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Horní Blatná - Urban Monument Zone 

Horní BlatnáHorní Blatná (literally meaning Upper Marsh Village), a small town with a long mining tradition, is situated in the picturesque countryside at the foot of Blatenský vrch (Blatná Hill) in the Ore Mountains. It was founded near rich tin deposits by Johann Friedrich, Elector of Saxony, in 1532. The original mining settlement soon became one of the most important tin mining centres on our territory.

The small town had a regular layout typical for the Renaissance period and it was built according to a premeditated plan, with designated locations for a church, town hall, hospital, as well as other buildings. The town was originally located on the territory of Saxony and it became a part of the Kingdom of Bohemia in 1546. Mining activities paralyzed by the Thirty Years War were renewed in a small extent in the 18th century, nonetheless, the yields did not meet expectations, and thus, they soon ceased altogether.

In 1919, a company was established in Horní Blatná under the name BLEX in order to continue in the old local tradition of making tin-dipped spoons. A secondary school was opened in the town in 1920; and mining of peat, used mainly as fuel, ultimately ended that same year. The second half of the 1930’s saw the rapidly impairing Czech-German relations. The worsening situation culminated with the signing of the Munich Agreement on September 30, 1938 and the subsequent annexation of the Czech border regions by the German Army. Shortly after that, World War II broke out, bringing suffering upon many people and taking many lives. World War II also meant a major milestone in the history of the region – after Czechoslovakia had been liberated in 1945, the local German inhabitants were displaced and the artificial settlement plan brought repatriates, as well as newcomers from inland into the depopulated border regions. Monuments were later erected to those perished in World War II and to three victims of the death march.

The end of the 20th century brought a wave of housing development to Horní Blatná, new weekend houses were built and the old ones were renovated or reconstructed. In 2000, the municipality made a claim to the state to return lands that were its historical property. In 2001, the local museum located in house No. 127 enlarged its exhibits and the Blex buildings were renovated in the course of years 2001 and 2002. In the same year, the town reacquired its historical lands covering some 86,257 m2 of meadows and pastures, 3,796 m2 of waterways, and 145,680 m2 of forestland.

The year 2002 also saw the rebuilding of the burnt down annex of the look-out tower, the commencement of the sewer system construction project entitled "Perninský vrch" (Pernink Hill), as well as the renovation of the floor in the Chapel of the Holy Cross. Moreover, the local sports club organized the first year of the Mayor's Cup soccer tournament. That year, the town population had 404 permanent residents. The construction of a small bridge over Blatenský potok (Blatná Brook) on the Majakovského (Mayakovski) Street was completed in 2003 – the old bridge had to be removed after being damaged by the floods in August 2002. Furthermore, the construction of sanitary sewerage was completed and the building of a sports complex on the premises of the former sandpit in Lesní (Forest) Street began.

The town is dominated by the Parish Church of St. Lawrence, originally a Late-Gothic church built towards the end of the 16th century and reconstructed to its current appearance in 1754, with a typical octagonal belfry. Several historical houses with a brick ground floor and half-timbered storeys have been preserved, the most beautiful of which undoubtedly is house No. 127, a two-storey half-timbered house with a high half-hipped roof and wooden gable covered with shingle. The tin museum is located on its premises, which is a part of the Horní Blatná – Vlčí jámy (Wolf Hollows) themed nature trail that takes visitors to the remains of former shafts and large sink-holes.

The Horní Blatná – Vlčí jámy themed nature trail starts in St. Lawrence Square behind the church and it leads through the picturesque countryside all the way up to Blatná Hill. Other popular destinations include Blatenský příkop (Blatná Ditch), a unique technical monument from the golden age of mining. Moreover, the local cycle routes almost lure visitors to jump on a mountain bike and enjoy a pleasant ride through the countryside. In winter, endless routes for cross-country skiing are available for visitors, as well as downhill ski courses in the nearby town of Pernink, or the Neklid or Klínovec ski resorts suitable for more demanding skiers and snowboarders.

Links:

http://www.horni-blatna.cz/
http://www.krusnehory.eu/obce/horni-blatna/