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HruboskalskoHruboskalsko

The Hruboskalsko is one of the best-known rock formations. It is characterised by impressive towers reaching up to 55 m and also by steep canyons. 

Bozkovské Dolomite CavesBozkovské Dolomite Caves

The dolomite caves with the largest underground lake in Bohemia.

Prachovské skály (rocks)Prachovské skály (rocks)

The Prachovské Skály nature preserve is one of the most popular regions in the Czech Republic. It is one of the oldest nature preserves in the country. 

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Introduction

Hlavatice, 1900

Lookout towers, the structures used to look at the scenery around the place are unique in Central Europe. Their popularity comes from over hundred-year-old tradition, as well as from the fact that Central Europe mostly consists of highlands and is covered with wooded mountain ranges but not very high mountain peaks. The biggest number of the lookout towers these days is in Germany, Austria, the Czech Republic, Poland and Hungary.

The lookout tower is a particular type of structure. Its main purpose and often the only one, is that it allows to see the surrounding area. They have common characteristics with the city, castle and fire watch towers which were built for the similar purpose. Modern lookout towers look more like aerial masts for Radio and TV, or for mobile phone signal transmission. Natural structures as rocks or park pavilions can be used for watching. The lookout towers differ from the above mentioned objects in these aspects

  1. 1. they were built by people
  2. 2. they are used for looking around
  3. 3. have the platform to watch from at least one floor above the surroundings and
  4. 4. are easily accessible to public.

The Czech Republic lookout towers

First lookout towers in the Czech Republic were built by rich aristocrats as the structures towering over their palace parks, usually coming from romantic ideas. Later on they were followed by health resort towns, trying to offer their customers an attractive reason to go for a walk. The biggest development of the lookout towers come together with development of tourist industry. In eighties and nineties of the nineteenth century tourist organizations were established in many places of Bohemia, Moravia and Silesia. Building the lookout towers became a matter of prestige for the thourist organizations. New lookout towers became not just an interesting reason for an excursion but a source of revenue, and what was important for a particular organization, a symbol of being active and dynamic as well. In the years 1880-1914 almost 200 lookout towers were built, starting from simple wooden structures (which often lasted only few years) to towers built from iron, and to spectacular stone or brick structures which often belongs to cultural or technical monuments nowadays. Many of those viewing objects with adjacent tourist restaurants were built during the First Republic (period between the 1st and 2nd World War).

During years 1945 to 1989 stagnation of the lookout towers building took place, because communist regime at that time did not support free activities of organizations and associations. Everything changed after the year 1989. Many towers which were abandoned and devastated have been renovated and open to public with big ceremonies. After year 2000 new towers started to be built as well. These are usually the structures which serve for telecommunication purposes (espacially for mobile telephony) and the view platforms had been built also for tourists. There are also structures built by local administration (with their own money, or from EU). Their aim is to support tourism in that way. We can not forget about structures being built by private persons, who want to bring enjoyment to themselves, and the others who enjoy distant views.

In the Czech Republic there are almost 300 lookout towers at present (year 2010), nearly half of them were built after year 1990.

Lookout towers in the Bohemian Paradise (Český ráj)

The Bohemian Paradise offers a lot of tourist attractions, beginning with the unique rock formations and all rock towns to many forests and lakes, where one can bathe, ancient towns, and picturesque villages.

Considering the landscape character there are not so many lookout towers, like for example in the nearby Jizerské or Lužické Mountains. Despite that, we will find many places with beautiful views. It is especially true when it comes to the rock formations which are accessed for visitors, and surrounding areas with nice views where the best known are Hlavatice near Turnov, Šikmá věž (Crook Tower) and Hlaholská vyhlídka (Hlahol view point) in Prachovské skály (Prachov rocks), Zdenčina skála (rock) in the rock town Klokočské skály (Klokočské rocks), or a view spot called Zahrádka (little garden) in the Jizera valley in a place called Mála Skála.

We only find six proper lookout towers in this area. They are from different historical periods and of different construction types. The oldest one is a stone construction Milohlídka in Jičín, from year 1843. From golden era of tourism, which is the turn of the 19th and 20th centuries are the brick towers on top of Kopanina (lookout tower) next to Malá Skála, and Tábor (lookout tower) next to Lomnice nad Popelkou. Steel construction on Kozákov near Semily and on Kozinec near Nová Paka are the examples of multifunctional buildings built not long ago and serving needs of telecommunications and tourism. The object which is very unique is a new ski-jumping construction in Lomnice nad Popelkou with the view gallery which is accessible to everyone.

Čeřovka - Milohlídka, 1910

Čeřovka - Milohlídka, 1910

 
Hlavatice, 1900

Hlavatice, 1900

 
Kopanina, 1905

Kopanina, 1905

 
Kozákov, 1935

Kozákov, 1935

 
Trosky

Trosky

 
 
Created 19.10.2010 23:52:21 - updated 22.11.2012 11:40:38 | read 18418x | Ing. Jiří Lukeš
 
 
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