Thursday, 3 December 2009

The Botič

The Botič is a pretty little stream that rises twenty miles to the east of Prague in the village of Křížkový Újezdec. It flows almost due West, entering the city at Hostivař, where it has been dammed to provide a beautiful 100-acre lake, the largest water area in Prague and a very popular summer bathing spot. From the lake the stream meanders through the suburbs, passing very close to the railway and at many points diving off through concrete culverts.

The Botič resurfaces in Vršovice and runs alongside the Bohemians' stadium, then through this birch-lined valley at the foot of the Havličkovy Sady gardens.  Eventually, near Vyšehrad (the historic citadel of the Přemsylid dynasty who ruled Prague from the 9th to 14th centuries) it empties into the Vltava.

It is a historic watercourse, along whose banks has been found evidence of some of the earliest settlements in central Europe; it was the place of encampment of protestant troops defending Vyšehrad from the Catholic Emperor Sigismund in 1419-20; and a number of floods are recorded here, including the devastating one of 24 May 1563 which claimed several lives.

Lest all this should sound too romantic, I do urge you to have a look at the less salubrious side of the Botič in this fascinating blog by a man whos specializes in climbing through drains...


Julie said...

Your blog and the blog of the drain-climber could not be more different!

I note the comment at the end where a reader asked him to remove a racist comment. Indeed, the comment is racist. I like the fact that the comment has been left there, I gather in acknowledgment of its correctness.

I like very much your view of this river.

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