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CZ: Kostelec Nad Černými Lesy

Published: 10.9.2011
The town of Kostelec nad Černými Lesy is situated in Central Bohemia Region, approx. 30 kilometres distant from Prague. At present, the locality has 3500 inhabitants.

From historical point of view, the first written message of this community is dated to 1344, when King Jan Luxembourg changed local castle and the village for Náchod. To another important boundary mark, it belongs  the year of 1489, when Kostelec-village was promoted for small town, and, finally the year of 1922, when the name Černý Kostelec was definitely changed to Kostelec nad Černými Lesy.

As a most monumental building of the town, it is, no doubt, a chateau in Renaissance style, placed at west corner of Main Square, where also local municipal office, St. Guardian Angels´ Church (a building of Baroque style of 18th century), as well as Potter´s Museum are to be found. Since 1989, so called Ceramic Day is organized here regularly, always last Saturday of May. Originally, the castle was built in Gothic style. At present, this four-wing two-storey building, surrounded by ditch and filled in with a line, changed its proprietor many times in past. The survey is, as follows: 996-1344 Bohemian Crown, 1344-1415 Náchod and Kostelec Parentages, 1415-1492 Smržov Parentage, 1492-1547 Slavata from Chlum and Košumberk Parentage, 1547-1558 King´s Chamber, 1558-1621 Smiřice Parentage, 1621-1623 King´s Chamber, 1623-1933 Lichtenstein Knight´s Parentage. Afterthat, Czechoslovak State was declared as castle´s proprietor. Since 1935, the castle was lent out to Agriculture University in Prague, Forests´ Section (now, it is Czech University of Agriculture). This castle is pictured, for instance, on local tourist stamp. Historical nucleus of the town which was declared (by Ministery of Culture) as Town´s Memorial Zone, can offer another interesting places, such as: St. Ethelbert Chapel, St. John Baptist Cemetery Church of 17th century, a House of Mary Therese, Princess of Savoia, (in past, this building served as a hospital) a brewery, Budil Villa, or extended forest park (marked as very important countryside element), with many sorts of memorable trees, whereas total extent of this area makes approx. 28 ha.

On place of Castle´s Chapel, a church was located. However, at the end of 16th century, this church was demolished by Jaroslav of Smiřice, owner of the dominion at that time, and only this chapel remained, serving as family tomb. Nowadays, the chapel is used, first of all, as concert and solemny hall.

Budil Summer Villa, planned by architect Jaroslav Fragner, for a proprietor of Kolín electric power station, is an important representant of modern architecture. The building was constructed in 1930. If you decide to see it, you find it in north-west quarter of the town, in „V Koupadlech“ Street.

The town irself is surrounded by so called Black Forest, with many tourist trails and cycling routes, very often used during summer months. In south-west direction, several ponds were built (Vyžlovský, Švýcar, Jevanský, etc.). All such water reservoirs serve as nature bathing places for relax purposes.

So, in general, Kostelec nad Černými Lesy is very calm and pleasant small town. If you decide to visit this locality, you do not worry at all, this area has to offer many things, for sure!

Text/photo: J. Štantejský

Translation: ing. Jan Jonáš

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