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Schwarzenberg Navigational Canal


The idea of connecting the Vltava and Danube rivers originated in the 14 th century, but it wasn't realized until the 18 th century. One of the reasons for building the canalwas the scarcity of wood and its escalating price. The large areas of the abandoned forest on the South Bohemian borders with Germany were perfect for the cause, hence the Schwarzenberg Canal was found.


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The idea of connecting the Vltava and Danube rivers originated in the 14th century, but it wasn't realized until the 18th century. One of the reasons for building the canalwas the scarcity of wood and its escalating price. The large areas of the abandoned forest on the South Bohemian borders with Germany were perfect for the cause, hence the Schwarzenberg Canal was found, becoming one of the most curious constructions of its age. The channel enabled the floating of timber from Šumava to Vienna. It was designed in 1775 by Josef Rosenauer, who was treated both with respect and suspicion. The construction began only in 1785 and it was done in parts, firstly connecting the Zwettelbach stream with the Hefenkriegbach stream that merges with the Vltava river. It was later connected with the Plešné lake and the Jelení creek, making it the end of the 39,9 km (24,7 miles) long “old canal”. The water way was used in 1791 for the first time and it disproved the concerns of functionality of the invention. The timber was brought from the hills to the the river by sleigh in the winter. The actual process of sending the timber down the river was done in spring when the amount of water in the river increased from the melted snow. The construction of the canal brought many job opportunities to the area. The villages of Nová pec, Stožec, Nové Údolí and more were established during this time. The new part of the canal from the Jelení creek to the Austrian border was built in 1822.

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