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Úvod > Život v obci > HISTORICAL FLOOD LEVEL GAUGE AND OTHER INTERESTING PLACES IN DOLNÍ BEŘKOVICE VILLAGE

HISTORICAL FLOOD LEVEL GAUGE AND OTHER INTERESTING PLACES IN DOLNÍ BEŘKOVICE VILLAGE

The location around the Elbe near Dolní Beřkovice, where you are currently standing, has been surrounded by a number of fishing and farm buildings since ancient times. This historical flood level gauge was originally part of a watermill wall. The large mill wheels were spun by water from the dam between the mill and the island. Next to the mill stood a water tower called Barborka, from where water was pumped into the castle, park, large vegetable gardens and orchard. Further down the Elbe, Dolní Beřkovice connected the ferry with Vehlovice on the opposite side of the river.

The authorities of the Austrian monarchy responded to the growing volume of water traffic by further modifying the Elbe and the planned construction of a weir between Dolní Beřkovice and Liběchov. The mill canal took water from the main riverbed behind the island and therefore the authorities bought the mill from the Lobkowicz estate. Instead of water, the mill and the pumping equipment of the water tower were powered by a steam engine. The mill weir was gradually removed during the sewerage of the Elbe and the construction of the weir between 1903 and 1907.

Behind the mill towards the chateau stood the courtyards of a brewery with a malt house and a distillery. The baroque complex of all these farm buildings from the first third of the 18th century, originally owned by the Lobkowicz family, was demolished in 1986 due to the planned construction of a department store. However, its project did not realized in the end.

The pillar of the mill, on which there is a water meter, recalls not only the historical floods in this village, which have always threatened the locals. The Elbe water also irrigated the gardens around the shores, allowed swimming in the swimming baths around the island, in the winter provided ice for the brewery and local inns or much-needed water for the operation of the local sugar factory. In the 19th century, it was one of the largest in Austria-Hungary.

The landmark of Dolní Beřkovice is the chateau from 1606, rebuilt to its present form in 1853. It originally belonged to the Belvic family. After the Battle of White Mountain (November 8, 1620), this property was confiscated from them in favor of Polyxena Lobkowicz (1566 – 1642). It belonged to the Lobkowicz family until 1948. In the end, they used it only for representational purposes. The last Lobkowicz lived in a more comfortable and modern villa from 1913. Both buildings are surrounded by an large park full of rare trees.

Behind the park was a large garden center in the past, and further to the station was a brickyard, machine shop and wine cellars built in 1870. The local winemakers and the Lobkowicz family from Dolní Beřkovice were the first in the Czech Kingdom to renew the Czech winemaking tradition.  Mělník joined much later. The then scene of this revival of viticulture in the second half of the 19th century were vineyards on a hillside on the opposite side of the Elbe. In 1881, the Provincial Wine Association for the Czech Kingdom was founded in the local inn Na Knížecí. The inn is still the center of local meetings and recreation for tourists and cyclists. After modernization, it was opened in 2008 and 10 years later, the restored Lobkowicz coat of arms returned to its facade.

Today's surroundings of the flood level gauge have undergone the last changes with the construction of a cycle path in 2013.

Today, the castle grounds belong to the Thurn – Taxis family. In the recent past, it has been used as a stage for a number of Czech and German films and series.

 

Castle and mill with water-powered wheels, 1853

Castle and mill with water-powered wheels, 1853

 

Watermill from the river island in the 1920s

Watermill from the river island in the 1920s

 

Demolition in 1986

Demolition in 1986