Wednesday, June 4, 2014

On to Trebon - June 3

Telc is a UNESCO world heritage site.  This makes funds available for restoration and historic preservation of the area.  We spent the night here and then in the morning of the 3rd walked the town square and visited the Castle of Telc.

From this website we learn the following:
  • The later Middle Ages in central Europe saw the 'plantation' of planned settlements in areas of virgin forest for reasons of political control and economic expansion, and Telč is the best-preserved surviving example. It preserves its original layout and the castle-settlement relationship very clearly.
  • Telč is also an architectural and artistic ensemble of outstanding quality. The quality of the architecture is high, particularly the Renaissance market place and chateau. Its triangular market place possesses great beauty and harmony as well as great cultural importance, surrounded as it is by intact and well-preserved Renaissance buildings with a dazzling variety of facades.
  • The town is located near the south-western border between Moravia and Bohemia, in a region that was thickly forested until the 13th century. The origins of the settlement are unclear: there was an early medieval settlement at Stare Město to the south-east of the present town, but there is no mention of Telč in documentary records before 1333-35, when reference is made to the existence there of an important castle (and presumably also a church and settlement).

There were many fires and much rebuilding through the years.  Quite often the entire style of the house would be changed, depending on what was in fashion.
We did tour the castle, but no photography was allowed inside.  It's interesting historically because of how much of the CZ was controlled by the offspring of that house.  On their coats of arms, the last five sons had a 5 petaled rose.  Four of the five eventually died off and all the property reverted to the last survivor, whose name was Rosenberg.  He went on to build many more castles and own more towns.

The area around Telc was boggy.  People wanted to live there, so drainage needed to be provided for the area.  The feudal lords sent their serfs to dig ponds and rivers.  They also planted oak trees to stabilize the ground.  In the afternoon we rode on a bike path that went through these reclaimed areas.  They date from the 1300s or so and I just can not imagine the labor that went in to their construction.  There are 400 ponds; they are full of fish, and fresh water eels live in the rivers.  This provides an important source of food for the CZ.  Carp is the national fish dish in the area.

This is one of the most beautiful places I have ever seen.  It was glorious riding as there were no cars, no hills and no wind.