Replacing a watercourse at a convenient location can bring people a variety of benefits. First of all, we get the possibility to regulate the water level in the rivers, but the dam also serves as a source of drinking or service water, the potential for electricity generation or recreational area. But many of them are also unique architectural works. So where to go in the Czech Republic for the most interesting ones? Czech dams are not only beautiful but also interesting from the point of view of tourism.
The peak reached the human desire to control the unbridled forces of nature throughout the last century, when the realization of such difficult constructions enabled the emergence of new technologies and mechanization. While in 1918 only less than one third of river flows were regulated in the territory of today's Czech Republic, it was 90% in 1990. Until today, 136 major dams were built in our territory. Some of them are relatively small reservoirs, which serve primarily to regulate the flows or as a source of water, others have absorbed the whole valleys and villages and their volume and size make them our largest water areas. Our most precious dam on the Vltava River Orlik, which covers an area of 27.3 km? can hold up to 716 million m? water. However, the area can not be measured with the Lipno I dam on the same river (48.7 km²). Most other dams with these water giants do not match the surface or the content, but they are the architectural beauty or the importance they have as summer holiday destinations. Which of them do we consider the 21st Century to be the most worthy of attention? You will find this in the following overview, which we have sorted by date of the dam.
Where to find it: near Znojmo
in southern Moravia
On which flow was built: Jevišovka
Date of establishment: 1894-1897
Total volume: 551,000 m3
The dam near the picturesque historical town of Jevišovce, located about 17 km east of Znojmo, is the oldest dam built on the historical territory of Moravia. Along with the Marianske Lazne dam there is also the oldest dam in the whole Czech Republic. It was built during the years 1894-1897, both because of the regulation of the flow of the disobedient Jevišovka river and the supply of sugar refinery in the nearby Hrušovany with water. Its age and the unique way of construction of the dam made it a significant memory of Central European significance. For a long time, it was also a sought-after destination for holidaymakers who are well served by a smaller beach and campsite on its shore. At present, however, like a number of other dams, it is troubled by a very important problem - the blue or the "water flower". These stubborn aquatic bacteria can infest water at the beginning of the summer, basically prematurely ending even an unplanned holiday season.
2. Lake Jezeří
On which flow was built: Village stream
Date of establishment: 1902-1904
Total volume: 53,000 m3
One of our smallest but also most beautiful dams can be found in Northern Bohemia about 30 km northeast of Chomutov. It was built by the then owner of the estate and chateau Jezeří Mořic Lobkovice in the years 1902 - 1904 as a drinking water supply for the nearby surroundings - Kundratice, Nové Sedlo, Jezeří, Ervěnice and Holešice. The Lobkovický brewery in Nové Sedlo also took the water. Today, however, none of these municipalities exists, because they all fell victim to lignite mining. The water in the tank is still of the highest infant quality. To prevent contamination, the tank is fenced and inaccessible to the public for bathing. The whole building is beautifully merged with the surrounding area and belongs to the state-protected technical monuments - it is part of the protected area of Jezeří Chateau.
3. Bedrichov (Black Nisa)
Where to find it: near Bedřichov
in the Jizera Mountains
On which flow was built: Black Nisa
Date of establishment: 1902-1906
Total volume: 2 103 000 m3
Catastrophic flood in the year from 30 to 31 7. 1897, which transformed a large part of eastern and northern Bohemia from Vrchlabí to Pardubice into one large "puddle", gave the then Austro-Hungarian watermen a good idea to think about how to prevent devastating floods in the future. Consultant from German Aunts prof. Otto Intze, invited by the Water Cooperative to regulate river flows and to build dams in the Gulf of Nisy basin founded by local industrialists, recommended to build 6 dams on the tributaries of the Lužická Nisa river. The result was 5 - besides Bedrichov it was still Harcov, Fojtka, Mlýnice and Mšeno. Practically all of them were built during the years 1902 - 1906 and form the oldest system of dams in our territory. The design and construction of Bedrichov, which at that time lay in an area dominated by the German-speaking population, was practically completely in German hands. The main designer was Otto Intze, along with Dr. Lepplou from Berlin, the construction of the dam was entrusted to the companies Aeckermann of Klagenfurt and W. Relle und Neffe, W. Streitzig und CO. Its altitude 775 meters above sea level makes it our highest dam. The location in the Jizerské Mountains also records its recreational function - it attracts both bathing and fishing, the surroundings are also interwoven with a number of cycle paths. In winter, Bedřichov's complex turns into an eldorado of winter sportsmen - cross-country skiers and downhill skiers.
