Žatec and the Landscape of Saaz Hops

Žatec and the Landscape of Saaz Hops
This cultural landscape has been shaped for centuries by the living tradition of cultivating and trading the world’s most renowned hop variety, used in beer production around the globe. The property includes particularly fertile hop fields near the river Ohře that have been farmed continuously for hundreds of years, as well as historic villages and buildings used for processing hops. Urban elements of the property include the medieval centre of Žatec and its 19th to 20th century industrial extension, known as the “Prague Suburb” (Pražské předměstí). Together, these illustrate the evolution of the agro-industrial processes and socio-economic system of growing, drying, certifying and trading hops from the Late Middle Ages to the present.

Description is available under license CC-BY-SA IGO 3.0

Žatec et le paysage du houblon Saaz
Ce paysage culturel a été façonné par des siècles de tradition vivante de la culture et du commerce de la variété de houblon la plus réputée au monde, utilisée à l’échelle planétaire dans la production de la bière. Ce bien comprend des champs de houblon particulièrement fertiles près de la rivière Ohře qui sont cultivés sans interruption depuis des siècles, ainsi que des villages historiques et des bâtiments liés à la transformation du houblon. Les éléments urbains du bien comprennent le centre médiéval de Žatec et son extension industrielle des XIXe et XXe siècles, dénommée « faubourg pragois » (Pražské předměstí). L’ensemble illustre le développement des processus agro-industriels et du système socio-économique de la culture, du séchage, de la certification et du commerce du houblon, de la fin du Moyen Âge à nos jours.

Description is available under license CC-BY-SA IGO 3.0

جاتتس والمنظر الطبيعي لنبات الجنجل في ساز
أخذ هذا المنظر الطبيعي الثقافي شكله على مرِّ القرون من التقاليد الحية لزراعة أشهر أنواع العالم من نبات الجنجل والتجارة بها، حيث يستخدم هذا النبات في صناعة مشروب البيرة في شتى أنحاء العالم. ويضم هذا الموقع حقولاً لزراعة نبات الجنجل وهي تمتاز بخصوبتها الفريدة وتقع قرب نهر أوهجه، وتُزرع هذه الحقول منذ مئات السنين، ويوجد في الموقع أيضاً قرى تاريخية ومبانٍ استُخدمت في تصنيع الجنجل. ويتألف الموقع من عناصر حضرية، من بينها مركز مدينة جاتتس من العصور الوسطى وتوسعها الصناعي الذي بني في القرنين التاسع عشر والعشرين والذي يُعرف باسم ضاحية براغ "Pražské předměstí". ويبين هذا الموقع بكل أركانه تطور العمليات الزراعية الصناعية والنظام الاجتماعي والاقتصادي لزراعة نبات الجنجل وتجفيفه وتوثيقه والتجارة به منذ أواخر العصور الوسطى وحتى وقتنا الحاضر.

source: UNESCO/CPE
Description is available under license CC-BY-SA IGO 3.0

扎泰茨及萨兹啤酒花景观
这里有着世界最知名的、用于全球啤酒生产的啤酒花品种,其种植和交易历经数个世纪,已经发展成为这里的活态传统,进而塑造了当地的文化景观。该遗产包括奥赫热河附近极为肥沃、得到数百年持续耕种的啤酒花田,以及从事啤酒花加工的古老村庄及其建筑物。城市元素则包括扎泰茨的中世纪中心,和该城于19-20世纪扩展的工业新区。新区被称作“布拉格郊区”。以上区域共同展示了啤酒花的种植、干燥、认证和交易方面的农工进程和社会经济体系从中世纪晚期至今的演变。

source: UNESCO/CPE
Description is available under license CC-BY-SA IGO 3.0

Жатец и ландшафт жатецкого хмеля
Этот культурный ландшафт на протяжении многих веков формировался благодаря сохранившимся традициям выращивания и торговли самым известным в мире сортом хмеля, используемым для производства пива во всем мире. В состав территории входят особенно плодородные хмелевые поля у реки Огрже, которые непрерывно возделываются на протяжении сотен лет, а также исторические деревни и здания, используемые для переработки хмеля. К городским элементам территории относятся средневековый центр города Жатец и его промышленная часть XIX-XX веков, известная как «Пражское предместье» (Pražské předměstí). В совокупности они иллюстрируют эволюцию агропромышленных процессов и социально-экономической системы выращивания, сушки, сертификации и торговли хмелем с эпохи позднего средневековья до наших дней.

