Wednesday, 30 April 2008


When I was first looking for a place to buy, I looked at a derelict cottage on the edge of the lake at Olsina. The two storey ruin is still there, getting more and more derelict by the day. It turns out that the cottage is just in the militarised zone and so, as I suspected at the time, is very difficult to buy, even for a Czech. But the cottage's position is delightful – the lake laps the beach a few yards from the house and the natural amphitheatre of hills is reflected in the mirror of water. The place is so peaceful, there is no noise but the rustle of leaves and the occasional train passing. You can travel by train there, getting off at Hodnov.

The lake like so many around here is not a natural one. It is a result of the Czech love of carp flesh. Built in the 15th Century to provide fish for the Zlata Koruna monastery, the lake then passed into the possession of the Rozmberk family. Every two years the lake is emptied of water in order to harvest the fish. The lake covers some 133 hectares and is accessible only at its south eastern end. Here you will find an interesting example of a large Renaissance house built to accommodate the man charged with looking after the lake. The building is in a sorry state with a large crack in one wall, but there are signs that at long last this may be about to be remedied. A fellow Brit has bought a smaller house closeby. For more on her experiences and efforts to restore the house visit


Philip Wilkinson said...

It's one of the paradoxes of the countryside that these militarized zones are often quiet and peaceful, as well as being havens for wildlife, which can bear with the occasional disruptions caused by army exercises, and relics of architecture, frozen in time.

potok said...


I am pleased to say that the Renaissance house is being restored and there is now an exhibition in there about carp farming and its history


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