Hartmanice - Keply

The settlement of Keply represented one of the entrances to the Dobrá Voda military training area. Today, it is one of the important entry points to the PLA and NP Šumava. The very name of the settlement probably has its roots in the old Slavic name for horses. Keply fell under the Kochánovská rychta. There used to be a Baroque farmhouse, of which only the remains of the masonry have been preserved. In the 15th and 16th centuries, two glass smelters, Stará Huť and Sova, operated here. Spines, artificial pearls and beads were produced in them.

After the Second World War, the whole area was partly depopulated by the removal of the inhabitants. Complete depopulation occurred shortly after a military training area was declared in the border area. Not only was the normal military regime applicable to this area, but due to the guarded nearby border, the territory was under even stricter surveillance. As a result, several dozen villages, settlements and solitudes disappeared from the world on the territory of the military training area. Zhůří, Stodůlky, Velký Bor, Nová Studnice, Gsenget and Ždánidla are no longer standing, Frauentál and Skelná have disappeared. Only Dusty has been preserved, although not to its original extent. The number of inhabitants of the area was reduced from several thousand to less than 200. One large multi-storey house was built here for the inhabitants of Kepl. It was supposed to represent a type of new socialist village. The remains of a large baroque farm remind us of the former extensive agricultural past.

The military training area was abolished in 1991 and the whole area opened up to the possibility of normal development.

In addition to the eventful history, the typical relief of this part of the Šumava, which is significantly different from the lower-lying areas of the Kochánov Nature Park, will also interest the visitor. Keply and its surroundings are geologically part of the Šumava plains, which is the largest plateau in the Czech Republic. These represent a unique type of plateaus at an altitude of 900 to 1000 m above sea level. The plateaus undulate in shallow depressions with frequent presence of wetlands, flat valleys of meandering rivers alternate with deeply eroded valleys with foaming rapids. The flat landscape, divided in this way, is full of frosty basins and valleys that catch the cold air flowing down the mountain slopes. And so in some places it freezes even on summer mornings. That is why plant species typical for the upper border of the forest and mountain meadows grow here (e.g. sedge, pannonian gentian). Part of the meadows in the vicinity of Keplů and Stará Huta are used as pastures for cattle in the summer.

Source: Keply explanatory board