in hradec kralove in North-East-Bohemia. A special meeting with a beaver and his friends, never thought, I´d get a kiss from a beaver 😉
Highlights: Jirasek Park, confluence of rivers “Orlice” and “Labe”, St. Nicholas- church, wild living beaver and the steam/water power plant Hucak in Art Noveau style…
But the way is a dream. I´m walking through Hradec Kralove, in German Königgrätz, in north-eastern Bohemia. It´s autumn, real autumn, painted in colors and leaves, as in the distand past. No sweepers, no brooms and road sweepers, no leaf rakes and certainly no leaf blowers. Autumn shines in its most beautiful colors, whether from the sky, the water or the trees all around. Where the …
Come with me ! Visit the beaver of hradec kralove and listen to the “journey in your mind” (best with earphones). The story and photos you find below ⇓
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But the way is a dream. I´m walking through Hradec Kralove, in German Königgrätz, in north-eastern Bohemia. It is autumn, real autumn, painted in colors and leaves, as in the distant past. No sweepers, no brooms and road sweepers, no leaf rakes and certainly no leaf blowers.
Autumn shines in its most beautiful colors, whether from the sky, the water or the trees all around. Where the “Labe” So the Elbe and the “Orlice”, the eagles get united and a slightly larger Labe finally further flows gently, originated in the countryside which projects into the water and is washed by the rivers round , a pretty little park, the Jirasek Park. Named after the Czech writer and historian Alois Jirasek, who attended high school in Hradec Králové, he’s just so neat that he is not completely wild, but so natural, that the fall must be shown at its best. The sky is in deep blue, not a cloud obscures the soft, flattering light of the sun.
Along the Orlice I’m shuffling through almost knee-high foliage that covers the entire bottom, absorbs my steps and is so glorious rustling that I feel a great desire to roll me like a child in it. Of course, I control myself, but have nevertheless great pleasure finally have a walk through deep foliage, at home, I find such paths increasingly rare. The colors are overwhelming, the leaves on the trees and on the ground shines in all shades, which can only muster a mixed deciduous forest, from pale yellow through bright orange and deep red to subdued burgundy and earthy browns, almost an explosion of color splendor. The Orlice beside me gurgles peacefully and comfortably and flows slightly wider than a stream determining counter.
The trail leads past the St. Nicholas Church, an original wooden church from the 16th century, originally from Slovakia and was erected in 1935 in Jirasek Park. It is a cultural monument and is used by the Orthodox Church for worship. She is idyllically situated between the deciduous trees, the wood was stained almost black by the weathering and the surrounding wooden fence looks more like a decorative framing as a demarcation. I am fascinated by the wooden architecture, the fine turning work, the three pretty and dainty onion domes and the inviting and intricately designed entrance.Unfortunately, the church is closed, but that does not diminish the impact and influence of this wooden marvel.
It´s hard for me to break away from this almost magical place and the spell of the moment, but the water of the Orlice flows constantly on and so I follow continue it´s run. Homey wooden benches along the wayside invite to relax and enjoy the landscape. The trees thin out and give a view on the other side of the park, towards the Labe. The Labe is a bit wider and flows a bit faster, but is almost indistinguishable at this point otherwise of her little sister. I stand at the edge of the Labe, enjoy the sun on my face and watch her run after. Hard to imagine … A peaceful river, not far from here in the Czech Giant Mountains sprung in almost 1,400 meters altitude, Swells zoom in its further course to a powerful river and covers a distance of likely more than a thousand kilometers to the German North Sea coast.
While I`m standing there so bemused , looking into the water and musing about the future course of the Labe, I hear next to me sudden rustling. I look down at my feet and disbelief I think first that a rat is crawling into my plastic bag. After closer inspection and an effort to get various animal species and their appearance in my head in polyphonic harmony, I am even more surprised and so full of unexpected joy, because I can´t believe my eyes. A beaver sits at my feet and tried to look into my plastic bag, if he might discover some good sweetmeats! Because he does not find anything with me, he continues on other people, and when I look afterwards I notice: there are many more beaver! I can not believe it: wild, in free nature living beaver scurrying about the piles of leaves, peacefully looking with quacking ducks for feed among the leaves and are apparently so conditioned by humans as food dispensers that they have lost all shyness.
One of the funny troupe is particularly brave, translates directly to my feet and sniffes my hand. Somehow I seem to be sympathetic to him … By the way, I have a magical attraction for dogs and cats, but that this also works for beaver, I didn`t know until yet.
Yes, I know that I should not do, and yes I know that beaver have very strong teeth, finally they drag whole tree trunks to their beaver dams with their pearly whites . But when the little guy is still erect on his hind legs and holding with his front paws on me and look up to me, I can not resist … I squat down and just have to touch him.
Carefully I caress my new beaver friend on the back. His coat is incredibly soft and velvety, almost like an Angora cat, not wet, although it shines as if he had just came out of the water. My new buddy is the largest of the beaver family, so probably the bravest and most curious. He has the size of a small dog (no, not Chiuaua!) And relatively large claws. Suddenly he draws with just these on my knees on, almost as if to jump on my lap. After the first moment of shock I mustere the cute little face that is sniffing at me with his long white whiskers and the big nose. The small black button eyes are friendly, the equally small round ears (almost like a mouse) wiggle back and forth and out of the pink little mouth come droll grunts. Only the famous lumberjack tools I do not get to see …
As gratitude for the cuddly affection I get instead a demonstration of swimming- and wooden architecture talents presented. With a skillful jump my “Kissing Beaver” lands in the water, his long, thin tail before that becomes a wide paddle and with his now in action kicking teeth, he pulls a big road with them. The beaver glides purposefully and smoothly through the water and brings his building material in a small cave at the edge of the Labe. From there he floats a few more times past me, romping with other beavers around in the water, brings more branches and finally disappears in his cave.
Did I mention that I love Beaver ??? Accordingly blissful about this unexpected experience, I save my encounter with the Beaver in my head, and follow comfortably strolling the course of the Labe back towards the city center.
At the end of Jirasek Park I discover another architectural gem Königgrätz`s that Hučák steam / water power plant. It was built in 1909 in Art Nouveau style, the Austrian form of Art Nouveau and is accordingly elegant, decorated colorfully and elaborately. It is therefore not only technically but also artistically interesting. About the Labe and their dam is a bridge, which was also designed as the power plant. The basic color of the building itself is a bright yellow, framed by ocher-colored trims and patterns, white columns and gray stucco topped by curved roof forms and a tower with clockwork.Inside can be visited on a guided tour, the original and still functioning turbine plant of the hydroelectric plant and the information center for renewable resources. However, I marvel at this unique complex rather outside, the loud sounds of the flow and the reflections of the picturesque autumn scenery in the pent-up, calm waters and the elegance of this technical monument affect me. A last look back, a relaxed stroll along the Elbe and already I’m back in the tumult of the city hradec kralove, in its historic Old Town, there are to discover many other architectural beauties. But as Michael Ende says so beautifully: “But that’s another story, and will be told another time …”
Tips and more information for your own real visit of Hradec Kralove and its natural and historical beauties, I collected in a factsheet: Infoblatt Königgrätz (under progress, later for download)
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