On its banks stands a small town founded in 1264 as Dokez by King Přemysl Otakar II. It was supposed to serve as a guard point for two provincial trade routes – Mělníká and Žitavská.
Doksa meant stagnant water in Czech, the name was later pluralized to Doxa (1405) or Doksy 1460. The German population from the 13th century used the name Hirchsberg, Deer Mountain, because the settlement was surrounded by forests where deer lived (Geographic names of Czechoslovakia, MF, 1982).
Spor or Machu
The pond was founded in the 14th century by order of the emperor and Czech king Charles IV. Karel Hynek Mácha stayed here repeatedly in the 30s of the 18th century, and he set the story of the lyric epic Máj in its surroundings.
The poet and traveler saw the large body of water for the first time in August 1832, when he was twenty-one years old. He arrived here with his friend Eduard Hindle, a frequent traveling companion. The landscape and the stories told in the pub over a glass of wine stimulated his imagination to write the novel Gypsies and the extensive poem May, which overshadowed his other works.
The inspiration was an ancient patricide, more than 60 years had passed since Mách’s stay.
The pond belonged to the Valdštejn estate, walking on the forest paths was prohibited, and swimming was also prohibited except for a few places.
But the name Máchovo jezero was used en masse already after the Second World War, until then it was rejected due to the resistance of the German minority. The designation Máchovo jezero was officially approved only in 1961 after many years of disputes, before that it was written Doksy u jezero.
And why Třeskoprsky? Valdštejnský castle in one of its exhibitions presents the legendary comic Four-leaf clover, in which the main part of the plot is located in Doks/Třeskoprsk, the lake is called Blaťák.
Subject to confiscation
The docks do not offer much to see, in 1842 all the wooden houses on the square burned down during a big fire. Restoration began with stone buildings.
The residence was built by Jan of Vartenberk with a manor house and a brewery at the end of the 16th century.
After Vartenberk, the estate was acquired by Václav Berka from Dubá and had the residence expanded. After the Battle of Belahora, it was confiscated by Albrecht of Valdštejn, a huge non-Catholic booty was shared, the Duke of Frydlant multiplied his fortune.
Valdštejn’s murderer Walter Butler managed to acquire the local estate and castle after the massacre of the duke and his friends in 1634 in Cheb.
But not for long, since 1680 the castle was regained by the Valdštejn family and they began to rebuild and modernize it in baroque style, it became their ancestral seat. After World War II, they lost their property as part of the Beneš decrees.
Then, in the 1950s, a military research institute was located in the castle, from 1963 to 2002 it “hosted” a secondary vocational school and a training school with a boarding school.
The park around the castle was never publicly accessible until 2014, when it was acquired by the city, and a year later by the castle.
Memories of Valdštejny
The municipality reconstructed the building for a considerable sum, the main exhibition is the Valdštejn family and their influence on Doksko and northern Bohemia.
Nothing of the original equipment remains, but there are interpretive panels and touch screens that are packed with information.
The castle had a large library with about 24 thousand volumes, today it is part of the Historical Library of the Academy of Sciences.
The Valdštejns greatly influenced the industrial course of the monarchy, the president of the board of directors of the Turnovsko-Kralupsko-Prague Railway was Count Arnošt Antonín Valdštejn-Vartenberk, another count, Kristián, had a factory built in Sedlec near the old Pilsen in 1856, in which, with the support of Arnošt Antonín, he gained experience in engineering engineer Emil Škoda. The factory later moved to Pilsen, Škoda bought it and built the largest engineering company in Austria-Hungary.
Střekov Castle is a place that will captivate you even in the rain. Richard Wagner could tell his story
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Doksy, from an agricultural region – excellent hops were grown here, fishing was practiced – began to appear more and more often as a place suitable for relaxation. The small town was turning into a recreational and spa resort, in 1906 a municipal spa was established here, and the construction of hotels and boarding houses began. There were cruise ships on the lake. At the time, Staré Splavy presented itself as Boemischer Lido, a Czech Lido modeled after the famous Italian spa.
In the 1930s before the Second World War, as everywhere in the Sudetenland, conflicts began to arise between Czechs and Germans, a big dispute began over the name of Mácha, the Czech Tourist Club unveiled a commemorative plaque to the poet on the Jarmilina Rock near Starý Splavů, which also belonged to the recreation area. This was later removed by the Germans. Jarmila’s rock is currently in a private area.
Further development of the area occurred after World War II.
An exhibition in the oldest surviving house in Doksy is dedicated to the memory of Karel Hynk Mácha.
Clover of cartoon fidgets
The castle offers one more excursion into history. Although comics appeared in children’s and youth magazines in the 1960s, Kája Saudek created cult ones, the appearance of Myšpulín was the beginning of an endless story. On May 15, 1969, a notebook appeared, today balanced in gold, called Professor Myšpulín’s Inventions.
A four-leaf clover of animal characters who experience various adventures together has reached readers. Initially, longer-term publishing was not considered, a dozen stories were published without numbering.
Since then, in more than 50 years, other generations of readers have met the cat Myšpulín, the pig Bobík, the dog Miss Fifinká and the hare Pinďa. The idea of the artist Jaroslav Němeček and his wife Lucie brought hundreds of incredible adventures, penetrated into two feature films, has language mutations, the characters were the model for postage stamps.
Ljuba Štíplová naturally belongs to the Němečkovs, she wrote 150 stories at the beginning of the project. You could say that the characterization of the characters came from her.
The story got to Doks, i.e. Třeskoprsků, logically, the Němečeks bought a house here, the surroundings “blew” into the story, similar to Hrusica in Josef Lady’s stories.
The huge popularity gave birth to a museum in Doksy, which was opened in 2011 in the former city library, in 2019 it moved to the castle floor.
There are comic books on display, postage stamps, large animal shamrocks, they show a movie, but it’s a bit stiff at the moment. Even my eight-year-old granddaughter confirmed it, she was expecting more interactivity than a few touch screens and the possibility to color some pictures or answer quiz questions.
In the cash register, they have a lot of souvenirs reminiscent of four-legged favorites, the granddaughter liked the T-shirt.
For those who prefer chilling feelings to the calm poetry of cartoon heroes, the castle underground is for them. The Labyrinth of Haunted Tales is located here.
Where around: The lake offers great possibilities for recreational and sports use, the Bezděz castle, the remains of the rock castle in Sloup, the castle in Běla pod Bezdězem, the Peklo valley near Česká Lípa, Hradčanské stény, Kokořínsko, Holansko are also attractive to visit.
Bledulový paradise in the valley of romantic Hell
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In the Novopacka Klenotnica, among semi-precious stones and spiritualist seances
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