Hartmanice - Radkov and Stará Huť

Radkov is a village that disappeared in the 1950s above Pekelský údolí at the source of Pstružné potok. Here, at a height of 915 m above sea level, stood a settlement of 6 buildings. Today there is a beautiful view of the valley from here. The displacement of German residents after World War II depopulated hundreds of Šumava villages. However, the effort to restore life in them did not bring the intended results. There were not enough new settlers and, moreover, they were unable to continue the centuries-old traditions of a life determined by hard work and mutual cohesion.

Stará Huť is a former settlement that belonged to the Kochánov rychta, one of the eight free Kralovák rychtas. The village disappeared in the 1950s. In the 15th and 16th centuries, a glass factory operated in the village, which gave the place its name.

Near Zhůří was the seat of the Zhůr rychta. The Seewiesen rychta with its headquarters in Javorná (Seewiesen) and the office of the chief rychtan (heytman) were superior to the other rychts.

The royals performed the duties of frontiersmen and for this they had certain privileges, such as the possibility of hunting or fishing.

Nowadays, the formerly agricultural landscape around the former Staré Hutí has been greatly changed. Due to the fact that this area was a military area for a long time, was not used economically and was not accessible to the public, the wet meadows are gradually being transformed into bogs.

In addition to the moving history, the typical relief of this part of the Šumava, which is considerably different from the lower areas of the Kochánov Nature Park, will also interest the visitor. Geologically, the local area already falls into the area of the so-called Šumava plains, which 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 foamy rapids. This divided and flat landscape is full of frost basins and valleys in which the cold air flowing down the mountain slopes is trapped. In some localities it freezes even in the summer months. That is why we find here plants typical for the upper border of the forest and mountain meadows (e.g. prha chlumní, pannonian gentian). Part of the meadows in the vicinity of Keplů and Stará Huta is used as pasture for cattle in the summer.

From the vantage point, which is on the site of the former Radkov settlement. opens up a view of the valley of Pstružné potok (popularly called Pekelské or Peklo) - Ždánov, Kašperk castle and Hartmanice. The name of Trout Brook reveals the former fishing opportunities, which were enhanced by small ponds. The power of the water flow was used here by numerous local mills and water saws. One of the few preserved is the Žežulka mill, located one kilometer south of Mochov. The popular name Peklo describes the harsh climatic and natural conditions here, the inaccessibility and remoteness of the entire valley from the surrounding civilization. In the past, the valley of the Pstružné potok and its surroundings were rich in original examples of Šumava folk architecture. Houses with characteristic half-hipped roofs, belfries, low gables extended in front of the front facades, sometimes with log cabins and log cabins are typical for the local area. The shingle roofing was also made of wood. They were sometimes used to cover exterior windward walls as well. In these areas, with the predominance of the German population, all economic buildings were often concentrated under one roof with the residential part. One of the few preserved buildings is the former royal estate Busil, today an ecological agricultural farm, offering accommodation and basic tourist services.
The extensive Šumava forests, covering the slopes of the valley and adjacent ridges, are only a remnant of the original border forest. The Middle Ages brought a new cultural landscape. Impenetrable forests gradually disappeared and were replaced by meadows, pastures, mines and glass factories. The wealth of wood from the local forests gave various possibilities for its processing in the past.

The first written mention of the nearby settlement of Mochov, which has survived to this day, dates back to 1336. At the end of the 15th century, precisely in 1494, probably the first glass smelter in this part of the Šumava caught fire near Mochov. The long history of glassmaking in Šumava began with the production of forest glass.
In older times, charcoal was mainly produced here in mills for numerous glass factories. Later, small water saws, also called "Brettmühle" plank mills, were used for wood processing. Other wooden goods - clogs, shingles, studs, corks, lugs, turned cases, brush boards, so-called wooden wire - were mainly produced at home at a time when loggers could not work fully in the forest. In some places there was a tradition of making wooden toys.
Felling and grubbing of forest areas to obtain agricultural land was common. The low-profitable agriculture had a self-sufficient character and served more as a secondary source of livelihood. The farmer grew crops that the family consumed during the year.

From the second half of the 19th century, with the decline of traditional mining and glassmaking activities, agriculture began to become the main source of livelihood for many families. it was only at the end of the 19th century that local farmers left the poorest lands and the forest itself slowly returned to its original places. In just 100 years, it has more than doubled its area. The forests that have been created in this way are very diverse. From the initial stages of the forest with a predominance of willows and birches (the so-called pioneers) to the peak stages of the Šumava forests (the so-called climaxes) with the presence of beech, fir, spruce and elm.
Mr. Emil Kintzl can tell interesting stories about the Pstružné potok valley, as well as about the entire Šumava. You can see his description of Trout Valley here:

Source: leaflet on the Farmer's Trail published by AgAkcent s.r.o.