Images from where I grew up

Part 1

I took all the pictures on these two pages on Dec. 3, 1996 during a more than 15 km long hike through a few communities in Eastern Bohemia lying about 20 km southwest from Pardubice. Late fall is not the best time for taking pictures of the travel advertisement type in that region. The sky was covered by heavy clouds (as was for the most part of the two weeks I spent then in Bohemia), there was some intermittent light drizzle, temperature was around the freezing point and so the ground was sprinkled by a few snow flakes here and there remaining from an earlier snowfall. And because of the temperature inversion the air was a little bit hazy (smoggy) even though all those places are relatively far from any pollution sources. In short, it was a time when the place shows its rawer face.

Ledec, a small village of about 60 inhabitants almost hidden in a little valley where I lived from my 2 to 19 years of age, and where my family still lives. Ledec means an Icy Place. The name apparently comes from the fact that inside that little valley the snow and ice always stays a few days longer in the spring than everywhere else in the vicinity.

View from the front window of my mother's house in Ledec on a (recently renovated) ranger station. Long time ago it used to be a small flour mill powered by water from a large pond that used to be just behind the present ranger station.
(Not long after this picture was taken, my brother turned the meadow in the forefront into a fish pond that extends more than half way to the ranger station.)

The remains of a medieval fort of lower nobility in the neighbouring village of Svojsice. Such forts used to be in many villages. This one was relatively large and was destroyed during the thirty-year war (1618-1648) and never rebuilt again. Its owners were Protestants and had to leave the country when recatholization started after Protestant nobles lost an important battle in 1620. According to a legend the people from this fort had to leave in a hurry and they left behind a treasure hidden in one of the walls of the fort. Later on, during the thirty-year war when Swedish army briefly occupied the area, a member of that family who served as an officer with the Swedish army was able to recover the treasure. Legend also has it that there used to be an underground tunnel connecting this fort with another castle about 3 km away, shown in the next picture.
The bust on the top of the column on the right is that of the wife of the famous Czech nationalist writer Karel Havlicek Borovsky of the 19th century. She was born in Svojsice.

The castle of Choltice, the largest structure in a small town of less then 2000 people where I attended the elementary school. When I was in grade two or three, we had classes in this castle because of the lack of classrooms in the school building.

The view of the same castle from the other side showing a part of the nice park surrounding the castle. Note that the pond is frozen over but there is no snow on the ground. Such perfect conditions for outdoor skating do occur there on many winters. On that particular day, the ice was not yet thick enough for skating, though.

To Part 2