source: UNESCO/CPE
Description is available under license CC-BY-SA IGO 3.0

Žatec y el paisaje del lúpulo Saaz
Este paisaje cultural ha sido moldeado durante siglos por la tradición viva de cultivar y comercializar la variedad de lúpulo más renombrada del mundo, utilizada en la producción de cerveza en todo el planeta. El sitio incluye campos de lúpulo particularmente fértiles cerca del río Ohře que se han cultivado sin interrupción durante cientos de años, así como pueblos históricos y edificios utilizados para procesar el lúpulo. Los elementos urbanos del bien incluyen el centro medieval de Žatec y su extensión industrial de los siglos XIX a XX, conocida como el “suburbio de Praga” (Pražské předměstí). El conjunto ilustra la evolución de los procesos agroindustriales y del sistema socioeconómico del cultivo, secado, certificación y comercio del lúpulo desde la Baja Edad Media hasta la actualidad.

source: UNESCO/CPE
Description is available under license CC-BY-SA IGO 3.0

View from the south of the characteristic panorama of the Prague Suburbs with hop processing buildings and their chimneys ("forest of chimneys"). © Václav Mach
Outstanding Universal Value

Brief synthesis

Žatec and the Landscape of Saaz Hops is situated in the north-western part of Czechia in a location that provides ideal conditions for growing hops, a central aromatic ingredient in beer production. It consists of two component parts that together illustrate the entire cycle of cultivating, processing and trading the world’s most renowned variety of hops. Component part 1 - Saaz Hop Landscape - consists of rural hop fields and the small villages of Stekník and Trnovany, and component part 2 - Žatec - consists of the historic urban centre of the town of Žatec (Saaz in German) along with its 19th century industrial suburb. Both component parts are geographically close, linked by the river Ohře.

This evolved and continuing cultural landscape and its built heritage associated with hop growing and processing is testimony to a tradition that has been practiced here for more than 700 years and still continues to this day, despite tremendous demographic changes at various points in its history. The features of this striking landscape range from traditional hop fields to buildings used for drying, packing, certifying and storing hops, to parts of the historic transportation network of roads, railway, the river Ohře and other watercourses. These also include supporting administrative, cultural and religious buildings, as well as cultural practices. This landscape, with specific buildings and structures linked to hop production, demonstrates close interactions between the rural hop growing landscape and its urban base.

Criterion (iii): Žatec and the Landscape of Saaz Hops bears exceptional testimony to a strong centuries-long cultural tradition of growing and processing the world’s most renown hops variety. Evidence of this testimony is found in the spatial configurations, urban patterns and buildings of this evolved and continuing cultural landscape. The town of Žatec became a globally recognised centre of hops in the 19th century as a result of innovations in hop production and flourishing global trade undertaken by local Czech, German and Jewish communities. This renown continues to the present day. The exceptional testimony of this cultural landscape is expressed in its traditional hop fields and buildings used for drying, packing, certifying and storing hops, as well as the related administrative, cultural and religious buildings.

Criterion (iv): Žatec and the Landscape of Saaz Hops is an outstanding example of a monoculture landscape. Associated with hop growing and processing in both rural and urban environments over a period of more than 700 years, the property includes outstanding examples of agricultural landscapes, buildings, architectural and technological ensembles. These examples illustrate various methods of hop breeding, drying, preservation, packaging and quality certification that were developed here since the Late Middle Ages and climaxed in the 19th and early 20th century.

The rural landscape is particularly defined by hop fields, with their typical trellises of poles and wires. It also includes rural settlements with preserved farm buildings and barns where hops were dried and stored, and the former residence of the local landlord, the Stekník Chateau, which is a dominant landmark in the landscape as it rises above the still-used historic hop fields. The urban centre of this hop-growing landscape is the town of Žatec, with its municipal warehouses, hop drying kilns, sulphuring chambers, and hop packaging and certification facilities. The town’s exceptional skyline is accentuated by the vertical dominants of the hop-drying kilns and the tall chimneys of the sulphuring chambers.

