Castle Lady’s Tips
In this new section, we would like to inspire you to take trips around Vysocina as Chateau Heralec lies in a truly beautiful region. Slowly but surely we discover many amazing and highly skilled people like in the region, each with their own amazing professional and personal stories. A unique glassmaker, cow cheese farmers, owners of goat farms, honey makers, a family that has been making beautiful handmade blueprints for 11 generations, collectors of herbs for remedies, a wonderful woman that makes delicious dried fruits, maker of exquisite local chocolate pralines: these are all just a few of the incredible people we have encountered in our hotel and whose services we use and offer. We will begin with stories from vacation time trips with my children, and I believe that together, we will discover many more places and meet many more people so that I can personally give you perfect tips for trips in the area. Let yourself be inspired!
Visit an open-air beekeeping museum in Vysočina
Less than 8 km away from our château you can find an open-air beekeeping museum with a permanent exhibition in the beekeeping house no. 254 on the Lower Square in Humpolec. It was opened to the public on the occasion of the 100 years of organized beekeeping to Humpolec.
The celebration of the hundredth birthday of Humpolec beekeepers offers you a stroll through the past. Members of the beekeeping community let visitors get a glance into the secrets of their craft. Among the thirty-six exhibited hives, you can see both the primordial logs as well as the newest bee dwellings of the craft. Other beekeeping tools and attractions are also hidden in the beekeeping house. Something definitely worth seeing!
Visiting a traditional blueprint workshop
We usually get our tips for places to visit from the locals, especially our staff. However, the idea to visit this workshop arose from an article I read in the beautiful magazine Venkov & Styl. We told ourselves: this would be a wonderful place for our guests to visit as well, so we set off. To start off, we have to say that it isn’t exactly close to Chateau Heralec, but not too far from it either. Located in Olesnica nad Moravou, it is in a unique location that borders on 3 different regions. We did not call in advance, but despite that Jiri Danzinger gave us an exclusive tour and truly showed us around the place. In the humbly sized workshop, he explained to us the technological processes involved in the creation of traditional blueprints. First one of the oldest ways of printing on flax and later on, on cotton canvases. The canvases are printed on with a special mixture of fluid rubber based on a secret recipe (how else!). After the canvas has dried, it is colored by dipping it into huge vats of indigo. The Danzingers import indigo from Pakistan where it is still grown. What is interesting, is that the intensity of the indigo shade is not determined by the actual dipping of the canvas into the indigo, but by how many times the canvas is left out to dry. The process of a single canvas coloring can involve this dip-dry method from 8 up to 10 times.
Our kids listened to the interpretation of Mr. Danzinger very intently and just like me, they were most fascinated by the large wooden forms. One really doesn’t have to look far to find interesting patterns in this workshop. “We have various patterns in various conditions, together around 300. Slowly, we repair and reconstruct them, but the difficulty of the process is easily illustrated by the fact that throughout the year, we manage to restore only around 10 forms. The owner, painter and printer all in one continued to tell us about the strong family ties and traditions, represented by the 6 generations of printers that have worked here. The blueprint workshop in Olesnica nad Morava dates back to 1816. This specific dying technique has been applied in the workshop since 1849, the secrets of the trade, however, dating back all the way to the 16th century. We really are fans of a closely-knit family and community, as well as traditional crafts, something we were telling Mr. Danzinger as his son Jiri came into the workshop. I have a feeling that passing on the family trade won’t be a problem at all. We hope so!
Beautiful panorama view from the watchtower
We set out on this trip to get to know our supplier of fruit juices more closely. Once again, we cruised through the beautiful Vysocina, near the village of Bohdaneč located by Ledec nad Sazavou. We were absolutely taken back by the newly planted fruit orchards all around, but if you produce fruit ciders and make excellent fruit spirits, it only confirms the integrity of your approach. The Agnes Zelená Bohdaneč plant is right on a beautiful lake, everything being absolutely clean – it is lovely when prosperity is connected to responsibility, something that I could feel everywhere here. Since you cannot miss the huge watchtower upon entering Bohdaneč, we decided with the kids that we will definitely go and conquer it. ‘Bohdanka’, as the locals call it, is at the height of 52,2m the second highest construction of its kind in Europe. The lookout platform is at the height of 42m. As we were ascending the tower, we counted 217 stairs! All around us, we were surrounded by an almost divine panorama, marked by sheep herds, forests, fish ponds etc. Zelená Bohdaneč is also the largest beekeeper central in the Czech Republic. In the production plant of Agnes, we bought amazing homemade scoop ice cream, as well as homemade bread from the local bakery. And let’s not forget the reason we came for, the fruit juices! The team at Bohdaneč isn’t afraid of experimenting, so other than the typical apple and pear juices, they also sell ginger, celery or carrot juices. And they all really taste fantastic! Even my conservative children that usually have to be forced to try new things were more than willing and enjoying the experience, it just came naturally. On top of all this, we immediately decided to include these 100% natural products into our detox programs. We highly recommend visiting!