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- Špindlerův Mlýn - Czech Republic
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Spindleruv Mlyn is one of the most beautiful and most visited mountain resorts in all of the Czech Republic. It offers many accommodations but still maintains the character of a mountain village. It is located in the Krkonose mountains near to the Polish border (only 150 kilometers from Prague). In the summer time, Spindleruv Mlyn offers the hiker over 200 kilometers of trails and guided hiking excursions.
The are two ski lifts that also operate in the summer which one can take up to the top and hike back down to the bottom. As well as hiking, there are horse back riding opportunities, paragliding, mountain bike excursions, miniature golf, tennis, concerts, children's playgrounds, and boats for rent. In the winter, Spindl is one of the "hot" spots to be in all the Czech Republic.
It is known for it's fabulous ski slopes and winter sport activities. There are three chair lifts and over 20 ski lifts with more then 30 kilometers of ski runs. For the cross-country skier, there are over 70 kilometers of tracks and 150 kilometers of ski tour tracks. As well as skiing and snow boarding, there are winter hiking trails and sleigh trails. Spindl is one of the towns that features and hosts many competitions that are both national and international.
There over 50 restaurants, too many pubs to count, and many discos available in Spindl. The nightlife is not lacking! Every guest can find something to entertain them in the evening hours.
Spindleruv Mlyn is said to be the pearl of the Giant Mountains owing to its exceptionally lovely and favourable location in the heart of Czech highestmountain ranges. Its centre lies in the valley where the Dolsky stream joins the Labe river in the altitude of 710 m (2329 ft) above sea level. Mild climate and enchanting mountain scenery predetermined this part of the world to become one of the most popular centres of tourism in the Czech Republic. The main reasons for visiting Spindleruv Mlyn are all winter sports, especially down-hill skiing and cross-country running and in summer season hiking, mountain biking and water sports. There are lots of hotels, boarding houses and restaurants with high standard of services in Spindleruv Mlyn.
Originally, it was a part of Svatý Petr miner's settlement, already mentioned in the 15th century. Its name comes into being about 1793. Špindlerův Mlýn got a status of the town in 1961. 1300 inhabitans live here. The town is typical for its mountain architecture of the 19th and 20th centuries. Some mountain chalets belong to the town as well. Former wooden church of St. Petr was rebuild in 1803-7 in classical style. Today it just the only one cultural sight. Development of tourism became important in 70s of the 19th century. The Giant Mountains club with its leader Edvard Rudolf Petrák helped to promote the mountain tourism from 1880. Today`s Špindlerův Mlýn is a very popular winter and summer resort. It is one of the most important ski area in the Czech Republic.
Spindleruv Mlyn is situated in the centre of the Giant Mountains which is the highest mountain range of the Czech Republic. Spindleruv Mlyn lies from 715 m to 1310 m (2345 ft - 4296 ft) above sea level and is also situated in the centre of the National Park Krkonose established in 1963 as the first one in Czechoslovakia. The centre of the town spreads around confluence of the Elbe river and the Dolsky brook. Its spring is 9 km from the town centre on Labska louka. The town is protected on all sides by mountain ranges such as Kozi hrbety (1391 m, 4562 ft), Plane (1196 m, 3922 ft) and Medvedin (1235 m, 4050 ft).
The town together with its remote parts and mountain chalets on the ridges covers an area of 77 square kilometres. The town is devided into five main parts such as Spindleruv Mlyn, Bedrichov, Labska, Predni Labska and Svaty Petr.
Bouda na Plani - The chalet was established about 1676. In 1944 German opposition and officers prepared Hitleręs assassination here.
Divci kameny and Muzske kameny - Its name - Divci - comes from the story said about a young girl-shepard, who died nearby. Muzske - "male" are just their similitude.
Dlouhy dul - It was under the Scandinavian glacier in the past. Dolsky potok goes through it. There is a Cervenkaęs memorial on its right bank in Pramenny dul on the southern slope of Lucni hora. Czech representative in skiing O. Cervenka died here in avelanche in 1951.
Hancuv pomnik - Hancęs memorial was build close to the place, where cross-country runner Bohumil Hanc was found frozen after the cross-county race on 24.3.1913. He died soon after the transportation to Labska bouda. The original memorial from 1922 was destroyed during the WWII after which it was rebuild.
Herlikovicke stoly - These very old and the most important mines in the Giant Mountain were used from the 16th to the first half of the 19th century. They were given the status of wildlife preserve to protect rare species of bats.
Horni Misecky - This place of settlement was established in 1642 as a settlement of by lumberjacks and miners. There was done An ore research was carried here in the 50ęs. It is an ideal starting point for cross-country tracks.
