of almost all tourists, especially children. In guide-book through Czech Switzerland from 1984 we can read this mention: "Dwarf´s cavern - into the rock carved stairs and embrasures with sculptures of dwarfs - work of local traditional craftsman Ernest Wahr from 1933". As the world goes, truth we have to seek elsewhere. In chronicle of Rynartice we can find authentic mention about dwarfs. The chronicle was written by Ernst Vater - farmer and painter from Rynartice nr. 31 and 74 - how he calls himself. Chapter from 1929 is inscribed: "Rock-men in Rynartice". "It was about year 1870 when Eduard Vater - owner of homestead nr. 24 - bought tract of wood by road between Rynartice and Jetrichovice. My father Eduard Vater started there to ground paths and stairs and at same time he carved some sculptures of dwarfs into the rocks. On the Winter bank (Winterleite) I carved two such men too and all of them were coloured. Because strange visitors started to walk through this paths and stairs, we stood there benches and tables and in vault we cooled bottled beer and on one nice Sunday in 1903 we celebrated opening of beer-tap. Beer was gratis and visitors used to come in large amount. Later they came no more and lenghty waiting paid not off to us. Once day stupid people knocked off the dwarf´s noses and since they became moss-grown. But tourists continue to visit them till today."

(adapted from local bulletin Ceská silnice (Czech road), author: K.S.)

 

Hunting log-cabins Na Tokání

We find them located in fascinating rocky scenery in the middle of Jetrichovice´s rocksides. Date 1563, carved into the one of the rocks, gives evidence of the fact, that this place was much-sought-for by people from time out of mind. Later there (in the middle of cancelled deer-park) was built up hut of lord´s chasseurs and about 1855 hunting manor. In the times of developing of tourism Na Tokání was sought-after hiker´s aim. The place was detailed described already in 1864 in the german vade-mecum of Ferdinand Náhlik. One of the first czech vade-mecums, where we find mention about Tokán, is "Rivnác´s vade-mecum through Bohemian kingdom" from 1882. It offers us route from Jetrichovice through Hurdle vale (today yellow marked tourist´s way): "Through valley named Stammbrückental (Hatový důl in czech, Hurdle vale in english), because the way leads over a sort of bridges from wood-logs (because of sodden ground), we arrive to forester´s house called Balzhütte (Na Tokání in czech - it means "in the place of singing of wood grouses", literal translation of word Balzhütte is "woody huts"), where we can buy refreshment (beer, bread with butter, cheese, coffee)." Local gamekeeper´s lodge with refreshment belongs to Rynartice. In the past 2 buildings were fenced and served to count Kinský and his guests in the times of hunting of deer and grouses. At time of his presence there were always built up festival gateway and all log-cabins were decorated by hunting motives. Above lord´s house sweeped flag with united princely blazon Kinský-Lichtenštejn. On the 26th of October 1905 was turned to ashes luxurious lord´s house with very valuable collection of hunting trophies. Present huts built in alpine style were built by prince Kinský in the 30ies of 20th century. Na Tokání was visited by many prominent people of past, for example Saxon king Frederic August (1905) or lord Runciman (1938). After WW2, when deep tract of forests along frontier belongs into forbidden zone, log-houses Na Tokání were occupied by Czechoslovak army. After cancellation of forbidden zone and departure of army log-houses became objects of employee´s recreation and they were accesible to public again. Only at time of prominent visits on the cottage of Ministry of the Interior log-houses were guarded and not accesible to public. Actual condition of log-houses isn´t encouraging. Two cottages are permanently closed (they served as mortgage for banks) and break up. One cottage serves for recreation of personnel of Czech Police. Last cottage belongs to company "Forests of Czech Republic". We can only hope, that sometimes in future tired pilgrim find there asylum with refreshment as in the good old times.

Hunting log-cabins Na Tokáni in early 20th century.

In front of log-houses Na Tokání used to stay wood cross, that was mounted there for remembrance of untimely decease son of prince Kinský (owner of domain Ceská Kamenice). There was year and place of making of cross "Innsbruck 1908" cutted into the back side of cross. On the cross there was wood-carving of Jesus Christ. Whole cross was incased, therefore such crosses are called as "Kastenkreuze (in German language)" - coffered crosses. The cross disappaered in 1977. In this year disappeared large block sandstone with print of star, that used to lie in front of Tokán´s log-houses too.

 

As follows looked like lookout tower on the top of hill Studenec 100 years ago...

Rozhledna na Studenci

Close to borders of protected area Elbe´s river in Lusatia mountains, north of Ceská Kamenice and south-west of Jetrichovice towers the hill Studenec (736 m). In the 19th century Studenec belonged into far-reaching domain of house of Kinský, who attend to aggrandizing of their estate very much. Already in 1854 owner of manor Ceská kamenice - Ferdinand Kinský let to build on the top of hill Studenec (736 m) wood lookout tower. On the construction participated carpenter Fliegel, that built up hunt log-cabins on Na Tokání. But in 1865 lookout tower had to be broken down for its bad condition. Already before its construction the top of hill served to geometers by triangulation measurment, this fact was certified many decades by stone with carved inscription "Monumentum astronomicogeometrisum". New lookout tower was built in 1888. Construction was iniciated by Mountain association for Czech Switzerland. It was financialy boosted by savings-bank in Ceská Kamenice and Decín, communities Ceská Kamenice, Chribská and Líska, manufacturer Preidl and others. 9-tons frame of tower was produced for 1.000 crowns by Prague engineering, joint stock company - former firm Ruston and Co. Tower was 16,2 m tall, to the top lead 92 spiral stairs and on the peak deck could be at the same time 25 people. To the lookout tower leaded cobbled road belted by rest-benches. Already in 1888 in period from 15th July (dedication of tower) to the end of same year tower was visited by 5.000 visitors. In 1893 prince Kinský let to build log-cabin next to lookout towrer with refreshment and possibility of accomodation over night. After 1945 wasn´t pursued technical maintenance, so corrosion corrupted tower and from 90ies is climb on lookout tower dangerous for life. Though in the peak-book was in period between May 1990 and May 1991 about 500 signatures !!! Future of tower is constantly uncertain and every next year its doom is definitely fulfiling.

... and as follows looks like today.

 

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