Brdy

Brdy

Brdy are hills in the Czech Republic, forming a long massif stretching for cca.60 km from Prague in the direction of southwest. The northern section of the Brdy is called "Hřebeny" and features one narrow ridge (highest elevation Písek - 690 m.). The Brdy proper starts south of the Litavka river canyon and consists of several major elevations connected into one plateau. The highest being "Tok" (864 m.), "Praha" (862 m.) or "Třemšín" (827 m.).

Most of the Brdy is covered by forest making it one of the largest contiguously forested areas in the interior of the Czech republic. However, major sections of the massif have been declared closed military area and are largely banned to public.

The military area of Brdy has been a source of controversy for several decades.

The closed military area was declared shortly after emergence of Czech Republic to cather for needs of growing Czech armed forces in 1925. It has been expanded and well used by Third Reich military forces during the Nazi occupation of Czech Republic during 1938-1945.It has been further used for intensive military exercises in post war era with some additional expansion in the southern sector.

After the Warsaw pact intervention in September 1968, southern locality near town Mirosov served as base to a small Red Army contingent until its repatriation in 1993

Military use of the Brdy mountains gradually decreased after the Velvet revolution in 1989 driven by military cost cutting and eventual professionalization in 2005.However, the closed military status of the central part persists.

As of 2006, Brdy mountains are currently in the focus of American negotiators attempting to settle a deal with Czech government to install a part of the IBCM defense shield in this military area.

Infrastructure

Brdy mountains haven't seen any substantial developmenent for long decades since 1925. This lack of man-made changes kept the local Flora & Fauna undisturbed and florishing. The national forestry company (Ceske lesy) has been in charge of maintaining large parts of the mountains.It still holds in the central parts, while northern rig have seen restitution to the legal ownership.

The are several major road running across the mountains, some of them exclusive to vehicles with valid military and forestry permits only.

There are few buildings remaining in these mountains, usually in lateral areas or highest points.Apart from several hunting lodges, used by prominent visitors-hunters and forestry workers, there are eight complexes worth the interest.

1) 194m tall broadcasting and transmiting tower Cukrak at the hill Cukrak (in proximity of Czech capital Prague)

2) [http://cs.wikipedia.org/wiki/Skalka_(Mn%C3%AD%C5%A1ek_pod_Brdy) Skalka] - baroque complex of chapel of Marie-Magdaleine & monastery at the cliff above the town Mnisek pod Brdy

3) Abandoned Anti-air missile base [http://www.brdy.org/content/view/106/36/ "Klondajk"] with three long range SAM launchers stretching at plateau over several square kilometers near town Dobris

4) [http://www.brdy.org/content/view/51/65/ Geodetic tower] at Studeny Vrch (638 m a.s.l.) near Hostomice pod Brdy, formerly used for military exercise, which is currently in ownership of Czech Tourist Club

5) Radar complex of Czech Air traffic control center at the hill Pisek 683 m a.s.l. near Jince

6) Meteorological radar of CHMI at Praha mountain (862 m a.s.l.) scanning precipitation and rainfall over Bohemia and a part of European NexRAD network.

7) Prototype of concrete bunker (type ) built in 1930's at one of the shooting grounds to test weapon efficiency and bunker design, which eventually acted in Czech movie Obecna Skola.

8) Monument to significant local forester and administrator Gangloff near Tremsin pod Brdy.

Future plans and potential

Several studies has been made on the future of Brdy mountains, with particular focus to keep its preserved natural status. This has been contradicted by vivid plans to create a new military installation with high security code in the military area. The ICBM detection radar site ought to be located at the southern slopes near Mirosov.

External links

* [http://www.brdy.info Brdy]
* [http://www.brdy.org/content/view/90/65/ Brdy web page - article: Cukrak]


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