You are sure to know of the famous writer Karel Čapek as a resident of Vinohrady in Prague. It was here, however, that he had a detached house built by architect Ladislav Machoň in the middle of the 1920s, living here as a direct neighbour of his brother Josef. He married actor Olga Scheinpflugová in 1935 and was given lifetime use of a house at Strž by Stará Huť, in a picturesque landscape of forests and ponds, as a wedding gift from his friend and patron-of-the-arts Václav Palivec. The Empire-style building, on the grounds of a site once used to process iron ore, became their summer home, which they enlarged and where they received numerous guests. There is now a monument commemorating the life and work of the spouses here and, in the attic, a separate exhibition devoted to journalist Ferdinand Peroutka.

Begin your journey in Dobříš. There you can look around the Rococo chateau, built by the Mansfeld family in the 18th century, and owned by the same line to this day. It became well-known during the socialist period as the House of Writers, a place where selected authors lived and worked. There you will see the chateau rooms, furnished in the Classicist and Rococo styles, before enjoying a walk around the wonderful French garden, the English park, and the mini zoo. The town museum (Městské muzeum), with exhibitions on the history of the town, is found in the Baroque Kopáček House on Mírové náměstí (Peace Square). Continue on into Rosovická Street, where on the right-hand side you will see the typical facade of the neo-Romanesque synagogue, built at the beginning of the 20th century.

Follow the road toward Rosovice, but turn off to the right before the village and continue on through Holšiny to Buková u Příbramě. In addition to the Rococo manor, now a retirement home, you can take a look at the Bohemian Grange (Čechova stodola), with its permanent exhibition inspired by the Old Bohemian Legends. Children are sure to have some fun in the nearby Pičín, where they are invited to pay a visit to a magical house and garden inhabited by pixies and other fairy-tale creatures.

Continue along the road between the ponds to Kotenčice, then through the forest and somewhat unusually over the runway of the airfield in Příbram to Dlouhá Lhota. The Baroque chateau there has undergone complete reconstruction and is now used as a hotel. Take a right after the church and, on the other side of the village, take the field path that leads to Višňová. Czechs might know the village as Třešňová, as this was the name given to it in the television series “Cottagers”, filmed here in the 1970s. Anyone who has seen it is sure to recognise the silhouette of the church, and many other places used in shooting the series.

Continue to the north through Ostrov, Obořiště, and Svaté Pole and on between the ponds and through the forest to the Čapek Monument. Here you can also tour the Karel Čapek nature trail, which runs around the places the writer liked and visited frequently. The whole area was used for industrial and agricultural purposes in the past and you can see the remnants of the hammer mills, meaning the iron mills powered by water, the flour mills and other technical buildings. There are ten information panels on the trail in total, telling you everything of any importance. Then return to Dobříš via Stará Huť.



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