T I P S F O R T R I P S : B Y C A R
Through Region of Master Jan Hus
Starting point: Husinec
Trail: Husinec-Horouty-Dvory- Lažiště- Švihov-Drslavice-Kratušín-Chlístov-
Kratušín- Zábrdí- Kratušín- Záblatí
Length: approx 17 km
Access: by car
Refreshment: Husinec, Kratušín, Záblatí
Start the trip in Husinec. Drive through the district of Horouty where one of the oldest estates in the region has been preserved, that of Aleš’s farm. One of the family relatives of the artist Mikuláš Aleš came from there.
In the village of Dvory, there is an interesting building by Jakub Bursa from 1855, no. 11. Above Dvory, you will pass by a chapel which used to be a favourite place of theartist Cyril Chramosta, who painted several paintings there. Go across the Němčský Brook and then up to Lažiště.
The village was first mentioned in the 13th century. The church was originally built in the Romanesque style but it was later reconstructed in the Gothic style. Old frescoes with the crests of the Rožmberk family have been preserved in St. Nicholas’s Church. Cardinal Miloslav Vlk used to work here as a pastor. One of the legends says that Jan Hus’s parents rest at the local cemetery. The settlement is a protected village zone because of the preserved timbered granaries in the Slavic style, however influenced by Alpine architecture: decorated gables or access balconies. Protected buildings include no. 15, 16, 20, 22, 6 and 9.
From Lažiště, go along the narrow road past the old linden trees in Švihov to Drslavice. There is a Gothic fortress from the mid-14th century, rebuilt to a granary in 1771. Its current owners, the Švejda family, are reconstructing its original form. From Drslavice go to Kratušín where Jan Hus was supposed to be born: his mother was in labour at the chapel by the crossroads. Today, there is a beautiful Baroque chapel there with a wide cupola.
On the way to Chlístov there is a nice view of the Blanice river valley with the Bobík peak in the background. In Chlístov there is a memorable linden tree, about 680 years old. The linden tree was saved from cutting by a local farmer who bought the land where it stands and places the plaque on it. From Chlístov, go back to Kratušín and follow the road to Zábrdí. Before the village there is a small cave with a climbing wall. In the village, there is an exposition of nativity scenes. There are more than 500 of them, both Czech and from abroad. The exposition is opened all day and it is free of charge.
Return to Kratušín where you will take a left turn and drive through the Blanice river valley with many tailings (waste rock heaps from placer mining) until you get to Záblatí. Záblatí belonged to the estate of the Hus castle in the 14th century. It received burgh rights from King Vaclav IV in 1400 as well as the possibility to use the trade route to Passau and the right of weekly market. Záblatí was located on the border of Bohemia and Germany.
Until 1820, gold and silver were mined there. The most significant monument is the Gothic church of St. John the Baptist from the mid-14th century, reconstructed in the 16th century, annexed by a chapel of St John of Nepomuk in 1733 and repaired after a fire in 1874. There are late Gothic paintings or an altar from the 17th century in the church. At the square, there is an old fountain and a column of crucifixion on the way to Dobrá Voda.
Behind Záblatí, in the direction to Řepešín, there is a 3.4 km long educational trail Na soutoku. It goes though the canyon-like valley of the Blanice River through a natural preserve. There are information boards along the trail.
Following the Footsteps of Jakub Bursa
Starting point: Vlachovo Březí
Trail: Vlachovo Březí-Dolní Nakvasovice-Bušanovice- Předslavice- Marčovice-
Length: 27 km
Access: by car, bike
Refreshment: Vlachovo Březí
Jakub Bursa was a very talented folk builder or rather mason-artist. His buildings are still captivating, even though they were built in the mid-19th century.
Jakub was born on 21 July 1813 in Dolní Nakvasovice. He was not the best of the pupils at school because he had to work at home as most of his peers. He was trained in masonry by his father and he was accepted in the guild of masons from Vlachovo Břeží in 1831 and began working as a master. He also had some experience from Germany. His personal life was not very happy because his first two wives died prematurely and he had to take care of his children alone for some time. However, he got married again.
The cottages built by Jakub Bursa have very distinctive features, such as the the Eye of Providence, a solitary eye framed by a triangle or semicircle. His gables are richly decorated and include inscriptions. The decoration differed from house to house. For instance, blacksmith shops were decorated with blacksmith tools, pubs with a table, beer, spirits or bread (which you can see at no. 23 in Radhostice or no. 15 in Kovanín.)
Bursa prepared everything without any plans and as he did not spend a lot of time at school, you can find many mistakes in his texts. He did not earn a lot of money as a mason and he had never been recognized during his life. But he insisted on his difficult relief decorations. He used to employ up to 40 masons. He died in seclusion, at the local almshouse in Vlachovo Březí on 19 August 1884.
To see Jakub Bursa’s houses, leave Vlachovo Březí and go straight to its birthplace, Dolní Nakvasovice, where he reconstructed farmstead no. 9 in 1847. The gable is decorated simply, there is a cross with torture instruments in the middle and there is an inscription on the gate of the separated granary which says that the house was built in 1847.
Another stop is Bušanovice where the gables of houses no. 27 from 1847 and no. 13 from 1860 have been preserved. In Tvrzice there are buildings from the later period, such as no. 7 from 1860, former inn no. 9 from 1862 and no. 11 from 1862. Předslavice is where you will find the best work by Bursa at the square: the gate to house no. 18 and no. 4. Above the gate, there are extensions with columns, plastic reliefs, pictures and inscriptions. At the Malina’s estate, no. 4, which belonged to the Malina family since 1655,there is an inscription below the cornice dated from 1848. Go from Marčovice Litochovice where there is an estate with a folk Baroque gable, house no. 2. In Čepřovice, Jakub Bursa probably built house no. 17: an enclosed estate with an arched gate with an extension. The gable is decorated by relief of columns, volutes and the Eye of Providence. In Jiřetice, there is a beautifully reconstructed blue farm, no. 4, built in 1843. It is an enclosed estate with a gable above the gate, a residential building and a granary. The estate is decorated by figurative ornaments and inscriptions. St. Vaclav is painted above the entrance. Another of Bursa’s building is no. 12 from 1852 with bulbous columns in the granary gable.
Return to Vlachovo Březí through Bohunice and Tvrzice. The inhabitants of Vlachovo Březí had a plaque installed in 1985, on the 100th anniversary of Bursa’s death, with the inscription: “In memory of Jakub Bursa, the mason master, creator of the South Bohemian folk Baroque, who lived and died in Vlachovo Březí on 19 August 1884. He knew how to enjoy life and honoured work above all. He was born poor and died poor.”