Technical monuments and rarities

Ostrava - Vítkovice
11. 10. 2013

Visited the old mines, power stations, technical museums, water- and windmills, photography studios and car factories?

What is it that attracts you to technical monuments? Do you admire the skill of our ancestors or are you looking for tales with the atmosphere of past times? Or are you looking for inspiration for interesting excursions? You’ll find a bit of everything amongst the rich, diverse range of technical monument and places of interest in the Czech Republic.

Biggest and oldest

Do you like monuments with a lot of superlatives attached to them? Then a must-see for you is Dlouhé Stráně, the third-biggest pumping hydroelectric power station in the world, and at the same time the highest-output power station in the Czech Republic, with the largest reserve water turbine in Europe. During a tour you will visit operational rooms in massive underground spaces, the lower reservoir and the imposing upper reservoir at an altitude of 1,350 m above sea level, on Mravenečník Mountain in the Jeseníky Mountains.

Built at the end of the 18th century, the Schwarzenberg Canal was, at the time, a truly unique feat of engineering. It connected the Vltava and Danube rivers, helping transport timber from the forests of the Šumava to Vienna. A journey along the canal, either by foot or by bike, is a popular excursion in the Šumava. The waterway further fits so perfectly into the landscape that you wouldn’t think it was man-made.

A further technical rarity is the hand-made paper factory in Velké Losiny, the only one of its kind in the Czech Republic. It has been in operation uninterrupted since the end of the 16th century to the present day and is one of the last witnesses in Europe to the ancient craft of paper-making.

A further Czech rarity are its water- and windmills. Worth a visit are, for example, the watermill in Slup, already one of the biggest in Moravia in the 17th and 18th centuries. The mill’s technical fittings show the development of the miller’s trade from prehistory up to the 10th century.

Longest and most extensive

Are you a lover of cycling, in-line skating or pleasure cruises? Then follow the trail taking you on an 80 km route along the Baťa Canal, from Kroměříž to Hodonín. Built in the 1930s, the original purpose of the Baťa Canal was to transport lignite and irrigate meadows. Nowadays it is a popular destination for all lovers of pleasure and sightseeing cruises. It makes for a good combination: skate or cycle in one direction and take the boat back (boats can carry bicycles).

There are also a number of interesting technical monuments in Ostrava, for example the authentically preserved Michal Mine, the Landek Mining Museum and the Lower Area of Vítkovice, a unique, technically and technologically perfect complex of industrial buildings dating from the first half of the 19th century, nicknamed the Ostrava Hradčany.

Museums of automobiles, trains and all kinds of technology

Try and visit a Czech technical museum. You’ll like the refurbished, and exceptionally wide-ranging, exhibitions of the National Technical Museum in Prague and the Technical Museum in Brno. Train-lovers will enjoy the Museum of Industrial Railways in Zbýšov and the Railway Museum in Lužná u Rakovníka. The automobile works in Mladá Boleslav can boast more than one hundred years of uninterrupted production. Take an excursion to the factory and have a look through the Škoda Auto Muzeum to hear the story of the famous Škoda cars!

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