Mikulov

Why the project was undertaken

The now completed project aimed to restore the historically valuable area extending south of Nový pond (New pond), in the locality of today’s peninsula named Portz Insel. It used to be part of the designed peri-urban landscape, whose development was commissioned by Franz Cardinal Dietrichstein in the 17th century. It was one of the earliest generously urbanized landscapes in Moravia and likely also in the larger territory north of the Alps.

There was a summer residence built on an island in Portz pond (today New pond) and complemented by flower arrangements and a forest park. The island complex, accessible over the long brick bridge supported by arched abutments and connected to the City of Mikulov through a two and a half kilometre long allée, originally an access road for carriages, was an extraordinary work of architecture of its time.

In the late 19th century it was still described by historians as a landscape jewel of unique beauty. However after 250 years from its completion, the designed landscape began to gradually succumb to deterioration as a result of draining of Portz pond in 1855 - its original area being approximately 100 ha2 - and the construction of the railway running across this land in 1872. In the mid-20th century the pond was partially renovated in its northern part, however after the border zone was established there, an almost complete decline of the original cultural landscape became inevitable.

 

Condition of the bridge before repair, year 2015

Photo: Ing. Josef Hromek

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