Kalmanuv pomnik - Kalmanęs memorial is build at the place where the director of CTK (Czech press agency) Richard Kalman died on 15. 11. 1929 during the snow storm.
Klinove boudy - Former Klinova bouda was burnt down in 1970. Now, there is a spring with tasty water at the place. In the valley of close Klinovy potok you can find the giant pots that are natural preserve.
Labsky dul - It is a valley of glacier origin. You will see Labsky waterfall and a cataract waterfall of Pancava. It is, with its hight of 148m, the highest one in the Czech Republic. The earl of Harrach established in this area the first natural preserve in the Giant Mountains in 1904. Through the valey goes -Buď fit- trail 8 km long.
Labska /former Krausovy Boudy/ - They were established by lumberjacks and miners in 1551. Wood was floated on the Elbe to Stary Kolin and than to Kutna Horaęs mines in the spring months. The Labska dam was being build in 1910 and 1916. Its capacity is 3,37 mil. cubic meters.
Labska souteska - This preserve, where you can see rapids and the giant pots, was established in 1977. Difficult rafting area.
Mechove jezirko - Mossęs lake is the only glacier-origin lake in Czech part of the Giant Mountains. It lies in the 1st part of the National Park. Inaccessible for public.
Predni Labska - Visitors can see real nature curiosity - 180 years old ash.
Predni Zaly - A place with realy nice view to the Giant Mountains and its surrounding There is a 18 metres high open viewing tower from 1892.
Svaty Petr - It is a former miners settlement. There were copper, lead, silver and arsenic ores mined from 16th century here. In the early 20th century attempts to restore mining were done but it is over.
Spindlerova bouda/Spindlerovka/ - An original building was already known in 1784. Its name comes from the major of Bedrichov - Frantisek Spindler - who rebuild the chalet in 1824. The chalet was burnt down twice, in 1826 and 1885. It is a place of a sledge race to Spindleruv Mlyn.
The Giant Mountains are situaded in a mild climate zone with predominating western winds with the erratic character of the weather. The average annual temperature in the Giant Mounatins is somewhere between 6 °C and 0 °C. The warmest month of the year is July and the coldest one is January. Precipitation ranges from about 800 mm on the foothills to 1200-1600 mm on the ridges. The continuous snow cover is formed regularly, beginning in November. Its average depth is 1 - 3 meters. In winter the fallen snow is displaced by strong winds from the windward slopes to the lee and terrain depressions where it can reach 8 meters. Average temperatures in January are from -4.5°C to -7.2°C on Snezka. Sometimes the situation of so called termic inversion occurs when it is sunshiny and warm in higher positions while the valleys have cold temperature and moisture in an air mass is condensed into fog. Then the highest peaks rise as islands from the "white ocean".
Krkonose (the Giant Mountains) became known in the early 16th century when pilgrims, hunters and miners come to the mountains as well as people looking for valuable minerals, stones and herbs for medicinal purposes.
The important day was 13th July 1793 when Emperor Franz II. of the Habsburg Danube monarchy issued letters patent permitting a small church to be built in this part of the mountains. Thus the efforts of the local inhabitants who held their meetings at the mill belonging to a miller Spindler were finally crowned with success. At last the inhabitants were able to build a place of worship to replace the decaying chapel at Svaty Petr (in honour of the patron of miners and metal workers, St. Peter.)
The strange thing is, why the predecessor of Franz II, Josef II, the only Habsburg ever to visit the Giant Mountains, stubbornly rejected the repeated requests that had been made already in 1784 and 1787.
What is curious is that in drawing up the request and consequently in the patent also, the name of the mill founder, Spindler, was quoted as Spindel (English "spindle"). When attempts were made later to translate this German name literally into Czech, the result were names like Bretensky Mlyn in 1842 or Vretensky Mlyn after 1918, incorrectly connecting the mill with the spinning industry. This had to be put right later under a special ministerial decree in 1922.
In June 1802 the foundation stone for a new stone church was laid but work on it was continued for five years because of lack of finances. The first service was held here on 1st November 1807. Strict rules were imposed on pasturing of farm animals when forests regeneration started. A fad of being closer to the nature (J.J.Rousseau) brought first visitors to the mountains. At first they were only the rich, then the general public. Some chalets were converted into inns or restaurants and game-keeping and hunting became common.
The Earl Harrach brough ski from Norway and introduced them to the public. First, his gamekeepers were learnt to use them and then the public. There were established many inns and hotels that offered services for tourists. Many farmers became businessmen. Mlýn became very important not only summer but as well winter spa in the early 20th century. Establishing of the Czech Republic in 1918 brought Czech influence to the Giant Mountains. The menace of the WWII started building of concrete fortresses along the border, that you can see even today.
