Chudenice - Chudenice pheasant

About 4 km south of Chudenice, behind the village of Lučice, is the so-called Bažantice, which was founded in 1719 by the noble family of Czernins from Chudenice, and its area covered agricultural land in addition to forests and reached through a wooden fence to the castle park of the Chateau Lázeň nad Chudenice.

In the area there is a beautiful residence of the fort, a system of small trout beds with two ponds on the Bezpravovice stream. In later years, when the nearby pilgrimage church of St. Wolfganga, the perimeter wall of the park was built from the stone of the church masonry, and the area of the entire pheasant was significantly reduced. Bažantnice is located at an altitude of 450 m above sea level, with an area of 17.9 ha and has been a protected area since 1933. The subject of protection are mixed forests, 300-year-old oaks with a trunk diameter of 250 cm and a circumference of up to 6 m.

The forester's effort to achieve a perfect hunting experience with their variety is evident in the composition of the trees. The interesting baroque building of the former brewery, reaching the area of a small castle, is unfortunately decaying today.

It is certainly interesting that the Chudenická pheasant was the cause of a laughable conflict between the lords and subjects, the likes of which was probably unprecedented in Czech history. The feud was given the name "Goat War". As the name of the conflict already suggests, the rift was caused by animals in which one would hardly look for any art of war - goats. The goat was one of the few farm animals that was available even to an ordinary cottager, so it is not surprising that there were plenty of them in Chudenice as well. The women of the poor drove them out to graze as they did everywhere else. And it happened that the goats went all the way to Bažantnice for some "tasty", where they did a lot of damage.

And so, in his letter from 1734, the administrator of Bažantnice, Martin Babka, complains to the recent widow of František Josef Czernin, Count of Chudenice, Maria Isabela, that "...I protect the thorns on the borders for partridges and pheasants, but the women with the goats grazed everything for me, it also roars under Pušperk and near Lotrov, they also let the spruce saplings bite and drove twenty goats into the mixture for pheasants, as soon as it had emerged. Therefore, I ask that they be properly punished, or that the pheasants be abolished, because forty goats will eat anything green in the forest". The complaint did not go unanswered. Countess Isabela Czernin, born Countess Merode–Westeloo, immediately issued an order that the goats must disappear from the estate, with the understanding that only the poorest could keep them. A total of 247 cattle were recorded, of which 123 had to be killed.

At the end of May 1735, a rebellion that had no parallel in Bohemia began. They even attacked the count's officials, who just wanted to welcome Countess Isabela upon her arrival in Chudenice. The manor hetman Bretschneider was also captured with two musketeers, who were thrown into the pond by the crowd, and the countess was greeted only by an angry crowd of villagers with sword-wielding goats. The countess probably understood that she had overshot after all, and the rebellion was reassessed as an "accident" and the goats no longer had to be spent. In later reports, officials only mention that "goats are kept in moderate numbers on the estate and hunters are fined for damage". The pheasant was surrounded by a stone wall and the "goat war" was forgotten. Today, only the local name "Goat's patch" or "Goat's fart" reminds of the place where the lord received an interesting welcome from the subjects.

Source: town of Chudenice