1.INTO THE DEEP BRDY FORESTS
The Pilský lake
Hundreds of sealed and unsealed, marked and unmarked forest paths and trails, rocks, clean springs and streams, large bodies of water, dominant peaks and forgotten valleys. The Brdy protected landscape area is an uninhabited range, as the original village communities left long time ago and the area was closed to the public and served as a military training area. The Brdy range is now waiting to be discovered and explored with love and respect.
Příbram is the ideal starting point for trips on foot or bike. Setting out from Orlov, a municipal part of Příbram, you can easily reach, for example, the Pilský Lake – the third largest body of water in the Brdy area. From the lake, you can continue into the deep forests or return to the town. You can reach the town via Třemošná, one of the most striking peaks in Brdy. The lookout on the Kazatelna (Pulpit) cryogenic landform presents a wonderful view of the town of Příbram, as well as the Bohemian-Moravian Highlands, Novohradské mountains and Šumava mountains with the Boubín hill.
A short trip from the Pilský Lake takes you to Tok, the highest peak in the Brdy range and the Central Bohemia. A remarkable landscape of the former artillery range target area with many outlooks far over the surrounding landscape spreads near the hill. The nearby Houpák hill is also worthy of attention, as the naked peak offers probably the most beautiful panoramic outlook in the Brdy range – all the way to the mountains along the border. Many bunkers, including the “Benešák” infantry pillbox, which is perhaps the most famous fortification structure in Brdy, are located in the adjacent Jordán target area.
The educational trail from Jince will take you to the mysterious Plešivec hill, which is often referred to as the Olympus of the Brdy range. A wide view mainly of the central Brdy opens from the steep rock called Čertova kazatelna (Devil’s Pulpit) and other places on the top of the Plešivec hill. The Fabian’s Garden lookout is near the peak and the famous Emerald Lake or the massive rocking stone can be found further down the hill.
2.HISTORICAL LANDMARKS AND FAMOUS PERSONALITIES
The chateau in Březnice
Not every trip needs to be about sport performance. If you prefer strolling through town streets, discovering cosy cafes and finding new places, visit one of the nearby chateaus on your trip.
The chateau in Březnice showcases the oldest preserved renaissance library in Bohemia. The local herb garden and English landscape garden are also worth seeing. A beautiful mirror hall and an extensive French formal garden and English landscape garden can be seen at the Dobříš chateau, which is nicknamed the “Czech Versailles”. An early baroque chateau with fabulous chambers and a beautiful chateau park is located in Hořovice and the chateau in the classicist style in Mníšek pod Brdy takes you back to the time of the First Czechoslovak Republic.
In Vysoká u Příbrami, you can admire stunning nature and a chateau in the renaissance revival style with a beautiful park, which became a second home to the composer Antonín Dvořák. The landscape below the Brdy range also inspired Karel Čapek. His former summer house can be seen in Strž u Staré Huti near Dobříš.
3.HISTORY, TRADITION AND CRAFTS
Podbrdské Musem in Rožmitál pod Třemšínem
The varied landscape below the Brdy range provided raw materials and sustenance to people. Podbrdské Museum in Rožmitál pod Třemšínem documents the life, customs and traditions in the region in the past. Separate displays are dedicated to two major personalities from Rožmitál – the Queen Joanna of Rožmitál and Jakub Jan Ryba. Ironmongery was one of the major crafts in the Podbrdy region. Rožmitál used to be well known for its manufacture of small iron goods, in particular studs. The history of this production is presented in the unique Museum of Stud Making. As Dobříš was renowned for the manufacture of gloves, Dobříš Museum introduces the craft of glove making to its visitors.
Central Povltaví is also an interesting region owing to the preserved rural architecture. Residential, farming, technical and small sacral buildings documenting village life and farming in the past can be seen in the open-air museum in Vysoký Chlumec. The Špýchar Museum in Prostřední Lhota will guide you through the life of village people in central Povltaví in the 19th and 20th century in greater detail. When wondering through these parts of the landscape near Příbram, be sure to visit the Museum of Gold in Nový Knín to find out about the history of gold mining and processing in Nový Knín region.
4.SILENCE OF CHURCHES, MONASTERIES AND PILGRIMAGE SITES
People venturing into the depts of the Earth to mine metals sought the comfort and support in religious faith. The church was also an important cultural and educational phenomenon in the region. Jakub Jan Ryba worked as a teacher and church choir master in Rožmitál pod Třemšínem and his Czech Christmas Mass premiered in the local Church of the Feast of the Cross.
The village of Smolotely below the breath-taking Maková hora is located in the nearby Toulava tourist area. The local Church of St. John the Baptist and Our Lady of Mount Carmel is a major pilgrimage site and one of the most beautiful examples of late baroque architecture sensitively placed in the landscape. The journey to another major pilgrimage site, the Augustinian monastery Svatá Dobrotivá will take you to the other side of the Brdy range, to the village of Zaječov. If you wish to combine a moment of quiet contemplation with a trip or a longer walk, be sure to visit the Skalka baroque premises including the Church of St. Mary Magdalene, a monastery and hermitage. You will also find a great view of the town of Mníšek pod Brdy here.
5.THE TRUE TREASURES OF CENTRAL POVLTAVÍ
The Kamýk and Slapy water reservoirs are the true treasures of this region owing to the multitude of tourist attractions and recreational areas. You will undoubtfully spend lots of time by the water. However, once you have enjoyed enough of idle time, be sure to go and discover one of the well-known or even less-known “horseshoes” on the Vltava river to see the fascinating meanders the river has formed over time. Alternatively, you can climb one of the many lookout towers to see central Povltaví laid out before you.