Criterion (v): Žatec and the Landscape of Saaz Hops is an outstanding example of a traditional agricultural landscape and traditional human settlements related to growing a crop with very special requirements for climate, cultivation and processing. It illustrates continual interactions between people and their environment over a very long period of time in a well-preserved example of the cultural tradition of hop breeding, cultivation and processing in Europe.

The technical knowhow and skills developed and refined here are well demonstrated by the hop fields with their characteristic trellises, drying kilns and other hop-related facilities that were built in the rural area. The processing of the hops grown here had a defining influence on the town of Žatec and its Prague Suburb, where very specific typologies of industrial facilities were created by communities associated with the hop processing business, as well as the residential buildings, educational and religious institutions and amenity centres needed to support this agro-industrial system.

Integrity

The serial property includes all the elements necessary to express its Outstanding Universal Value. Its boundaries adequately ensure the complete representation of the entire cycle of growing, processing and distributing hops.

The two component parts contribute to the Outstanding Universal Value of the site as a whole. Among the most distinctive attributes of component part 1 are the hop fields around the small villages of Stekník and Trnovany. These illustrate the growing and initial processing of hops. The village of Stekník features well-preserved typical brick buildings surrounding a central village square, and an eponymous chateau. A transportation network based on historic roads, railways and water streams enabled access to the hop fields and facilitated the export of hops. This landscape has changed little over the centuries and its current use reflects its historical use.

Component part 2, the historic centre of the town of Žatec and its industrial Prague Suburb, illustrates the further processing, certification and distribution of hops. This urban environment includes all the elements needed to illustrate the last stages of the industrialised “hop cycle,” as well as the administrative and socio-cultural infrastructure that testifies to the specific societal contexts of hop production in Žatec. Traditional knowledge of hop growing and processing developed over the centuries can be considered an intangible attribute. The property does not suffer unduly from adverse effects of development and/or neglect.

Authenticity

Žatec and the Landscape of Saaz Hops is authentic in terms of its locations and setting, its forms and designs, its materials and substances, and, to a degree, its uses and functions. The locations, setting and function of the hop-growing rural landscape in component part 1 have been fully preserved. The locations of hop fields have not changed, nor has the presence of watercourses and historic communication networks. Rural settlements that served as bases for the farmed fields have largely preserved their forms. The built environment has a high degree of authenticity, including individual buildings, farmsteads, the former estate of the local landlord (Stekník Chateau) and the large Baroque granary at Stekník, which was later converted into a hop drying kiln.

The buildings in the historic centre of Žatec (component part 2) display authentic signs of an older traditional method of drying hops in lofts. The authentic forms of the buildings are closely monitored during all refurbishment and restoration projects. Even more recent hop-related buildings with unique functions concentrated in a small area of the Prague Suburb have mostly been preserved. Some of them no longer serve their original function but remain in a relatively stable condition, authentic in form and materials and with many specific details preserved. They are expected to undergo sympathetic conversion.

Protection and management requirements

Both component parts of the property are protected under the National Act no. 20/1987 Coll. on the National Heritage Protection, as amended, in combination with other protective regimes stemming from this Act. At present, the cultural values are administratively protected by Land Use Plans of the village of Zálužice and the town of Žatec. For the hop fields of component part 1, a Landscape Heritage Zone has been outlined for designation and declared by the Measure of General Nature N. 1/2021 in August 2021. The cultural values of Žatec in component part 2 are fully protected by two decrees of the Ministry of Culture which, in several steps, delineate joint heritage areas.

The hop fields located in the property and its buffer zone are also protected under Act no. 97/1996 Sb. on Protection of Hops and safeguarded under a Designation of Origin appellation, both of which regulate the quality and processing of the hops.

Management is the responsibility of the Municipal Office of Žatec through a steering group, the core team of which was established at the municipal level in 2013. The steering group includes the key stakeholders active in the property, and is assisted by working groups focused on specific areas of the management plan. A management plan sets out goals and measures for the effective protection of the property’s tangible and intangible heritage for the period 2020-2030. No major changes are envisaged for component part 1 or the urban structure of component part 2. A key issue that will require long-term attention is finding appropriate uses for historic hop processing buildings that have been left vacant or underutilised in the wake of evolving processes.