Wednesday, 8 November 2017
So what is this building?
I was researching a trip for a friend of mine when I came across this building. The area I was exploring is the Sobeslav Blat area south west of Tabor, which is famous for its folk traditions and architecture. The buildings are often ornately decorated with Bohemian Baroque plasterwork and I wanted to show this to my friend.
I had travelled through several lovely villages and this, Svinky, was the last on my list. I drove past this building and did a double take. On first appearances it was the village chapel, which indeed it is. But what was it doing with a huge arch at the back, big enough to allow a cart in?
Some online research and I discovered that the building was chapel and smithy! Two of the most important buildings in a farming village were combined in one.
Update 9th November 2017
I have been thinking about this overnight and it has occurred to me that there is something archetypal about this. The blacksmith traditionally is seen as having magical powers. The ability to master fire so you can turn rocks into first liquid and then solid treasures must have appeared magical. There is the famous British ballad (No. 44 Child's Ballads) - the Twa Magicians - in which one of the magicians is a magic. At Stonehenge archaeologists have discovered the grave of a smith/shaman.