In the early 16th century, ore mining in Krušné hory (Ore Mountains) was not possible without water. Therefore, mining companies in Horní Blatná hired builder Štěpán Lenk to build a 12-kilometre long ditch to supply water to the mining and metallurgical works in Horní Blatná from the catchment of the Černá River near Boží Dar (Godsend). With its source in the peat bogs near Boží Dar, the ditch winds along the hilltops of the Ore Mountains at an elevation ranging from 945 to 975 metres via Rýžovna, Bludná and continuing along the north side of Blatenský vrch (Blatná Hill), it diverts above Horní Blatná. Its completion resulted in boisterous development of mining in the area of Horní Blatná, as well as in the territory along the whole waterworks. In the 1550s, the canal became the exclusive property of the town of Horní Blatná. In 1570, by a special edict issued by Maxmilian II, the ditch was declared as protected by the sovereign and Horní Blatná was awarded a hereditary right to collect water and malt fees forevermore. This is also the origin of the name of the ditch in German Erbwassergraben – literally meaning hereditary-water ditch.
In the early 1990s, the ditch was almost a ruin – its bed was clogged, numerous protective dikes were damaged and concrete structures were destroyed. The current renovation of the historical waterworks launched by the Agricultural Water Management Administration was based on environmental reasons – it was necessary to capture humic water from the Boží Dar peat bogs and to channel it through the Blatná Ditch away from the Myslivna water reservoir, as it is the main source of drinking water for border municipalities. The renovation project was processed according to preserved archive project documents submitted for the final approval of the ditch reconstruction executed by a water co-operative in Horní Blatná in 1929. The latest renovation commenced in 1995 and was completed in 2001.
Tourist leaflet – available at Blatenský vrch (Blatná Hill)