The lost river
The Vltava River since the old times has been a pivotal place, through which our ancestors penetrated into the local country. The oldest roads leading through its valley had created a part of the Bohemian transport network since the prehistoric ages. Pathways meandered across the rocky canyons around the river rapids or, vice versa, along the quiet estuaries and often rose up to the heights above the Vltava banks. In several strategic promontories this road was consequently guarded by the fortified settlements. Its sparkling surface had also served as an indispensable traffic artery for centuries. First almost solely for transport of wood, reputedly since the 12th century, then for the transport of stone – particularly granite as well as salt – since the 16th century, and other goods and people, as well. Documented works resulting in its systematic navigability are dating back to the 16th century.
Significant economic activities took place near the river; in the Central Vltava Area along with timbering mainly mining activities, concentrated on the already mentioned stone and also gold extraction, were undertaken. A very important part of the central part of the Vltava River winds in the area of the Chotilsko urban area, bordered by the village of Zvírotice in the south and the erstwhile Svatojánské (St. John´s) Streams near Štěchovice in the north.