Friday, 9 October 2009


Forestry is a major industry in the Czech Republic and timber a major export. If you are sitting on a train waiting, the chances are you are waiting for a freight train loaded with wood to pass. Worse, you could be driving along a road in the Sumava National Park when you meet a huge lorry, laden with logs, coming in the opposite direction at a speed totally unsuited to the width of the road.

In the old days the logs were transported by water for example by the Schwarzenberg Canal At an exhibition in the history of the Sumava that I visited at the South Bohemian Museum in Ceske Budejovice I saw a wonderful film on work of the woodsmen. The film showed all stages in the journey from forest to sawmill, including its transportation first on wooden sledges and then by river. On the last stage the woodsmen used iron hooks to bind the logs into rafts, that they then rode down to the sawmill. The photo above comes from a site about these timber rafts, you will find it here.

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