A hiking trip to Březí
We start our trip to Březí in beautiful, romantic countryside near the Olšovka farm, in a place so idyllic that it is hard to believe that this is where the despicable executioner used to live. There are no records of when and by whom the village of Březí was established. The place where today’s village is located was most likely settled before the 11th century, as suggested by a handful of archaeological fragments that are on display at the Žinkov Museum. There are three chapels in Březí.The first, private Chapel of Tolerance and Understanding is located directly at Olšovka. Another chapel, the so-called Lower Chapel, built in the Baroque style, supposedly came into existence as a result of the gratitude of a farmer who had got stuck in the mud there in his horse-drawn wagon. Having been badly injured by the horses, the farmer promised that if he got well, he would build a chapel next to the road, and he kept his word.
Continue the hike along the marked tourist trail that cuts through the village. You can either go north to Letiny (3.5 km), where there used to be a famous spa whose fame peaked in the late 19th and early 20th centuries and which was managed by balneologist Dr. Vojtěch Mrázek. The Myslivna (Forester’s Lodge) was built in 1882, Villa Anna in 1900, and in 1901 the main spa building, connected by a beautiful wooden colonnade. The spa was even visited by famous people, for example, the composer Haydn, the writers Alois Jirásek and Karek Čapek, and also the actor Miroslav Horníček. The monuments of the current village include the Church of St. Procopius, which dates back to the 13th century, and also Bzí Mountain, the location of the memorable Hussite Assembly of 1419, presided over by Jan Žižka.
If you head south from Březí, the trail will take you to one of the most beautiful small towns in Bohemia, Žinkovy, where you can walk atop the embankment of the picturesque Labuť Pond and around the chateau park, where a weeping spruce tree grows and a tulip tree blossoms in June. It is also where some of the scenes in one of the most famous Czech fairy tales, Pyšná princezna (The Proud Princess) were shot. The next stop along the way is in Neurazy, where you will see an original wooden belfry. In the past, virtually every village had such a belfry. Above Neurazy, you will reach Kakov junction (8.5 km from Žinkovy Square) and not far from it, on the red marked trail in the direction of Plánice, you will come upon the Great Rock, the location of an ancient settlement attributed to the Cham culture from the Late Stone Age – the Eneolithic. The views of the surrounding area are obstructed by fully grown trees, mostly beech, which form the indigenous natural woods in this area. The Kakov – Plánice Ridge Nature Park is the smallest nature park in the former Pilsen-South district. The park is home to several protected plant species – wild garlic, spring snowflake – and the wooded area is also a nesting ground for the black stork and a migration path for the European lynx.
The red tourist trail (Křižík Trail) leading from Nepomuk to Plánice is the path which František Křižík’s mother supposedly used when she took some foodstuffs to her son to Prague, where he was studying. You will see for yourselves what it was like to walk this path, as we will follow the red trail from Kakov to Nepomuk. We will cover less than 11 kilometres, while Křižík’s mother had to cover a distance 12 times as great. In the pilgrimage town of Nepomuk, you can admire four permanent exhibitions – the traditional Municipal Museum, the Museum of St. John of Nepomuk below the church spires, the Historical Machinery Museum at the Old Zelená Hora Post Office, and the birthplace of Augustin Němejc, the creator of the curtain for the J.K. Tyl Theatre in Pilsen, including a gallery featuring his works.
From Nepomuk, take the blue marked trail back to Březí. Along the way, there is Nový Silov, a remote area that is said to be one of the most picturesque pieces of land in the country. Altogether, you will cover approximately 32 kilometres and get to know the old history of the region, which is just as remarkable as the local countryside.