4. Harcov (Liberec Dam)
Where to find it: the city of Liberec
On which flow was built: Harcovský potok
Date of establishment: 1902-1906
Total volume: 687,000 m3
The construction of one of the other lovely dams of our territory, Liberec, Harcova, also caused a natural disaster from 1897. Its main designer was also the best European damper, prof. Otto Intze and the main investor Water Cooperative to regulate river flows and build dams in the Gorge of Nisy. Since it lies on the Harcov Creek, it is known as the Harcov Dam, sometimes also as the Liberec Dam. On one side, the forest is adjacent to it, the other one is one of the beautiful Liberec residential areas - Old Harcov. In addition to preventing an unpleasant flood, it was originally to supply the textile textile industry with water, nowadays it is known mainly as a recreation center for Liberec and its surroundings. There is one interesting point to the dam. In the year of its completion, in 1906, a German-Czech exhibition (Deutschböhmische Austellung) took place in Liberec and the dam became an important part of it. A number of exhibition pavilions stood on its shore, and its surface was hosted by "naval battles" that varied the show's agenda.
5. Water reservoir Bystřička
On which flow was built: Bystřička
Date of establishment: 1907-1912
Total volume: 4 960 000 m?
The dam of Bystřička can be found in the very center of the Wallachian region, in the middle of forested Vsetínské vrchy near Valašské Meziříčí. Like other dams, it was supposed to protect the Wallachian region from destructive floods in the first place, but its next planned purpose is quite unique. It was intended as a reservoir to supply the planned water canal to the water of the Elbe, Oder and Danube. Although this unique project did not eventually take place, the Bystřička reservoir still stands as a reminder. Today it is used mainly as an attractive recreational center, serving both swimmers and fishermen.
6. Les Království (Bílá Třemešná)
On which flow was built: Elbe
Date of establishment: 1910-1920
Total volume: 9 165 000 m3
The 1897 flood led the waterman to think about the flow of the Elbe. They resulted in the planning and later realization of several water works, including two at its upper reaches: the Labská dam just below Špindlerův Mlýn and the dam of the Království Forest above Dvůr Králové nad Labem. It has been known for some time under the name of the nearest town: Bílá Třemešná. Construction work started with Ing. J. Velflík already in 1910, their main part was completed in 1914. Due to the outbreak of World War I, its complete completion was delayed and completely completed only in 1920. The main function of the dam is water retention and production of electric energy. The whole work is a perfect combination of function and architectural perfection, enhanced by the beautiful forested surroundings of the Krkonoše foothills. The building is one of the most interesting and beautiful architectural works of our entire territory. In 1964, it was rightfully declared a national technical monument.
7. Desná (Protržená přehrada)
Where to find it: near Desná village in Liberec
On which flow was built: White Desna
Date of establishment: 1912-1915
Total volume: originally 400,000 m3, now 0
With its 820 m above sea level, the dam of Desná was the original holder of a high record among Czech dams. This was only valid until September 18, 1916, when the biggest catastrophe connected with the dams in the territory of today's Czech Republic - the rupture of its dam. The misfortune happened unexpectedly quickly. The first trickle flowing through the dam was recorded by the workers around 15.30, at 16.15 the barrier was already completely broken. The evacuation of the village of Desná, on which the water began to roll, therefore practically did not take place and the village was largely swept away from the earth's surface. Totally disappeared 29 residential buildings and 11 glassworks, another 62 houses were seriously damaged. The cause of the disaster has long been the subject of controversy, mainly due to the lawsuit with the authors and building supervision of the construction, which lasted for 17 years. The guilty may have been a geological disaster lying deep beneath the dike, but its role may have played a hurry in the construction during the unstable period of World War I. After its rupture, the dam was never renewed, but its remains are still visible. In 1996 they were proclaimed a national cultural monument.
