Path: Tourism/ Old Bleaching Cottage

Old Bleaching Cottage

Flower and kitchen garden was built in the year 1801 as the storage of vegetable and fruit for the needs of Ratibořice chateau. Besides vegetable there were growing decorative plants, too. The duchess Catherina of Sagan ordered to wall the garden in three sides in order to protect it against contrary weather in the valley. Except the flowerbeds and paths belonged to the garden facilities garden houses, water wells and small pools. Later the garden was changed into an orchard where now a flock of sheep is keeping out at grass.

Sculptural group of Grandmother with childrenSculptural group of Grandmother with children was created by the outstanding Czech cubist sculptor Otto Gutfreund. Its unveiling in the year 1922 was the great national event. The sandstone sculptural group shows the scene of one summer evening when the grandmother told the children above stars, everybody had own star. People chosen by God had beautiful stars, people like Viktorka clouded. Besides the grandmother we can see the figure of Barunka (later Božena Němcová), her younger sister Adélka, brothers Vilím and Jan and two dogs, Sultán and Tyrl. Grandmother, her proper name was Magdalena Novotná, played the an important role in personal life of the authoress Božena Němcová. Just her person became the main character of this famous book Grandmother. In successive steps this literary work became famous all over the word, there were published more than 350 editions and the book was translated into more than 70 languages, including Chinese and Japanese

Old Bleaching CottageOld Bleaching Cottage
The wooden timbering cottage with shingle roofing was built by the miller Antonín Ruder in the year 1797. Lords of the manor got the building in the forties of the 19th century and they put to it one-storey stone laundry which stands on this place up to the present day. Božena Němcová as a child had never lived in the Old bleaching cottage, in the year 1844 she spent with her children the pleasant holidays there. To these places in Ratibořice the authoress located her childhood memories later in her book Grandmother.

Viktorka´s weir on the river ÚpaViktorka´s weir on the river Úpa
In the neighbourhood of the Old bleaching cottage is Viktorka´s weir that got its name after one character of literary work Grandmother. The original wooden weir was modified several times. Firstly it was in the second half of the 19th century by the construction of the extensive irrigation system for the Ratibořice grassland, later by the regulations of the river Úpa in the twenties of the 20th century. The river Úpa is a quite calm river but during spring thaw it often flooded in a big part of the valley. The last devastating flood was in the year 1997 and the weir had to repair.