Schicht factory receives monument status
The Czech Ministry of Culture has granted monument status to the administrative building of the historic strata works in Ústí nad Labem (Aussig). This is only part of the building. The owner, the company STZ Development, had the oldest part demolished in March to make way for a parking space. There was strong protest against this by architects, historians and many citizens. But the demolition permit was valid, among other things because the building was not listed at the time.
An initiative therefore immediately applied for monument protection to the Ministry of Culture, which has now been granted. However, this decision is not yet legally binding; the company STZ Development has lodged an objection against it.
The Schicht works are located on the right bank of the Elbe in Ústí in the Střekov (Schreckenstein) district and have played a decisive role in the rise of Ústí to an industrial city of European standing. In the 1920s, the Schicht family's factories merged with the Dutch Margarine Unie and the British Lever Brothers to form the Unilever corporation, which still exists today.
Kyjov dam is being renovated
For the first time in 47 years, the Kyjov (Khaa) dam on the edge of Bohemian Switzerland was drained. The background is the renovation of the building from the 1960s. The dam is to be upgraded as a fire water reservoir. A fund created by the Czech government for fire protection in Bohemian Switzerland covers the majority of the costs with 15 million crowns. By excavating 7,500 cubic meters of sediment alone, the dam's capacity increases. The improved water depth also makes it possible for water to be extracted by helicopter. In addition, the weir will be renewed. A paved fire water extraction point with access will be created. Access for bathers should also be improved. The dam is a popular swimming lake. The renovation is scheduled to be completed in spring 2025 and the dam will be filled with water again.
Since one bank of the dam is already in the Bohemian Switzerland National Park, the town of Krásná Lípa (Schönlinde), to which Kyjov belongs, must fulfill several requirements. The mud can only be dredged until the end of February 2024. “Then we will interrupt this work for now and only start it again next winter,” says Mayor Jan Kolář. When the water was drained, a surprise awaited the community: there were masses of pond mussels in the water and mud. “We were expecting a few hundred, but in the end there were almost 20,000,” says Kolář. This incredible number could only be partially distributed among the other community-owned ponds. Neighboring communities like Chřibská (Kreibitz) helped out. A very small portion of the shells served as food for forest animals such as foxes and wild boars.
Forest arsonist charged
The public prosecutor's office has brought charges against the alleged cause of the forest fire that engulfed and destroyed large parts of Bohemian and Saxon Switzerland last summer. “The indictment was sent to the district court this week,” Kateřina Doušová, prosecutor at the Ústí District Prosecutor’s Office, confirmed to the idnes.cz server. The public prosecutor's office accuses the former national park ranger not only of arson in the major fire, but also of other acts such as the burning of parts of the observation tower on the Vlčí hora (Wolfsberg) and the neighboring building, perches and feeding places. According to police, the 36-year-old is said to have admitted the crimes.
The largest forest fire in the history of Bohemian Switzerland caused damage worth 350 million crowns. This increases the maximum possible sentence for arson to 15 years in prison. The public prosecutor's office is demanding 12 years' imprisonment for the defendant.