Jeseníky Protected Landscape Area


Until the 19th century, the traditional building styles, type and appearance were always determined by the local conditions in Jeseníky, such as the availability of wood and stone for building and the region’s harsh climate. At lower elevations in the foothills, the settlements were traditionally rows of houses on both sides of a valley road or stream. The houses were perpendicular to the communication with narrow belts of land stretching far up the slopes behind them, often as far as the treeline. At higher elevations in the mountains the settlements consisted of houses farther away from each other or spread across the slopes, and in some parts of Jeseníky they took the character of isolated mountain farmhouses.

In Jeseníky the typical housing style was a single, long detached house (at first built of logs, later of stone) with living space at one end and for animals and stores at the other end. The most notable feature of the regions folk architecture is the decorated wooden gable with small windows above the ground floor. The typical Jeseníky cottage looks as if it is fixed firmly to the terrain and ready to face the snowstorms and blizzards of winter.

On the other hand, we can find two monumental, gigantic socialist works of architecture in the mountains, which have become technical dominant features of the landscape, but have completely degraded the landscape character near and far. These are the Pump Storage Hydroelectric Plant at Dlouhá Stráň and the Television Broadcasting Tower on the summit of Mt. Praděd, which was built on the site of a historic stone lookout tower.

The landscape is mostly settled along the streams and rivers and some villages are up to 10 km in length. The eviction of the German-speaking population after the Second World War also brought fundamental changes to the region. Some villages and mountain hamlets were abandoned (Morgenland, Růžová) and extensive areas of unused agricultural lands were reforested.