CZ, Ore Mountains: Bozi Dar and Around
What is so special about this place that it should stand next to sights such as the Great Wall of China or Machu Picchu? Many types of raw material had been mined there for a long period of time (800 years). This includes silver, tin, lead, cobalt, bismuth, nickel, wolfram, black coal, uranium, pyrite, chalcopyrite etc. The landscape punctured with number of drifts, and many historical sights related to mining and processing, navigation channels, mountain railroads, or medieval architecture. Altogether over 80 places and 520 sights on both sides of the Czech-German border.
Lets take a look at the Czech part of this area. Perhaps you still remember the Ore Mountains as apocalyptical landscape where nature is dying, and where acid and sulfur rain from the sky due to near thermal power plants. Perhaps, in the 1980s, you stood on hills around Vejprty having anxious thoughts, and during the first years of democracy you casted your ballot fo the Green Party. If you haven’t dared to go back there since, you would be surprised today. For twenty years, the power plants have been desulfurized and emissions have been filtered. Nature looks much better. Forget dead treas. Today it is green everywhere, and forests are healthy. Low population density that is a consequence of the resettlement of Germans in the 1940s, today gives you long hikes in nature without seeing any ugly buildings, and other traces of civilization.
One place that is part of the list is the Mining Cultural Landscape of Abertamy – Bozi Dar – Horni Blatna. Bozi Dar is an ideal place to start some hike along a nature trail. You can park you car there, stay over night, and find some place to eat. It is here where the famous Jeziskova Trail starts and ends. Along its 13 kilometers there are 13 stops where children will have lots of fun.
Part of the trail follows the nature trail of Bozidarska marshlands . Be sure not to miss it. Walk on pathway will uncover views over the landscape and marhsland.
At the eleventh stop of Jeziskova trail, you will see the so called sejpy. These are remaining of tin placer mining the tradition of which dates back to the 16th century.
At this very places you can join the Blatensky ditch nature trail . Mines and ore refinery demanded lot of water so it was necessary to bring the water here. To make this happen a unique water construction, today a technical cultural sight, was built. The ditch is 12 kilometers long and had been operating since 1544.
It was necessary to solve the place where it crosses the stream, its gradientation, and, at many places, it follows renovated wooden creek with bridges occasionally crossing it.
You will walk on a plateau at 1000 meters. Attentive observer will notice ruins of buildings and remains of former settlement. Do you know that you can trace former buildings by presence of ivy? You can reach Hrebecna by going around the memorial of former St Vaclav church. In May 2015, the Krystof drift will be ceremonially opened. It is part of theMauritius mine. Local nature trail takes you to massive depressions of former mining grounds, and goes even to the quarry. There is significant presence of basalt columnar jointed volcanics. The trail ends at Abertamy.
There are several newly opened mines and drifts in 2015. Some are accessible via marked tourist trail. Such place is the Johannes drift on Zlaty Hill. If you go from Bozi Dar to Cesky Mill, in the half of the roud there is a right turn. The road then goes trough forest on ascending terrain. It is the access road the drift in the Kaff territory. Even there are unique remains of tin, iron, and copper mining. Tunnels available for exploration are up to 60 meters long, 20 meters wide, and 12 meters high.
All drifts have individual opening hours. It is important to get information at tourist information centers, for instance at Bozi Dar. Another information you can get in some of the local museums, such as the Muzeum tezby cinu in Horni Blatna or in the Mistopisne museum of Bozi Dar.
Text/photo: Radka Snížková
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