Euroregion Elbe/Labe

Weekly review no. 33

Partial confession in arson trial – Wolfsberg Tower reopened – Police report more violations in motorway tunnel – Ústí Museum wins prize


Partial confession in arson trial

The trial for the large forest fire in Saxon-Bohemian Switzerland in the summer of 2022 began on Thursday at the District Court in Ústí nad Labem. The accused is former national park ranger Jiří L. He confessed right at the start that he had set smaller fires last year. This included the historic lodge on Vlčí hora (Wolfsberg) near Krásná Lípa (Schönlinde). The lodge burned down completely. The observation tower was also damaged in the fire.

The defendant continued to deny having started the large forest fire in Bohemian Switzerland in the summer of 2022. However, this is what the prosecution accuses him of. The defendant had admitted to the arson during a police interrogation, but later retracted it.

The trial was interrupted to obtain another psychiatric report. The court also did not accept the confession because there was uncertainty about the defendant's state of health. The defendant suffers from mental illness.

Wolfsberg Tower reopened

Aussichtsturm Wolfberg Last weekend, the observation tower on Vlčí hora (Wolfsberg) was ceremoniously reopened. It had been extensively renovated after a fire a year ago. The reopening coincided with the tower's 135th anniversary. The tower is the oldest in the Šluknov area and is popular because of its extensive view as far as the Giant Mountains.

Police report more violations in motorway tunnel

The Czech Panenská Tunnel in the Ore Mountains on the motorway from Dresden to Prague is increasingly becoming a gold mine. The responsible municipal authorities of Ústí nad Labem (Aussig) reported almost 85,000 violations of the speed limit last year. The speed limit in the tunnel and in the Libouchec tunnel further towards Prague is 80 km/h. The Panenská Tunnel has a system for measuring speed using so-called section control. This measures an entire stretch of road and not just a single point.

According to the figures, the officials had an average of over 230 cases on their desks every day. The city therefore plans to strengthen the department and hire additional staff soon. This year, almost 20,000 violations have been identified by the end of April. This is particularly good news for the city's coffers: in 2023 up to the end of April this year, the magistrate collected around 44 million krone (1.76 million euros) in fines, including many notices sent to Germany.

On the D8 motorway, as the A17 is called in the Czech Republic, there are two more tunnels in the low mountain range, the Radejčín tunnel and the Prackovice tunnel. The city council of Lovosice (Lobositz) deals with the fines there.
Traffic violations have increased dramatically in the city of Ústí. While there were almost 3,900 violations last year, this year there have already been over 5,500. In particular, illegal parking has been punished more frequently. This is also due to a stricter approach.

Museum Ústí wins prize

The City Museum in Ústí nad Labem has won the most important museum award in the Czech Republic. The "Gloria Musaealis" award for 2023 in the category of Museum of the Year was awarded to the research project "Database of old quarries in the area of the Bohemian Switzerland National Park and the Elbe Sandstone Mountains Protected Landscape Area". The project, which also included the special exhibition on sandstone, was recognized as an example of applied research with a major social impact. The project was carried out in cooperation with the Purkyně University (UJEP) in Ústí.

The award ceremony was very successful for the Ústí Region. The North Bohemian Gallery of Fine Arts in Litoměřice and the Gallery of Modern Art in Roudnice nad Labem were also recognized for an exhibition and a publication. The Gallery of Fine Arts received the special prize in the category of "Museum Publications" for the volume "Pious Morning: The Art of Seeing / Mystics, Esoterics, Automation in Czech Fine Arts". The Gallery in Roudnice received second prize in the category of Museum Exhibition for the exhibition "The Principle of Heraclitus: 100 Years of Coal in Czech Art".



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