Water and Fire

Sv. Florián na historické fresce

THE SAINT FLORIAN likes action. The fronts of local houses show him repeatedly as protector against the fire. A stable pose, holding a vessel in his hands, he pours the water onto the burning buildings. He had more success in Český Krumlov than anywhere else. This town never suffered a conflagration.

1388// The lord of Rosenberg (living in the castle in the bird eye perspective of the town – splendid isolation) has a good idea! He stimulates writing of a charter for local townsmen. It includes the rules of safety precaution towards the fire. Since, the competent persons check up the pre-emptive measures: sufficiency of the hooks to unroofing and of the stepladders; having available enough water in all buildings. Maybe, even the fine a shock of groschen in case of breaking the rules helped to avoid massive burnings!

THE BLACK KITCHENS, smoke-holes, open fireplaces. These things were known in medieval era Český Krumlov. In the castle, as usually, they have progressed even more. The lords changed fireplaces to mantelpieces and sometimes had enjoyed the warmth of cockles-tile stoves. Finally, the landscape of local roofs saw chimney stalks with princely outlook in the castle and surprising variety of forms on the town buildings. Some chimneys had got a special decorative enrichment- the terracotta masks. The grotesque fanciful faces saw many events and happenings in the world below. Haven’t they some secrets to tell us?

THE FOUNTAINS. Stop fire! Go ahead with water! Ordering a medieval era water conduit, the rules of 1388 helped in this case too. Water supply should go as far as the main square. That is, where you can find the most striking public fountain of the old town. The topical one had been built later. It is placed in a strange position- out of the middle point of the square. BREAKING NEWS! We know why! I like sharing the story with you during a city tour!

WASSERKÜNSTLER. Nonetheless, the most beautiful fountain you will find in the castle garden. Looking at it, you easily imagine “La dolce vita” of the dukes of Schwarzenberg in the 18th century. They had engaged some very skilled Viennese artists. Among them a real jack of all trades, Johann Anton Zinner: sculptor, supervisor over their gardens on their vast domains and at the same time a “wasserkünstler”. The last marking he did not like. He orchestrated a spectacular “water program” on various spots of the garden. People who were privileged visiting the castle garden could feel like in a paradise. I would like to provide a similar experience to you too!

THERE ARE MORE STORIES TO TELL. About symbols of elements in the castle tower or somewhere else. About smiths, alum tanners and other craftsmen who used water or fire or both elements to practise their craft. Sure, the alchemists step onto the stage again! They have connected the symbolic and practical level of elements.

“THE TOWN, FIRE AND WATER”. So I have called the 4th of “21 Stories of Magic Krumlov”. I have prepared this topical city tour for locals on the 14th of June 2020. So we could altogether wonder the beauty and variety of local fountains and chimneys. We had met a few St.Florians as well. It’s wonderful if you take in familiar things by wondering eyes and open mind! Would you like to experience this story? Take it easy and order online a private tour! Write the name of the story to the notice and I will include it to the tour. I look forward meeting you in Český Krumlov, in The Magical Town!