Fishpond Network in the Trebon Basin
State Institute for the Preservation of Cultural Heritage, Prague
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The Trebon Basin is a world?famous area of Southern Bohemia. Its marvelous nature and landscape arising from sophisticated man's waterworks are multiplied by numerous cnd topquality cultural monuments. There, we can also still admire important historical technical works that transformed the originally forbidding forests and marshland into a prosperous region. The advanced fish farming, which had developed from the Middle Ages, culminated in works of Renaissance masters ? fish?pond builders ? $tepanek Netolickjr, Ruthard of Male§sov, and Jakub Krcin of Jelcany. The most important technical works in the region of Tfeboh include fish ponds of the Rozmberk fish?pond system along the so?called Golden Canal and the New River ? man?made rivers built in the 16th century. Predominant in the fishpond network are two ponds. The Rozmberk Pond, currently the largest fish?pond in the Czech Republic, and the Svet Pond that, being part of the historical entrenchments of the town of Trebon, is still an important monument of both historical and technical significance. The name of the region derives from its natural administration and economic center ? the town of Tfebon, which had developed since the 12th century along the trade link between the towns of Jindrichuv Hradec and Ceske Budejovice. Prosperity of the town started after 1366 when the town was acquired by the dynasty of Rozmberk, one of the most powerful Czech royal family of the high Middle Ages. It was just the dynasty of Rozmberk that went in for fish?farming, supported the building of fish?ponds and systems of fish?ponds. The town of Tfeboh experienced its rise in the 16th and early 17th centuries and that period is still characteristic for the development of the historical downtown. Close to the town of Trebon, the two largest fish ponds of the region were built ? Svet (the World) Pond and the Rozmberk Pond. The Golden Canal (Zlata, stoka) ? the work of fish?pond builder ttepanek Netolicky ? is a man?made water ditch that was designed to supply the system of fish ponds with fresh flowing water, which is necessary for fish?farming. The Golden Canal does not go through fish ponds; water is supplied to fish ponds by short races. Water from partial fish pond systems then flows off to the "mother river" of Luznice. The work concept was created in 1506 and the complete ditch finished in 1518. The ditch used to be for along time the longest man?made line waterworks in Central Europe. We can still admire the sophisticated design of the technical work, which reaches with its length of almost forty?five kilometers the total gradient of mere 31 meters, Le. less than 0.7 meters per kilometer of length. Part of the Golden Canal was also connected to the entrenchment system of the town of Trebon, in the picture of which it still appears. The New River (Nova reka) is a unique waterworks deflecting part of the Luznice River to the Nezarka River. The New River was designed to secure the dam of the largest fish pond in the region ? Rozmberk ? against seasonal torrential rain. This other Renaissance canal was not only a canal with utility function, but due to the sensitive laying out it is an actual river, the riverbed of which is perfectly integrated in the landscape. Water from the original Luznice River is separated by a cross dam with weirs and a sluice dividing it as necessary either to the original riverbed or to the New River. The Roimberk Pond is in fact a historical reservoir on the Luznice River. Its dam is an exceptional piece of technical work built in 1585 through 1589. The dam long 2.5 kilometers is wide almost 50 meters at the foundations, 13.5 meters at the crest and almost 10 meters at the main outlet. The dam top is reinforced with four rows of oak trees. Some of them are considered to be original trees. The pretentious construction of the fish pond was the zenith of work of fish?pond master Jakub Krdin of Jelcany, administrator of Rozmberk's estate of Tfebon. At that time the Rozmberk pond was the largest fish pond in the Czech Kingdom and entire Central Europe, and still today it is a functional work with esthetic, historical and use values. The Svet Pond was established in the suburbs of Tfeboh and, in addition to its fish?farming function, it became part of the town defense system. Its builder Jakub Krdin did not hesitate to relay for the sake of his concept one of Tfeboh suburbs, partially modify the course of the Golden Ditch and transform the town defense system. The liberally founded dam has outlasted for centuries and even today it is a respected axis, protected as a technical monument within the broader Ro2mberk system of fish ponds, as well as by the townplanning protection of the town of Trebon. The unique network of Tfeboh Basin fish ponds, still functional due to their ingenious line works ? the Golden Canal and the New River ? features the character of a natural lakeland, although it is the outcome of the technical genius of fish?pond masters in the 16th century.