The Harcuba waggoner track

Tracking local architecture
[47km/708m; Trek]

If you can do without the long and arduous ascents leading up to the ridges of the Krkonose Mountains, our wonderful trekking tour through their foothills is for you.
Let's follow the tracks that lead southwards from the mountains. They were used by waggoners to carry the goods produced by mountain-dwellers down into the foothills. Among those were drapery, glassware and woodcraft and many more. On their way back they would bring agricultural products, that would not grow on the mountains' poor soils and items the people in the mountains could not manufacture themselves.

Wood was always the most important material in the Krkonose Mountains. Until the 20th century nearly every building - be it up in the mountains or in the foothill villages - was made of wood. In the 18th and 19th century even the towns in the foothills were built of wood mostly until - after several blazes - the use of bricks and stones became more common.
Today you'll find two types of blockhouses in the Krkonose Mountains, the "Isera"-type and the "Krkonose Mountains foothills"-type. The "Isera"-house is common in the western part of the mountains and can be easily identified by its simple rectangular layout. They often feature richly ornamented multi-step gables and some have a so-called "cat-walkway", a ledge, often bearing small columns. The "Krkonose Mountains foothills"-type can be found in middle and eastern part. Their gables are comparably simple but the houses have more complex layouts with different attachments. Some of their dormers are supported by pillars standing on the ground. up in the mountains with their poor soils, most houses were rather small and had only one room. The further away from the mountains - the more fruitful the soils, and therefore the bigger and more sophisticated the houses.

The waggoner Haruba started his tour to the marketplaces in Nova Paka and Jicin at the mountainsides of the Zaly where weavers and lumberjacks dwelled in simple blockhouses. He would travel on to Jilemnice, passing through the "Zvědavá ulička" (the curious alley), where still today you can see a group of "Isera"-type houses. He went on to Mricna with its blockhouses and their attached barns. If he did travel through Kruh he must have felt a touch of envy facing the huge homesteads with arcades and curb roofs. Back then the horses were sweating when they climbed the ascent from Roztok to Karlov - just like today's bikers do. While Harcuba was heading south to Nova Paka, we turn east at the picturesque houses of Karlov, and further on pass Zdar and Studenec to eventually reach Bukovina and Dolni Kalna. Many "Isera"-type houses are still standing in these villages. At the old St. Waclav's church in Dolni Kalna rebuilt in baroque style, we turn back north via Horni Kalna and Pricnice.
On our way back to the Labe river valley we cross the former language and architecture border while we enjoy beautiful views on the mountain ridges. Along the way to Vrchlabi we find houses of the "Krkonose Mountains foothills"-type. Perhaps Harcuba came here too and told his travel tales in the Vrchlabi tavern.

gps data - (GPX, 40kB) google maps

Tento projekt je spolufinancován Evropskou unií a Královéhradeckým krajem