Pilgrimage place Montserrat
Saint Mary of Montserrat was worshiped in the village of Cizkrajov, founded in the 12th century. A chapel was built on the forest hill (562 msl) by knight Bartoloměj Tanzoll – Zilla in 1651. The knight was injured during the 30-year war and for his recovery he promised to pilgrimage to Monserrat in Spain. There, facing the statue of the
Mother of God, he decided to build a new chapel back home with the statue of La Morena – Black (Nuestra Senora de Montserrate) in the chapel. Later, the chapel was expanded to a large pilgrimage church (1712 – 1717). In 1785 this church was taken apart and sold in pieces. Nevertheless, local worshippers manually rebuilt a new church from the old ruins in 1858 – 1865. The exterior received a Neo-Romanesque style and the original polychrome statue of Saint Mary of Montserrat was reinstated at the main altar.
Nature reserve Mutenská obora
Mutenská obora is a Nature reserve covering 44 hectares (108 ac). It is located on the slopes and ridges of Dubová hill (538 msl) situated above the Moravian Thaya River. 20 (49 ac) of the 44 hectares are fenced in and strictly protected. This forest of lime tree (Tilia cordata Mill.) and ash tree (Fraxinus excelsior) are a perfect habitat and characterized by a rich flora. You can find here the remnants of the original lime forest of the Bohemian-Moravian highlands. Such a rich variety of vegetation plays an important role for all other organisms inhabiting the forest environment – birds, insects, fungi, etc. It should be mentioned that place is a paradise for mushroom pickers.
Defensive military fortification- bunkers
To defend the Country against Nazi Germany, Czechoslovakia built a long line of massive defensive fortresses along its borders. This occurred in the years 1936 – 1938, but the bunkers are still easy to spot and remain in their original form to this day. The Slavonice surroundings are studded with small concrete bunkers - light fortification called řopíky- located in the meadows and forests.
In 1903 a railway was build that connected Slavonice with the Austrian town of Waidhofen an der Thaya. At that time this railway connected two stations, both by Austrian State Railways: Cejle – Kostelec and Schwarzenau. The border railway crossing was opened when the Czechoslovak Republic was formed. At the end of the Second World War the railway lost its importance as an interstate connection because of very sporadic service between the stations Slavonice and Waldkirchen. In 1948 the border railway crossing Slavonice- Fratres was closed. The Czech side of the railway continued to work normally until 1956 when the portion of track situated on the boundary was removed in length of 10 meters. When the political situation in Central Europe changed in 1989, there was a great effort on both sides of the border to reopen the railway. The station in Slavonice rebuilt the track and installed a new security system, but this has turned out to be a useless investment. After two floods in 2002 and 2006, the railway line on the Austrian side was severely damaged and together with new changes in the political composition of the Lower Austrian government, the track operation was closed permanently.
At present, there is no rail service between Schwarzenau and the State border, but there is a plan to use the remainder of track for building a new cycle path between Dobersberg and Slavonice. Our cyclopath “TERRAIN” that you are now on will cross this new path several times, close to the village of Gilgenberg.
The pond Sauteich (510 msl) is a natural outdoor swimming pool with a rich fish population. To reach this resting place you have to climb the long rocky road. We recommend a well-deserved rest at its end.
The village of Maříž is interesting for both its special history and the unusual current population. This village has survived two threats of extinction, the displacement of its German population in 1945 and fortification of the Iron Curtain in 1972. The last threat of extinction was avoided due to the interest and care of the people from the Prague Theater, Sklep. They caused a major awakening of this place in 1990 and brought it back to life after 40 years. Mr. Trubáček opened ceramic handcraft and workshop in village, called Maříž ceramic handcraft. Today, it is a famous brand of art products. Like a reminder to the old times, the ruins of original dwellings and castle are still visible all over the village and give the whole place a unique atmosphere, Genius Loci. The special character of this place attracted new coming artist after 1990 to find inspiration and tranquility for their creative work. Their studios appear on every corner.
Nature park Maříž
The nature park in Maříž and the village of Maříž were neglected for a long time. Recently a large revitalization effort was launched to preserve the remaining character of this place. This area used to be part of a neo-gothic castle, the remnants of this castle are now part of the romantic composition of the park. Another part of the composition is a 320 meters long alley of 160 larch (Larix decidua), approximately 110 years old. Then you can see 4 oak trees (Quercus robur), 400-500 years old with a trunk diameter of about 100cm. There are also other valuable trees in the park including groupings of red-beech (Fagus sylvatica) and chestnut trees (Aesculus hipocastanum).