One of the most attractive autumn events in the Czech Republic is the harvest of the Trebon fishponds and each year, a traditional “fishing out” is organised by Fishery Trebon, who own and manage many of the fishponds. The Carp Fishermen of the Trebon Ponds use the traditional centuries old way of catching the local carp, the way it’s been done for hundreds of years.
Each year, they announce the dates for the harvest of selected fishponds. This is a traditional local event, where can you see the work of professional fishermen, buy a fresh carp and taste a traditional Czech specialty – fried breaded carp.
The largest complex of fishponds in the Czech Republic is situated in the Trebon Basin, in the UNESCO Biosphere Reserve.
The whole Trebon Region (Třeboňsko) is connected to a long tradition of freshwater fish farming. In fact, the history of Trebon dates back to the 12th century, when a small settlement was developed on the trade route between the South Bohemian towns of Ceské Budejovice and Jindrichuv Hradec.
The original landscape around the town of Trebon was covered in marshlands and large forests.
In 1366, the town and the surroundings lands became the property of a significant noble family, the Rožmberks. The Rožmberks started the long-term tradition of fish farming in the Trebon Basin, when they supported the construction of fish ponds and artificial canals.
These sophisticated systems of waterworks transformed the barely habitable landscape into a prosperous region. The fish farming industry in the Trebon Basin experienced its greatest period of growth in the 16th century.
Most of the Trebon fishponds were built in the 16th century (by Rožmberks). Today there are 460 fishponds, which are used for breeding freshwater fish, especially a Czech favorite, carp.
The Rožmberk pond has been nominated for the UNESCO Heritage list because it is considered a unique technical monument in the Czech Republic. This sophisticated system of fishponds in the Trebon Basin has changed the original hostile marshland into the prosperous region of today.
The Rožmberk pond is the largest of all the ponds.
This unique pond was built on the Luznice river, around 6 kilometres north of the town of Trebon. It was built by the famous Czech pond builder, Jakup Krcin, in the 16th century.
The monumental dam of the the Rožmberk pond is lined with beautiful old oak trees and is 2,400 meters long.
The pond itself covers 600 hectares – which is almost 1,500 acres! Even at this large size, Rožmberk pond is now only about half of its original size.
But let’s just stop for a moment and marvel at the site of these fisherman…
I love the site of men working with their hands, and together…
There is something so masculine about it.
When it was built in the 16th century, it extended all the way to Třeboň. However, the water level was intentionally decreased to lower the risks of flooding. Also to improve fish breeding because carp prefer and breed better in shallow water. The Rožmberk pond is harvested every other year, allowing the carp to grow nice and fat.
The lowly carp may be derided in some parts of the world but no one in this nation of 10 million can imagine Christmas without it. Live carp are sold in street markets just before the holiday and turned into fish soup or fried in breadcrumbs to serve on Christmas Eve.
The beautiful Trebon fishponds and the surrounding landscape also provide a home for many endangered species of flora and fauna.
Every year in October the fishing out of Rožmberk pond is visited by thousands of people and today, with the power of YouTube, you can visit for a moment and watch the fisherman lifting out the fish!
And if you speak Czech, you will love this 8 minute short
Have you ever wanted to participate in such an event? Well, if you are in the Czech Republic in October – you just may have a chance. If you are more of a summer traveler – then you’ll be happy to discover that each year they host a fish festival in late August.
But whenever you decide to go, while there, we recommend staying at Hotel Zlata Hvezda Třeboň which occupies 3 Renaissance-style buildings right on Masaryk Square. It’s also only a 5-minute walk from the Renaissance Trebon Castle (Zámek Třeboň). It’s by far one of the nicest hotels in the city and very affordable. (We paid $38 a night in March!)
The location is perfect, the rooms are nice, the spa is excellent but best of all they have a nice specialty they call a “Cannabis Relaxation Package”.
The package includes: 3 nights accommodation with breakfast, 3 dinners with the choice of cannabis meals (including cannabis pasta, baked carp with cannabis seed, and vegetable risotto with cannabis leaves) , 1 bottle of wine “with cannabis addition”, and their signature cannabis relaxation session which includes a full cannabis bath, peel, and massaging of the whole body with cannabis oil.
Need we say more?
And if Cannabis relaxation may be too relaxing for you, you’ll be happy to learn that the mud from the local bogs and ponds is also used in the spa for treating musculoskeletal disorders and rheumatism (and has been since the earliest of times)!
Again, that’s all available at Hotel Zlata Hvezda Třeboň.
Another fun thing to do in Trebon is to rent a bicycle and do a little Tour de Fishpond! A 22 kilometer long nature trail is available for cyclists and pedestrians which runs along and around Rožmberk pond and includes twelve scenic stops.
A once in a lifetime experience and a beautiful place to visit! Discover the magical landscape of ponds, floodplain forests, renaissance cities and great fish dishes!
Photography Credits for this post: Páv Lučištník.
You may also watch this lovely video which will surely set the mood…