Visitor number
Visitor number
MTB tour
Ergis #ID: 902

The Comenius Route (MTB)

enlarge picture: The Comenius Route (MTB) * Krkonose Mountains (Giant Mts)
enlarge picture: The Comenius Route (MTB) * Krkonose Mountains (Giant Mts)
enlarge picture: The Comenius Route (MTB) * Krkonose Mountains (Giant Mts)
enlarge picture: The Comenius Route (MTB) * Krkonose Mountains (Giant Mts)

Vrchlabí Náměstí - Vrchlabí Náměstí

detailed map

Following the traces of belief and the teacher of nations
[60km/1252m; MTB]

This route leads us back to the time when the Krkonose Mountains
were a borderland and a hideout for many who opposed the
potentates. This is the beginning of the 17th century, when the religious
conflict between Catholics and Protestants was at a peak.
Starting with the 15th century’s Hussite Wars, it had cast poverty
and suffering over the country and was about to culminate in the
1620’s Battle of White Mountain near Prague. After the defeat of
the non-Catholic Czechs the house of Habsburg entered the throne
and began a “Re-Catholization”. The estates of the Protestant rulers
were confiscated and assigned to the Emperor’s General Albrecht
von Wallenstein.
During this time many Protestants fled across the mountains to
Silesia. Among the refugees was the Bishop John Amos Comenius
(1592-1670) from the Protestant “Unity of the Moravian Brethren”
Church. He was one of the great European teacher, a humanist,
philosopher, author and reformer.
In the mountain’s foothills, far away from Prague the Catholics’
retaliation was less fierce. From 1626 to 1628 Comenius found
shelter in the castle of Bila Tremesna at Adam Zilvar von Silberstein
who supported the Protestants’ resistance by mobilising fighters
and scouts as well as by investing large amounts of money. In
the castle’s library Comenius found inspiration for his fundamental
pedagogic script “Didactica Magna”. In 1627 he temporarily lived in
Vlcice where he also visited the castle of his favourer Vaclav Zaruba
von Hustirany in Horni Branna. Today, the castle accommodates a
Comenius museum. In the winter of 1628 he left Horni Branna and
fled with his family and friends over the hills of Konfiskaty on his way
to Cerny Dul. Today you find two chapels there, built by Catholics
after his escape, to consolidate their religion here and all over the
region with chapels, crosses and churches. Comenius fled on to
Janske Lazne and Zacler. A small monument in the border town of
Cerna Voda marks the spot where he left the country for good. Later
he went to Lesno in Silesia and from there to England and Sweden.
He became one of Europe’s most renowned educationalists
and published various scripts and textbooks. Our tour leads us from
Janske Lazne via Vlcice to Hostinne. The route from there back to
the mountains with their beautiful views on the Krkonose mountain
ridges is not easy to find. It once played an important role as a trade
route. The arduousness of transport and travel over the mountains
in former times is hard to imagine and the loss of lives was quite
Only after Emperor Joseph the II. decreed a “declaration of
tolerance” in 1781, the Protestant “Unity of the Moravian Brethren”
Church and other Protestants were able to return. In the meantime
they had spread all over the world - as missionaries some of them
even went to the Caribbean, Greenland, North America and South

Length59.4 km
Time04:30 h
Elevation rise1252 m
Maximal altitude760 m
Minimal altitude400 m