Svatojanska - St. John's LbNA # 41889
|Placed Date||Jul 18 2008|
|Location||Novy Dum, Czech Republic, INT|
In 1721 Empress Elizabeth Eleonore of Brunswick, wife of Charles VI visited Lany estate on her way from Carlsbad. The empress was a passionate hunter, so the owner of the estate, Count John Joseph of Waldstein, organized so called "shooting range" hunt for her. It took place on 26 June 1721 on the location where this cache will bring you. The area was fenced with canvas and in the center a pavillion was build, upholstered by green velvet. Inside there was a table covered by a green tablecloth with a ribbon and two armchairs from where the empress could comfortably fire at passing-by game. In separate parts of the pavillion ladies-in-waiting where watching the hunt and there were also gun loaders. There were many observers around, some of them even had to climb on the trees.
The hunt started at 10 a.m. The count's foresters chased the game from the prepared boxes in the yard and the emress was firing. One of the hit deer ran right towards her and he stopped only 20 steps in front of the pavillion as if it wanted to kneel before the empress. This moment probably impressed all the people present because it is described in all historical records. Within a half a day the empress killed 138 head of deer. After the hunt a glamorous feast was set-up.
Even though the hunt appears to be very barbarian to our today's eyes, it was an event of great importance for the count. It cost him 2370 guldens, more than the whole baroque adaptation of Lany chateau. Waldstein probably won the favour of the empress because two years later he had a statue of St. John of Nepomuk erected on the site. The choice of the saint was not random, St. John of Nepomuk was a personal patron of both the empress and the count. The statue was made by Matyas Bernard Braun according to a design of Frantisek Maxmilian Kanka.
In historical books a proposal is recorded to move the statue closer to the road where more people would see it. Waldstein rejected the idea, and probably by this he preserved this beautiful statue to these days, still standing on the original place in silent woods for almost 300 years. By the way, the area is still called the hunting ground of St. Elizabeth as well as the nearby road crossing.
Cache location: Novy Dum Village is about 50 km west of Prague:
Leave Prague by road 6 (motorway R6), direction Karlovy Vary.
Leave the motorway at exit 25, direction Lany. Go to Lany village.
In Lany follow the direction to Rakovnik. It is well signposted. You will be driving through woods after a while.
About 9 km from Lany you will get to a road crossing. Turn right here, direction Novy Dum. You are getting really close!
After 1.5 km you will see a forest road with a hard surface on your left hand side. There is a small parking on the right, leave the car here.
The statue is about 600 m from the road, direction South. The path is marked by yellow tourist marks, you cannot get lost. The forest road is suitable for bicycles, prams and wheelchairs. There is a bar closing the road entrance, but I never saw it locked - wheelchairs can pass through. Cars are not allowed to drive-in!
Follow the road until you reach a small clearing with a statue in the middle.
The cache is placed in such a way so that it can be accessed also from a wheelchair. You will find it on your left hand side, just as you are entering the clearing, mounted on the bottom of the wooden information panel. The box is a hybrid - it is also a traditional geocache - see the clues link above.
Zdroje / Sources:
Vaclav Vodvarka: "Lany a okoli ve svetle mistnich a pomistnich jmen", Statni okresni archiv Rakovnik, 2006
Jana Croy: "Zamek Lany - 600 let historie", Sprava prazskeho hradu, 2007