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Komensky Trail – In the Footsteps of Belief and the Teacher of the Nations

Komensky Trail – In the Footsteps of Belief and the Teacher of the Nations
Komenského cesta
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This track will take us back to the times when our mountains were remote and distant from any events in the country and provided shelter to all those who came into conflict with the rulers, i.e. to the beginning of the 17th century. Conflicts between Catholics and Protestants emerged and culminated in the Battle of Bila Hora in 1620. Many non-Catholics left the country for Silesia, crossing the border mountains to seek protection from their Protestant masters. Among those who decided to leave their motherland because of their beliefs was also the bishop of the most well-known Czech Protestant church - the Czech Brethren’s Union, Jan Amos Komensky (1592-1670), one of the greatest European pedagogists and humanist philosophers, writer and reformer. The revenge of the Catholics only slowly approached the mountains, remote from the country’s capital, and Komensky found temporary asylum at the Bila Tremesna chateau in 1626-1628. In the reputed local library, he found inspiration for his most well-known pedagogical work, Didactica Magna. He also visited other places in the submontane region during his stay. In winter 1627 he visited the palace of his supporter, Vaclav Zaruba of Hustirany, in Horni Branna. Vaclav Zaruba was spending the last years of his life in his confiscated demesne, already held by Albrecht Valdstejn. The palace today also houses a small museum which reminds us of Komensky’s stay and work. His journey to exile started here. He left his motherland in Cerna Voda near Zacler, where a simple memorial on the Rose Yard reminds us of this sad event. Route: From T.G.M. Square in Vrchlabi ©, take Krkonosska Street to the north. Turn left by the Church of St. Lawrence together with the yellow- and green-marked tourist path. Turn left beyond the Augustinian monastery and take Dobrovskeho, U Nemocnice and Belopotocka streets. Join the main road to Jilemnice, go straight across the roundabout and turn left towards Horni Branna. The following route: Horni Branna © - turn left, Dolni Branna - turn right towards Studenec, turn left after Dolni Branna towards Horni Kalna, turn left before Horni Kalna onto an unmarked dirt way, Predpekli hill, follow the dirt way heading southeast, Na Lanech hill, join cycling track 4294, Hostinne © - join track 4300, Cermna ©, Vlcice - join track 4299, Javornik - follow the green-marked tourist path north, Hladikova plateau - join the yellow-marked tourist path for Hoffmannovy chalets ©, join the blue-marked cycling track for Cerny Dul ©, continue above the Cerny Dul quarry (track 4301), Horni Lanov (blue-marked cycling track), Vrchlabi - bus station ©. The track is 58 km long and runs along asphalt, reinforced and dirt roads.