CZ: Kamenice nad Lipou – The City of Ancient Trie
Before Kamenice nad Lipou was constituted as a town there was a castle. The settlement emerged around the castle as people became settling there. The first note of the settlement originates in the year 1267 when it already belonged to the castle. The first owners we know about were the Benešovci dynasty and the most important of them was Dobeš of Bechyně who used to be advisor of Charles IV. He also built the Chapel of Mary Magdalene with a hermitage on Bradlo hill and a hospital for people in poverty.
In the second half of the 15th century during the rule of Jindřich of Stráž and later Jan of Šelmberk people of Kamenice got many privileges and rights. After the nobility uprising (1618-1620) Kamenicko became a possession of Jindřich Paradies of Escheid, who was a Spaniard. The rule of this dynasty was a period of oppression that almost deprived the settlers of Kamenice of their rights and privileges. Martin de La Saga, the last of the Paradieses, sold the dominion to the Hartigs who proved to be not much better. In 1695, a decree of the Emperor returned Kamenice its privileges. In 1765, a statue of St Wenceslas was erected on the square, also a part of the castle had been renovated as well as a brick fountain before a brewery and the Way of the Cross was constructed at Melíšek. Melíšek was important for its vast resources of silver that had been mined there during the years 1720-1736.
Duke Rey bought the dominion in 1821. He built there a new school, plant birches along a road to Bradlo. During the years 1831 – 1945 there were the last private owners of Kamenice, the Jindřich Geymüll family, a banker from Wien. During their rule the castle was renovated in the course of years 1839 – 1842 there was a cotton workshop in one of its wings. Almost 230 people worked there. In 1875, a glass factory was founded and in 1906 a railroad connected to Jindřichův Hradec reached Kamenice.
During existence of the First Republic Ethnographical Agricultural South-Bohemian Association tried to create a recreational area of Kamenice via promotional postcards. Thanks for itsforests and ponds it had ideal conditions. However, the region remained poor and people searched for work in other place. After the Second World War the Včelnička glassworks was nationalized and some institutions were abolished.
The castle was built in the 13th century and underwent some renovations in the 16th. During the years 1839-1842 Jakub Rudolf Geymüller renovated the castle in classicism and the castle thus lost its renaissance nature. There is also the English landscape garden with an 800 years old linden. There is the City Museum in southern wing of the castle with an interesting exhibition named the Museum of All Senses which aims to introduce the history of the city more to visitors and more engage visitors to the exhibition
The All Saints Church
It was built in the 13th century and it burned down four times during its existence (1560, 1721, 1794 a 1819), the last fire was the most devastating and it damaged church’s tower. The construction was, however, gradually renovated..
The Bradlo Cemetery and the St Mary Magdalene Chapel
The chapel was built on octagonal foundations as an open building in 1348 but it got walls in 1595. . The Geymüller family constructed a tomb covered with a one tone iron desk under the chapel. First burials were in the 18th century there and the cemetery itself is considered as one of the Central Europe’s finest.
The oldest of Kamenice’s lindens that gave the city the second half of its name was planted in 1248. Its crown was struck with a lightning in 1824 and thus only a torso with two branches with a span of 36 meters has remained until today.
There are several social events annually. For example, some of them are Toyharvest or the City Celebrations and the traditional Kamenice Mountainbike Marathon happens in summer. Kamenice nad Lipou is also interesting for kids since the city is part of the Fairytale Kingdom of Zdeněk Troška. It promotes local fairytale creatures and it also unites people who like tourism, museums and so on. The Fairytale Kingdom has even its own map, passport and other souvenirs.
Text: Maxim Kucer
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