Where to find it: in eastern Bohemia near Chrudim
On which flow was built: Chrudimka
Date of establishment: 1925-1934
Total volume: 22,000,000 m3
The Seč dam lies just like Pastviny in the east in the Pardubice Region, but practically exactly at its opposite end. Its main purpose is the same as for other waterworks: to protect lowland areas from seasonal flooding. In addition, the Soči Dam is an important reservoir of potable and industrial water for agricultural irrigation. Of course there is a hydroelectric power plant. While the dam itself was built between 1925 and 1934, the hydroelectric power plant was added to it in 1941-1949. But it is also a very popular destination for holiday makers. It can not only be its beautiful surroundings created by the hilly landscape of the Protected Landscape Area of the Iron Mountain, but also the picturesque ruins of the castles of Oheb and Vildštejn. In 1996, the National Nature Reserve was declared on the slopes above the reservoir, the purpose of which is to protect the unique flora of the scrubbed forest and also a number of unique species of animals, especially molluscs. In the 1941-1946 reservoir of Pardrty, the reservoir of Sachno was built.
Where to find it: in eastern Bohemia near Žamberk
On which flow was built: Wild Eagle
Date of establishment: 1932-1938
Total volume: 11 000 000 m3
Another of the picturesque East Bohemian dams is similar to the Forest of the Kingdom in the foothills, but this time the Eagle Mountains. It extends through the valley of the River Divoká Orlice from Klášterec nad Orlicí to Nekoř near Žamberk in a total length of about 7 km. About 1 km below the 43-meter-high pasture dam, we find another smaller buffer tank Nekoř. The main purpose of the dam is to balance the level of the mountain river after spring snow melting and electricity production, but unlike Lesa Království is, however, used as a recreational area for the large area of Orlicka and Podorlicka. In particular, its charming location is situated in the countryside of the lower part of the Orlické Mountains, the Mladkov Highlands with beautiful views towards the Gate of the Earth. The entire building was built during the years 1932-1938 and a large part of the original village of Pastvina was sacrificed. In the valley, a total of 63 homes, including schools and shops, had to be demolished here. Today, the dam is practically "obsypan" by a number of new houses and cottages, the number of which reaches 500. If you come to this picturesque corner of the Czech landscape, definitely do not miss the visit to Pastvin Dam. In addition to summer fun, this area has something to offer even in winter, whether you are cross country skiers or downhill skiers.
10. Slezska Harta
Where to find it: near the village of Leskovec nad Moravicí in the district of Bruntál
On which flow was built: Moravice
Date of establishment: 1987-1997
Total volume: 218,740,000 m3
The Slezská Harta Dam at Bruntálsko has its area of 8.7 km2 up to the ninth largest dam of our republic, but it has another significant first among them: it is the youngest of all our water works. Several villages were partially damaged by its construction: Nová Pláň, Rázová, Dlouhá Stráň, Lesovec and Roudná, the village of Karlovec was flooded whole. Its main purpose is the supply of drinking water to the surroundings and the regulation of the River Moravice stream, but its recreational function is also significant. Its visitors enjoy yachting or windsurfing, as well as fishing. A large number of fish species have been deployed in the tank and the catches are actually capital. Charming is also its surroundings, formed by several extinct volcanoes - Bruntal volcanoes. It was precisely because of its beautiful surroundings that in 1998 the French filmmakers chose to shoot the exteriors to the film by Joan of Arc.