Fishpond Network in the Trebon Basin
Fishpond Network in the Trebon Basin is part of the Tentative list of Czechia in order to qualify for inclusion in the World Heritage List.
Map of Fishpond Network in the Trebon BasinLoad map
The coordinates shown for all tentative sites were produced as a community effort. They are not official and may change on inscription.
This was a case of serendipitous discovery for me during my car trip in Southern/Central Czech Republic (August 2020). I decided just the day before to spend a night in Třeboň on the way from Český Krumlov to Telčm following sugegstions from the locals, and then, the day after, it was just because I took the "wrong" road trying to reach the Renaissance church in the minuscule hamlet of Hamr that I could really appreciate the fishpond network.
The day was moody, foggy and rainy, very unlucky for late August, but this might have let me appreciate it more. The number of fishponds is incredible. There is no village that doesn't have its own, either in its "town centre" or hidden in the wood behind the main group of houses. Many are also connected by canals. At some point I felt as I was a guest in the realm of ducks (there are fish, too, of course, but they're not so apparent and decidedly less loud): it is not uncommon to drive/ride on narrow embankments between fishponds, through rows of tall trees, and see large groups of lake birds roaming the cane fields. All the region is very enjoyable by bike, and you'll see many in the high season.
Besides the natural fascination, there are interesting histories too. First of all, just the fact that most of the ponds are the fruit of century-long labor and still at work these days is astounding, especially with regard to one of the largest ponds, the Svět (= "world"), on the outskirts of Třeboň, which dates back to the XVIth century and originates from the stubborness of the local lord and has its story lively recounted on Czech/English/German informative shields on site. So, this gives the whole site a great historical value as man-shaped landscape (and by the way, for very similar reasons the Navigli system in Lombardy should at least appear on the tentative list, too, but I'm digressing).
Moreover, the town of Třeboň is very nice and very well preserved, more because of its small centre surrounded by the Golden canal, the remarkable gothic church and the central square than for its castle (zámek), whose interior has little else to offer with respect to other noble residences (and very little is left of the original Renaissance interiors). From the municipal tower you can embrace all the town and the surrounding pond-rich region. Still, coming from Český Krumlov, I found the connection with the once powerful Rožmberk (whose last descendant died here after having sold out of all his other properties) and Schwarzenberg dinasties charming, and their presence is very well symbolised by their mausoleum on the shores of the Svět, a recommended sight. But there are also many other picturesque villages in the countryside (as the aforementioned Hamr near Val).
All in all, the region surely has the potential to become a WHS because of its richness and uniqueness and, not unimportantly, of the many possibilities to be enjoyed. It surely has to be extended beyond the actual six proposed landmarks, but in my opinion this will just increase the already high possibility of being included in the list.
- Photo: pond complex between Klec and Val.
I was taking a Flix bus from Brno, Czechia, to Linz, Austria, and this bus went through 3 WHSs (Trebic, Telc, Cesky Krumlov) and 1 TWHS that is Fishpond Network in the Trebon Basin. I had been to all the 3 WHSs before on two different occasions. It seemed like groups of Chinese tourists were using this bus line to go from one WHS to another.
But I did not go into the town center of Trebon because the bus station in Trebon is a little farther out (500m?) from the center.
Still, I was able to take this photo of Svet Pond, one of the 5 sites included in the nomination, from the bus when it was running on E49.
I don't know the boundary of this nomination, so I'm not sure if I can claim that I was there, but I got to read about this site and understood the way the carps the Czech people ate on Christmas were supplied. This site would be a unique one if it gets on the WH list.
Read more from Tsunami here.
Třeboňsko fishpond landscape is one of very few cultural landscapes in Central Europe that would deserve the WHS status. Třeboňsko region, now protected natural area and the UNESCO Biospheric reservation, was intensively cultivated since 14th century, but the most extensive works occurred in 16th century. Due to flat geomorphology and plenty of water, the area used to be vast marchlands covered by thick forests before the colonization in 12th century. Most of wetlands were turned to fishponds (all together over 500 fishponds of diverse sizes) with very sophisticated water management.
The largest fishpond is Rožmberk with original area around 1000 ha (now 490 ha) built by Jakub Krčín z Jelčan in 1584-1589. Seventy-six oaks of age upto 400 years strengthen the 2.4 km long embankment. The most prominent work for the water management is Zlatá Stoka (Golden Canal), which is 46.2 km long, wide 2-4 m, deep 1-1.5 m, slope 30m, and built in 1508-1518 by Štěpánek Netolický. Besides works for the water management, the historical center of the area, town Třeboň, was also included to the series. It has an intact town center with prolonged square, houses with porticoes, a castle, and preserved fortification (the ponds were also utilized for this purposes). Třeboň is somehow similar to WHS Telč, but it has different fleur.
(The main altar of the gothic Augustinian church in Třeboň was originally decorated by paintings of the Master of Třeboň Altar from 14th century, now in National Gallery in Prague. It is magnificent gothic work, impact of which is comparable to Giotto according some scholars.)
Due to the picturesque landscape with plenty of fishponds and small villages, Třeboňsko region is very popular summer holiday destination, and I visited it many times already. Not all of fishponds are suitable for swimming, but some of them are. Besides swimming, one can walk or cycle around, pick mushrooms and blueberries, etc.
Several natural reserves protecting original marshlands, not remodeled to fishponds and thus not included to the proposed fishpond landscape, are also accessible for visitors such as Červené Blato in the southern part of Třeboňsko protected area.
The advice from UNESCO authorities on the original nomination in 2005 was that the state party was encouraged to significantly extend the number of nominated components, which was only six: 1 town (Třeboň), 3 canals (Zlatá Stoka = Golden Canal, Nová Řeka = New River, and Stará Řeka = Old River), and 2 fishponds (Rožmberk fishpond, and Svět fishpond). Due to the lobby of "fish industry", the extension has been stopped. They were afraid that the inscription would have a negative impact on their business. On the other hand, the OUV of this TWHS is directly based on the production of fish and not on protection of natural beauties. It means that the nomination process should be done in cooperation of all affected sites.
As the nomination process started in 2001 and was deferred in 2005, I am skeptical concerning smooth inscription. However, the project that includes the entire Třeboňsko region as "The Třeboňsko Fishpond Landscape" with ambitions becoming WHS was announced by Ministry of Environment in 2015. We will see...
PHOTO: Part of Golden Canal in front of one of many fishponds in northern part of Třebonsko landscape. Golden Canal snakes through the landscape around fishponds and marshlands, which have different water-level as compared to the Canal. The Golden Canal is not of very high esthetical qualities, but it is purely utilitarian work. It is called Golden because of high commercial profit for the owner. It is incredible that it is in operation already 500 years.
Visited March 2017.
I can admit that I see a big potential in this site. The fishponds around Třeboň are ones of the oldest in Europe, and some of them are really huge and still in use. The first fishpond was created in 14th century but the big transformation of the area started one century later when Peter IV of Rožmberk invited German fishermen. In the city itself and around there are lots of boards with information about this area (also in English and German). You can rent a bicycle and spent a day cycling around the ponds. The tourist information center distributes some useful maps and can arrange a guided tour of the chateau.
Třeboň is just a half an hour by bus from České Budějovice; in the morning you can visit WHS Holašovice, come back to České Budějovice and then take another bus and spend an afternoon in Třeboň. Český Krumlov is another WHS very close to fishponds but there’s not direct public transportation between both sites – you have to change again in CB.
Revised nominated needed including more sites beyond Trebon Fishpond Heritage
2001 Added to Tentative List
The site has 5 locations
26 Community Members have visited.