Around the Munic Pond

The Munický Pond - "Muničák" - with its banks caresses the edge of Hluboká nad Vltavou and the hunting lodge Ohrada, is home to all kinds of water vermin and free birds as well as those in the zoo, and in general: despite its popular name, implying a store of explosives and ammunition, it behaves practically quite exemplarily, and where its waves reach, it decorates. In shape, since its expansion in the summer of the Lord 1514, it resembles a triangle from the sky. Or Africa. Or a heart. To each his own... For half a millennium, it has given sustenance to fishermen as well as colonies of waterfowl. But most importantly: Few hiking or cycling trails offer you a refreshing journey through a cultural, man-made landscape, but so sensitively that you can't even tell at first glance, and with a "devilish" elevation gain of "0" - in other words, zero - metres! Between us: which of the routes has this? You won't even sweat in your tank top... 

It doesn't matter where you start your roughly seven-kilometre journey around "Muničák", which runs mainly along the 1051 cycle route. Whether you start from the parking lot of the Kaufland in Hlubok or the Ohrada hunting lodge or from the dam by the Jewish cemetery. Stick to the yellow trail and the footpaths, cyclists on route 1051. When it's not completely rained out, almost any moderately fit walker and cyclist, including a stroller for little walkers in training, will walk and ride past Munic Pond. Only at the inlet does it tend to get muddier as fall progresses. But we recommend the trail along the edge of the pond especially for Rumcajs in autumn. They will go under so many oak trees that they will collect so many acorns in the bamboo that the prince will be sick of the ammunition! And on the west bank so many pheasants will fly against them that one will not be afraid... For we will pass by the pheasantry, where one must be considerate and admire the hundreds of beauties behind the fence in silence. But the feathers will soon be replaced by the neighing of horses, as we pass the Vondrov yard, home to dozens of noble sheepdogs: crows, reds and brownies, whites and other absolutely the most beautiful animals in the whole world, which the horse has always been.     

The only contact with the heavier car traffic we will have on our journey will be at a few hundred meters past the Ohrada hunting lodge and the zoo. Be careful here, but it's really only a few minutes walk along the edge of the road and then a shuffle back to the footpath to the shore. This will lead us to the beautifully rounded Baroque chapel of St Roch, which has guarded the road to Ohrahra and Vondrov since 1700, and we are on the causeway. It is 1,300 metres long, reinforced by the roots of dozens of trees, and once played an important role in the defence system of Hluboká. At its foot, at the turn into town to Podhradské rybník, you can't miss a mysterious place with a strange atmosphere. A Jewish cemetery from the middle of the eighteenth century lies hidden under the trees right in the dam. As far as I know, it is probably the only cemetery that was founded right in the body of the massive pond dam. It was the final resting place for the Jewish community from the surrounding area. The last person buried here was Rudolf Ziegler, a businessman from Nové Hrady, in 1941...

The Munický Pond dam is part of the Hluboká Dam Natural Monument and the entire pond and its surroundings are a Site of European Importance. If you are lucky, sometime in late October you can catch Munický Pond, which is part of an ingenious pond system, being prepared for harvesting. This then reveals the gently sloping bottom in all its glory and you can see the course of the Munický Brook, which feeds the pond, and how it rushes along its branches to the neighbouring Pohradský and Dlouhé and other ponds of the Hluboká pond system. With its 118 hectares and 843,000 cubic meters of water, Munický is one of the twenty largest ponds in the country, but it can be circumnavigated in an hour and a half at most, including stops to count pheasants in the pheasantry and collect acorns. However, it would be a great pity not to hurry and visit the zoo and the Museum of Hunting, Forestry and Fishing in the Ohrada Chateau. From June through the summer you can also take a boat ride on the water, the pier is right at the entrance to the zoo or on the opposite shore by the roundabout and the parking lot at Kaufland.

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