Brick bridge - Portz Insel
Until the middle of the nineteenth century there was an island here in the Portz Pond on which Cardinal Franz von Dietrichstein had a summerhouse with an ornamental flower and forest garden built in the first half of the seventeenth century. This island site, connected to the mainland by a brick bridge one hundred metres long, was seen as an extraordinary architectural work of its time. The locality was also connected to the town of Mikulov by an avenue two and a half kilometres long formed of two lines of trees.
This significant island site fell into decline at the end of the nineteenth century after the Portz Pond was drained and the former island was cut in two by a new railway line. This site and the bridge, located in the borderlands, were inaccessible for forty long years under the totalitarian regime. The brick bridge and summerhouse fell into a state of considerable dilapidation and were abandoned to overgrown vegetation. The bridge structure was preserved only thanks to the quality of the bricks made by the skilled brickmakers of Mikulov in the seventeenth century – the kind of quality that can scarcely be matched today. The reconstruction of the bridge performed by the Town of Mikulov in the years 2019 and 2020 came at practically the last possible moment.
The summerhouse was also repaired by its private owner, and now stands on the restored northern part of the former island surrounded by the New Pond. The summerhouse and bridge were declared a cultural heritage site in 1995.
The renovated bridge is a structure that is unique not merely in this country, but also in the wider European context. It is fascinating for its age, the material used in its construction and its structural design. The repaired bridge won first prize in the competition Monument of the Year 2020.
An educational trail with a number of rest areas that will take you all the way to Drasenhofen in Austria, where it links up to local cycle paths, has also been established in the area around the bridge.