For over fifty years, the Schwarzenberg Navigation Canal has been registered on the list of cultural monuments, and rightly so, as it is one of the most important technical monuments in southern Bohemia. This interesting water work deserves attention due to its technical historical value and the beautiful nature of the Šumava forests around. You will not regret walking or driving around it.
Information for visitors
Interesting facts Schwarzenberg Canal
The construction of the navigation canal resulted from the need to transport log wood from inaccessible areas of the Šumava to the royal court to Vienna. Therefore, in the years 1789-1791, the first section of the canal with a length of 39.9 km was built on the slope of the Trojmezná and Plechého hills, and in the years 1821-1822 the second section was another 11.7 km long. Its construction was designed and engineered by engineer Josef Rosenauer, who was later awarded the title of Honorary Citizen of Vienna for his contribution to the supply of wood to Vienna.
The construction of the canal connected the waters of the Vltava and the Danube, two rivers, each of which belongs to a different basin. The canal begins at the mouth of the Světlá stream, at the settlement of Nové údolí on the Czech-German border, and continues into the river Grosse Mühl to the settlement of Jelení Vrchy. There begins a 419 meter long underground navigation tunnel, the first of its kind in Central Europe. If you get here, be sure to see the nice neo-Gothic-Empire stone portals on the edges of the tunnel. At the village of Zvonková, the canal continues to the Austrian side of the border, but it will reappear for a while in Bohemia under the ruins of Vítkův kámen. Then it flows into the Mühl river again on Austrian territory. Wood was floated here regularly until 1891, when the demand for it gradually decreased due to the growing popularity of coal heating. Cruises took place irregularly on part of the canal for several decades, the very last one took place in 1961. Then, despite recognition as an important monument, the whole 70s the canal fell into disrepair and was damaged, fortunately its reconstructions serve to this day.
There is a 9 km long nature trail around the Schwarzenberg Canal. It starts in the parking lot in Jelení Vrše and leads along the canal to Raškov nad Nová Pecí. Thanks to the flat terrain, its overcoming is undemanding and is therefore suitable for hikers, cyclists, families with children and wheelchair users. Demonstrations of wood floating are also taking place on the canal at certain times, which can be an interesting lesson for yourself. In addition to this nature trail, a maintained forest path leads along almost the entire length of the canal and is suitable for all hikers, cyclists and cross-country skiers in winter.
Author: Martina Limbergová