The Mountain Rescue Service Krkonose is dedicated to ensure the safety of tourists and in case of accidents or injury, treating the victims and saving lives. The Mountain Rescue Service offers information on snow conditions. It gives avalanche advice in winter that areas are closed to the public.
Establishing of the Club of Czech tourists in 1888 and the Union of skiers in the Czech kingdom in 1903 significantly influenced visitatiton of the mountains. The number of accidents increased on dependence of the number of tourists in the mountains. There was a fatal accident on 2nd February 1934. Six tourists froze to death in a snowstorm . This event was a turning-point which led to establishing of Mountain Rescue Service.
Main task is to precede accidents and save lives in case of emergency. During last winter season there were eleven search actions in the Giant Mountains region searching lost tourists. Six of them were in Spindleruv Mlyn area. Members of Mountain Rescue Service treated tourists for an injury in totally 1831 cases in the whole Giant Mountains area from the beggining of the winter till 31st March 2001. From the number were 522 cases in Spindleruv Mlyn.
Summer season is time suitable for repairs of the trails marked with poles. As many as four meters high poles make orientation for cross-country runners in the top parts easier. The poles are installed in a distance of ten meters there. Employees of Mountain Rescue Service maintain 165 kilometers of trails marked with poles.
Mountain Rescue Service is divided into ten districts and its headquarters is in Spinderuv Mlyn. It is possible to meet employees or volunteers of Mountain Rescue Service at ski runs in Spindleruv Mlyn or on the ridges of the Giant Mountains.
Spindleruv Mlyn is the most popular and visited mountain recreation and sport resort in the Giant Mountain. Tourists who will be visiting Spindleruv Mlyn in summer time have a lot of opportunities for active enjoing their free time. In summer time the neighbourhood of Spindleruv Mlyn offers more than 180 km of tourist routes, that are signed in tourist maps of the Giant Mountains. There is a possibility to refresh in a pleasant enviroment of restaurations or snack bars. For demanding tourists there is a big variety of mountain top trails. It is possible to use chair lifts to Predni Planina (1182 m, 3876 ft) and to Medvedin (1235 m, 4050 ft) to get to the ridge. There are more than 100 km signed trails for mountain bike lovers. The Mountain Bike Track map gives you a detailed overview of the network. Cycling out of marked tracks is not allowed. There are prepared mountain bike trips with the guide for groups. Please heed all restrictions and marked trails when you are on the territory of the National Park.
The Spindleruv Mlyn is the best known centre of winter sports in the Czech Republic. This area offers ideal conditions for downhill and cross-country skiing. There are snow-making machines for producing snow for slopes in Ski-area Spindleruv Mlyn. That means that even in less favourable climatic conditions it is possible to ski for 5 months a year. The ski-area Svaty Petr is equipped with chair lifts and ski lifts with total capacity of 4500 skiers per hour. There are three ski runs from the top station Plane (1182 m, 3876 ft). At the bottom terminal, there are ski service, rental and ski-lockers. Downhill slopes in Svaty Petr are approved by FIS so it is possible to arrange ski races. You can take a chair lift and ski lifts to the top of Medvedin (1235 m, 4050 ft). Its capacity is 6000 skiers per an hour. It is also ideal connection to cross-country area Horni Misecky. There are many ski schools in Spindleruv Mlyn that have a lot of experience with downhill and cross-country training and snowboarding. For visitors without skies there are rental shops at their disposal. Ski passes can be purchased at all lifts in Spindleruv Mlyn and in Misecky.
The lifts in this region have a capacity of 13 200 people per an hour and about 30 km prepared downhill runs. Company which secures majority of ski areas in Spindleruv Mlyn is Ski-area Spindleruv Mlyn, a.s.. This company also secures actual snow information and weather report Panorama on CT2 channel (daily 7,30 ? 8,00). For cross-country skiers there are ideal conditions with 70 km of well kept and marked ski routes. 26 km of them are suitable for cross-country racing. Starting points are Horni Misecky, hotel Lesana, a confluence of the Labe and the Bile Labe, Sport-area Svaty Petr, snack bar Na Plani. You can get more information in a winter map of the Giant Mountains. If snow cover is low some routes may be closed to protect the environment. Please heed all infotables. You can also make use of hotels services ? play tennis, swim in hotel?s swimming pools, play squash, skittles, aerobic, fitness and saunas. We recommend sightseeing rides through the town by horse-rawn sleighs, skating, sledge runs or snowtubing.