About the Watermill
The oldest and uniquely preserved watermill in Bohemia can be found short distance away from Strakonice.
The watermill can be found in the lower part of the Hoslovice village. It consists of three buildings, namely the original mill room with a living area, cattle barn with a tool shed and a barn. All buildings are thatched, curbed or walled using a combined masonry. There is also a small pond with a headrace, an orchard and meadows.
The mill room is well-preserved, including all auxiliary equipment and tools. This mill is very unique since the visitors can see a simple Czech set-up with one millstone, hopper and other necessary components. Everything is still fully operational.
The original mill dates back to the Middle Ages. The first documented written reference is from 1654. This date has been also confirmed by a dendrological analysis of wooden ceilings in the mill room. The trees used to build the ceiling of the grainery were cut down in 1568 to 1569.
The mill was in operation until 1982. The unique preserved condition of this archaic mill is due to the political situation in the Czech Republic after 1948 when the oppressed Harant family decided to stay away from public life, thus preserving local traditions. They preserved traditional country life within the watermill area – there is no electricity, no sanitary facilities and the dwelling rooms form only a small portion of the building. Thanks to that the mill, including other buildings and plots, is in an authentic condition just like it has been known by the inhabitants of Hoslovice and surrounding villages for centuries.
The museum holds various culture events there, including demonstrations of traditional crafts, agricultural production and local folk customs (carnival, Easter celebration, harvest festival, wake, Christmas and many others).
In 2012 a new building providing technical background was built in the immediate vicinity of the watermill, making the visit of the mill more pleasant thanks to the technical background including an information centre where visitors can buy souvenirs or refreshment, lecture room and other services. The building also houses a new permanent ethnographic exhibition entitled “Life at Šumava Podlesí” showing agricultural works, growing and processing of several important crops and cattle breeding. The display also introduces local traditional meals, storage and preparation of food and customs practiced throughout the whole calendar year.
Near the mill the visitors can also visit an ecological farm called U starýho kance (At the Old Boar's), where cows, calves, bulls, sheep and other domestic animals are bred. The ranch offers horse rides as well as week or weekend stays or a traditional South Bohemian pig-slaughtering. For more information go to www.danek-group.cz.