The river Svratka

řeka Svratka The river Svratka flows through the Tišnov region like the line of life on the human palm. The river rises in deep woods with a rich population of deer in the surroundings of the hill Žákova hora, close to the main European divide. It rises in dark moors and as soon as it leaves the shady spruce forests, it meanders through sunny meadows near Herálec and Milov and the river’s name might be derived from the place where the river rises: the dark, black water coming down from the moors might have been called „Swarta“ in Old German and „Schwarza“ in German. However the more probable origin of the name is supposed to be in the Proto-Slavic word „svrt” (=turn), which may denote a meandering river turning a lot as it flows.

Approximately 170 kilometres from the source and at an altitude 600 metres lower than in the place where the river starts, it flows into the middle water reservoir (called the Věstonice reservoir) of the water reservoir complex called Nové Mlýny. The vast surface of the water reservoirs covered the ancient wide estuary where river Svratka goes into the river Dyje.

Tišnov is set on the banks of the middle part of the river Svratka. The brook Lubě flows into the river just behind the town; it is eighty three kilometres from the place where the river rises; the brooks Besének and Loučka go into the river seventy nine kilometres from its source. It can be said without exaggeration that it is the river Svratka that makes the Tišnov region an attractive holiday resort. And the town is not just the right place for fishermen and water sports enthusiasts; everybody will be mesmerized by the charm and beauty of the river and its surroundings.

The river Svratka flows mostly through a deep valley near Jimramov and in the countryside between the castles Pernštejn and Veveří. This is a very beautiful and romantic stretch of countryside with a lot of tempting places all the year round. Even though the river has been tamed by the water reservoir called Vírská přehrada since the end of the 1950’s, the water starts roaring and raging sometimes in spring and throws big ice blocks to its banks. At that time of the year many budding flowers of primroses, anemones, corydalises, butterburs and yellow stars of Bethlehem growing on the river banks under alder trees, poplars and willows, start to come out from beneath a layer of melting snow.

In spring the golden petals of the alison flowers slip into the river from the gneiss rocks near Prudká. This is the place where the river Svratka broke a deep valley through the surrounding steep hills and created one of the deepest valleys in the whole of Bohemian-Moravian Highlands. The river jumps here over giant boulders. The river becomes wilder and rougher higher above Borač and sends its branches between little river islands. It is no wonder that it was in this place where the writer and poet Josef Uher, native of Borač-Podolí, confessed his love for this countryside: "I looked at this country a few times and I immediately fell in love with the fantastic scenery. I settled down here immediately and started again to think in the open air about my hopes I have for my next life”.

Behind the village Štěpánovice the valley of the river Svratka opens up towards the Tišnov valley. The river remains beautiful even as it flows through wide meadows just behind the town. It has greenish water made rough by the sluice in Březina, and in early spring you can glimpse a blue kingfisher plummeting towards water surface from the willow branches on the river banks. Near the sluice the river Svratka roars almost like Niagara but in summer it crawls along at a snail’s pace. In high summer it is simply a pleasure to get a glass of good Czech beer at Klimeš’s pub, sit down with it on the river bank and let it cool down in the shallow water – the water coming down from the brook Vír remains cold even on a scorching hot day in July.

The river loses its lowland character immediately behind Březina and enters a deep valley. The steep rocks of the valleys in Sokolí and Tichanov situated above Veverská Bítýška are covered with fascinating remains of old deciduous trees. In the past when the leaves of the maples, lime tress and oaks started to turn yellow and red in autumn, it was always high time for the enthusiastic hikers from Brno to leave the hustle and bustle of the city and to enjoy solitude in this romantic stretch of country. It is a pity that the unique and simple cabins of the old hikers were long time ago replaced by busy new settlements made up of luxurious holiday houses.

A lonely and shy vagabond is likely to leave this valley crowded with summer houses and to climb onto the cliff high above the river. From there he bids farewell to the beautiful river Svratka, which then winds its way through the Brno water reservoir, flows through the town Brno and finally through fields and meadows with patches of floodplain forests before it leaves the Tišnov region and heads towards Pálava with its vineyards...

According to the article by Doc. Ing. Jan Lacina, Csc