Czech-Austrian border relations are a good example of how differently a border can be defined in the course of history: as a political matter on both sides, as a deadly no man's land, the green belt of Europe, or a certain threshold where friends can meet.
For centuries, the border between the Mühlviertel and South Bohemia has witnessed mutual struggles between castles, knights, and dukes for power or influence, while farmers and settlers cultivated this poor lump of earth. This area used to be a border, a buffer zone between world powers, but now it would like to be a place where people meet. For sure, the relationship between the Czech and German population was not always trouble-free in the past. But what relationship ever was? Still, history has clearly shown that when there is an absolute border, such as the Iron Curtain, both sides were threatened with extinction. It is up to us to revive our old roots and rethink our common past.
Those who have gone hiking firsthand have long known that on long-distance hikes, every step has a healing effect: on the body, the soul, and on the history of entire nations.
We, the hiking associations along the Castle Hiking Trail, now invite you to embark on a journey connecting nations and countries. It doesn’t matter whether you start your journey in the South Bohemian town of Kaplice or in Austrian Grein, a small town on the Danube (the guide can be used in both directions), or whether you choose to make a round trip. Your feet will take you to the former centers of aristocratic culture, a time long past when the forests in the Mühlviertel and Bohemia were cleared, and the area was settled. Proud fortified castles, magnificent residential castles, wild romantic streams, legendary rock formations, and hospitable locals will guide you through a charming journey, sometimes filled with reflection, sometimes simple, but almost always a pleasant one.
Step by step, we’ll connect fields, meadows, and forests, then castles, villages, and countries, and, with a bit of luck, some people. Step by step, we’ll leave the past behind and open up a new future in its reflection.
The Knight of the Alm explains:
The Middle Ages are the period of European history from about 500 AD (late antiquity) to about 1500 AD (beginning of modern times). The term was coined by humanists of the 15th and 16th centuries (e.g., Erasmus of Rotterdam).
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