Sázava River

Since the oldest times, the Sázava River has been a bonding element. It connects man with nature and brings people together as well. The river starts its journey as a small rivulet near the village of Velký Dářek at the Vysočina hilly-country to merge with its big sister, the Vltava River, 225 kilometres downstream. The Sázava stood at the cradle of Czech history at the time St. Procopius who, together with the princes of the Premyslid Dynasty, founded a monastery on the river banks in the town of Sázava. The Czech tramps often call Sázava the Golden River; the first tramp settlements were established right at its banks below the Medník Hill. The river is a magnet for water sports enthusiasts (canoes, kayaks, rafts). The Stvořidla rapids are probably the wildest and most beautiful part of the river, but there are also sections with long, slow meanders and numerous weirs. The river catches a second wind under the town of Týnec nad Sázavou. It creates numerous rapids as it cuts sharply through a deep valley flanked by steep slopes. It does not get calmer until it arrives at the Vranovská Dam, and it ends its journey near Davle, where it flows into the Vltava. The rocky hillsides of the river come to life in the summer months with yellow blossoms of rock madwort. The inaccessible terrain serves the nesting of the duck-hawk well. These perfect airborne hunters leave nobody in doubt about who is the king of the sky here. Pairs of this bird stay faithful to their nest for many years, even thought they do not actually build any. They usually occupy the nests of other bird species or nest directly on bare rocks. The Sázava is divided into fishing grounds looked after by the fishermen; often you can see pensive figures at the banks of the river waiting for their dream catch. Naturalists, on the other hand, are interested in the bivalve living at the bottom of the river. A rare species of the river mussel lives in the Sázava River as well as several species of shellfish. Apart from fresh water, bivalve also need a naturally shaped river current and calm sections with mud, stones or sand at the bottom. However, due to navigation and water dams, the banks of the river were regulated in many places and the river flow was straightened up. This resulted in the disruption of the natural regime of the river, and each spring the river floods its surroundings after the snow thaws.