Paper Mill at Velké Losiny
State Institute for the Preservation of Cultural Heritage, Prague
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Being still a functional historical set of buildings associated with the manufacture of paper from the late 16th century up to the present, the handmade paper mill at Velke Losiny is a unique technical monument. The paper mill is situated in the broad valley of the Desna River near the main road passing through the North Moravian town of Velke Losiny. According to archive sources, the paper workshop was founded there after 1591. The present premises of the paper mill consist of eight buildings, most of which are interconnected as required by the technical operation. The oldest part of the plant is the water mill?race, since the paper mill was reconstructed from an older corn mill. The main historical building is a rectangular two?storied object with vaulted rooms in the first floor. Its present form is from the period of the most extensive building reconstruction of the paper mill after 1823. Facades are articulated by a molding dividing storeys, the ground floor walls are decorated with a plaster stripping. Windows in the second floor are stressed with a massive plaster voussoir dividing the chambranle in the middle of the lintel The main building feature is the high mansard roof with four rows of continuous ventilating louvre openings. The openings provided for ventilation of the loft where sheets of handmade paper were dried. The main building is joined with a lower object of the plant proper, the southernmost bay of which is arched above by the mill?race. The layout of the plant contains premises with hollanders ? the driving device for the entire technique. This object is also roofed by a stepped mansard structure with ventilating windows. The other related objects contain additional production functions; these have a simple, rather service character. Their appearance corresponds to the period following the largest building adaptation and development of the premises in the first part of the 19th century. Late in the 19th century, a heating?room was erected in front of the entrance to the paper mill proper, the high stack of which became since that time another characteristic dominant of the entire production area. The heating?room was used for steam?heating. A Francis turbine was installed in 1911 in place of the original water wheel and all paper mill machinery started to be driven by a central transmission. The generator was expanded in 1913 and the paper mill started to supply electricity also to part of households at Velka Losiny. After the WWII the paper mill went through a difficult period when a liquidation of the enterprise was even considered. Thanks to the interest of its employees of that time and support from important visual artists, production of handmade paper at Velke Losiny managed to be maintained. The stressed historical and cultural significance of the paper mill that was included in 1974 in the list of cultural monuments protected by the state was a considerable contribution. Commencing from 1987 part of the plant houses the Museum of the Paper ? an only museum with such specialization in the Czech Republic.