CZ, Blansko – The Heart of the Moravian Karst I
The Moravian Karst is undoubtedly the most beautiful area in the Czech Republic. Blansko, a town offering many historical, cultural, nature, and other sights, is located right there. It is also an ideal destination for a trip for couple of days for its great life in culture and perfect sport opportunities.
Not that long ago we published an article on the Macocha Abyss, the Punkva caves or the Katerinska cave . The place we started all our trips from was Blansko. This city of 20 thousand is situated in the north of Moravia (the borderline between the Bohemian-Moravian Highlands and the Drahanska highlands). It takes about a half-an-hour to get there from Brno during favorable weather conditions. Taking a train is another pretty fast option.
Blansko seems extraordinarily at the first sight. It is not a typical plattenbau estate because mostly there are apartment houses or just family houses. The city has been known for its ironworks (mining of iron ore and its procession) and also production of artistic cast iron. Factories producing water turbines, motorcycles, or electrical measuring equipment only add to the feeling that Blansko is true industrial city. There is no unified pedestrian zone, rather it is split to several parts. Around these places are centers of city’s life and services.
Among the most important sights to see in the city there is, for instance, renovated Blanensky chateau, wooden church, and St Martin church with an observation platform in its belfry.
The history of Blansko dates back to the Prehistoric age, the time local area was settled by people. First there were Paleolithic hunters, than Celts, Germans, and finally the Slavs. Blanensko and its surroundings was considered an important economic center in the era of the Great Moravia as is documented by what remained in one of the largest iron and steel works south of Olomucan town.
First, Blansko was a small settlement (Stare Blansko). This part of the city is located on the Svitava’s right bank near to St Martin church. The oldest written evidence on Blansko dates back to 1136 and its name suggest a Slavic origin. It means a place in marshland. Information on the foundation of a new settlement (Nove Blansko) come from the 14th century. The so called Manska estate was founded on the left bank of the river. On its place is a chateau today. Until 1526 both parts of the today’s city had been developing separately. Jan Dubravius, a renaissance humanist was the one who made a great contribution in both towns to unite. Beer brewing, all kinds of crafts, fishery, milling etc. flourished there since the 16th century. Later, the 30 years was hit the city in the form of Swedish troops that ransacked it. Moreover, Buobonic plague burst out. The city managed to survive all these catastrophes. In 1698, a large ironworks was established, also wool market flourished and Kaiser Josef II gifted the city wool trade privileges. In the first half of the 19th century iron cast saw great boom and in 1905 Blansko became officially a status of a city. Once the second world war ended new industrial factories were established. The city rose in importance and became the capital of he district. These days it works on bringing in more tourists and preserving its traditions.
In our following article we take a look at the most important sights and we tell you some interesting facts about them.
GPS: 49°21'49.1"N 16°38'39.1"E
Text and photo: Oskár Mažgút
Don't know where to spend a beautiful sunny day? What would you say to the observation tower associated with a beautiful walk or a cycling trip? I know exactly one such lookout.
The Moravian metropolis greeted us by a nice sunny day. We set off for some sightseeing. First thing we saw was cathedral of St Peter and Paul.
When I have learned recently that Lonely Planet declared Brno the least interesting city in the Czech Republic I couldn’t understand. Then I realized that it was good they said it after all. Had crowds of tourists been going there every day as they go to Prague it would soon loose its magic. Brno is a city of universities, fun, culture and many small, lovely places. The turning clock in the shape of a male genitalia from which a small glass ball falls out every hour. Smoking road signs are really to be found only here… New York Times was much more smarter. They put Brno on the list of 52 places where to go in 2016!
As was told in the first part, now you know why to go to Brno. You know where to start your exploration of the historical district and where to have lunch. What is next? We are going to spend some moments on Svoboda square. There is a mysterious astronomical clock. We cant avoit a visit to Spilberk castle, Villa Tugendhat (under UNESCO) and a functionalist borough around it. Of course, we are going to have a taste of the night life, great beer or wine, and we are going to see some glimpses of local students ’life. So let’s get started!
In our journeys in the region of South Moravia we stopped at Adamov, a town situated 12 kilometers from Brno. Surrounded by forests the town is located on the confluence of the Svitava and Krtinsky creek. It has a population of 4.5 thousand.
Only some places can in beauty equal Prague. Lednice-Valtice cultural landscape – especially Lednice chateau – is such a place. It really deserves its place in the UNESCO’s cultural heritage list. The House of Liechtenstein realized a unique project for their time and there is almost nothing like this in the world. Come and see with us a small share of what waits for you in Lednice.
There is beautiful historical town of Znojmo near the border with Austria on the south of Moravia. It became famous for its wine and cucumbers. Only few know that you can find here, for instance, the relic of St Bonifac, many Middle-Ages landmarks, and that popular TEDx conferences take place there. Let's see Znojmo throughour article and the lense of our videocamera.
Cerna Hora, a town of about 2000 (20 kilometers from Brno at the edge of Boskovicka Brazda) is situated in the Blansko district. Surrounded with beautiful forests, the town is famous for its brewery. We take a look at other places you shouldn’t miss as well.
Not a long time ago we enjoyed the town of Hranice. Several hours of walk later we moved on. Again, we parked our in Teplice nad Becvou, one of the most important spa areas in the Czech Republic.
Once we introduced you the new interactive exhibition in the Moravian Karst Nature House we move bit further. Today we talk about our starting locality which is called Rocky Mill. This one is unique for many reasons.
It has been a long time since our last visit to the second largest city in the Czech Republic – Brno. This historical “capital” of Moravia is located on the confluence of the Svratka and Svitava rivers. It has been an important center of culture, justice, and education.
We concluded our walk in Adamov at a restaurant. Then we set off to Josefovske Valley in the lower reaches of Krtinsky Stream about 3 kilometers away. There is a conservation area where one can learn on recent history of the territory
Upon seeing the marvels of architecture in Blansko – the wooden church, chateau, Jezek’s bridge – today our goal are not only some other sghts. We also talk about the social life in the city.
Only couple of days ago, a unique interactive exhibition has been opened in the heart of the Moravian Karst (at the meeting point of Suchy and Pusty Zleb) near Skalni Mill. The exhibition take you through the history of this place in a very innovative way.
Only five kilometers from the district capital of Blansko there is Rajec-Jestrebi, a town of 3.5 thousand by the Svitava River. This town is the northern gateway to the Moravian Karst however also a town where a beautiful chateau is located.
We had paid our visit the House of Nature once we reached Skalni mill, a locality near Blansko district town, also thought about as the entrance to the Moravian Karst. We had also seen some of its surrounding. The trail going to the Katerinska cave is right behind this recently opened exhibition.
Today we continue in our journey across the Moravian Karst. We have explored the Katerinska Cave and returned to Skalni Mill. Then we took an asphalt road towards the bottom station of the cable car. The cable car was supposed to take us up to the famous and popular Macocha Gorge.
Our walk along the Macocha Nature trail led us to the bottom cable car station which was launched in May 1995. We found ourselves at the altitude of about 361 meters. Our goal was Horni Mustek above the Macocha abyss. Horni Mustek is more than 130 meters higher.
Last week we got finally closer to our goal – the fabulous Macocha gorge. First we took a look at it when we were at Dolni Mustek. Then we went up to see its glory from above from Horni Mustek.
Today we conclude our tour in the Moravian Karst. We visit the Balcarka cave near Ostrov u Macochy village. This cave hides the greatest dripstones. Also, it is the most popular to visit. It unravels its 15 thousand years of history of human settlement. So lets go inside!
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Photo: Jakub Štantejský
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