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THE ANCIENT FORTRESS ABOVE THE BEROUNKA RIVER

THE ANCIENT FORTRESS ABOVE THE BEROUNKA RIVER

For most children the main attraction of this trip will be the ancient ruins of Věžka that will easily take us to the world of the old days, legends and stories.

Thanks to the Nature Trail, which leads to the oldest hiking path in Pilsen, we have a unique opportunity to visit the picturesque landscape around Berounka. And we can enjoy this through the stunning perspectives of the rocky banks and in particular from a natural site 'Malochova skalka’.

Towards knowledge of local history and natural beauty again, and this time we start in the village of Druztová. This village, below the castle Věžka, has been mentioned by ancient chronicles since the year 1351 in connection with the construction of the church of St Mary Magdalene. Today's village with village green laid around the pond and the dominant chapel of St. John of Nepomuk is a lot taller than the original one, and the village provides optimum facilities for tourists - shops, restaurants and a post office. Our first steps will lead from the chapel through the linden alley to the oldest religious monument v Druztová, to the church of St.Mary Magdalene. In the vicinity of the church originally the parsonage and wooden houses of the villagers, but these were destroyed during the Hussite wars and only the church that was damaged demolished had been repaired and saved.
A little bit behind the church we walk down the path to a place, where safe on the rock above the Berounka river, people already lived 6000 years ago. During the reign of King Wenceslas II., sometime around 1300, it was here that Ratmír of Chrást built a well-protected castle with a conspicuous tower from which it got its name - Věžka. In 1478, the castle was besieged by a joint force of Pilsen and Hungarians of Matthias Corvinus - and they ultimately destroyed it. Over time, the ruins were almost lost completely, abandoned and overgrown by hill shrubs and trees. It was only in 1962 the painter Václav Uchytil together with children from a history club from Druztová village started to clean and construct the entire hill path. Today, the rock with modest remains of the castle, offers wonderful views of the river and its surroundings, and from the information panel we can learn more about the history of the castle. Children are certainly attracted by the period-style artwork picturing the medieval castle in its former glory and also enjoy the legend of "The Duck that Laid Golden Eggs". In the rubble of the castle Věžka is said to be a secret passageway to an underground lake, where there is a duck which is sitting on golden eggs. He that would like to get the eggs must hear three masses, bathe in the underground lake and whilst continuously praying aloud the Our Father, go to the duck, which will allow him to take the eggs away.
Back in the 21 century again, from the last 11th stop "In the Footsteps of Francis Maloch" we will set out toward boundless beauty of nature. We'll walk along the edge of Druztová, and when we get into the woods, the path will slowly turn towards Berounka, where we will walk on a steep rocky bank. We are passing through the centre of the state nature reserve, while rustling above our heads are crowns of massive oaks, pines and hornbeams. The ultimate dispaly of Berounka is highlighted in spring time by the riot of colorful flora or in the autumn the golden-coloured hornbeams. The trail is dedicated to the famous botanist and teacher Francis Maloch who focused his research not only on Pilsen, but also Šumava, Brdy, Czech Forest and Domažlice regions. The result of his labours was the encyclopedia “Flora in the Pilsen Region”, to this day still considered one of the leading treatises on the subject of flora, reaching far beyond the region. In 1951 a plaque dedicated to Franz Maloch was unveiled on the fourth stop of the trail on the rock that he liked to visit. We will get back to Druztová along the road that will run close to the nature trail between its 3rd and 4th stops.

Last edited by: Beránek Filip (24.11.2015)

 


 

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