On a magic spot of the acropolis of former fortified Přemyslovci settlement situated on the top of St. Ján hill, right inside the town historical district of Netolice, rises since the year 2004 step by step an archaeological park, thematically focused on the period of the rise of the Czech state in 10th–13th century. It is the first example of southern Bohemian archaeological site presented with the help of direct reconstruction.
In the half of the 10th century many princely administrative castles have been built in Bohemia in connection with the rise of the Přemyslovci state that served as province centers. Also the oldest administrative system of the Czech state, the so-called “castle system”, was based on the network of such castles, seats of princely regents – castle wardens. The Netolice castle was also part of this system. We can find the first written mention of the castle in the Latin-written chronicle of Kosmas called the Chronica Bohemorum. It refers to the year 981, where the Netolice castle is mentioned as a boundary castle together with Chýnov and Doudleby. The oldest castle warden we know by name, Nemoj, is mentioned already in the year 1167. The early medieval regent castle stood on rock promontory that was flown around by the Rapačov creek. The Netolice castle and market village formed an important princely and royal administrative, military and trade center of southern Bohemia at that time, lying on the crossing of several trade routes. Best-known of them were the Linz route to Austria and the Golden trail to Bavaria.
Church of St. John, closed down during the reforms of the emperor Josef II in the year 1788, stood on the former acropolis of the fortified settlement, and was used already in early medieval period as parish burial-ground. Massive mounds of the fortification were well preserved until today and also many pieces of ceramics, whole artifacts and even skeletal remains from 10th–14th century are often found here.
The acropolis was a favorite destination of family trips up to the half of the 20th century. There used to be a park, restaurant, bowling alley and dance floor before the whole area desolated. >
The archaeological company Archeos has systematically excavated the acropolis already for several years. On the base of this archaeological research and also within the project Netolice in its historical landscape an archaeological park in the form of open-air museum is being built. The first object of it, an example of fortification, should be finished by the year 2006. It will be a segment of early medieval stone rampart and wooden palisade with watchtower that will serve as an observation tower at the same time. Other objects should gradually emerge in following phases of construction and serve as visitor center, examples of housing, craft shops, magnifico´s palace, restoration of the church of St. Jan in its early medieval appearance is also assumed. An exhibition dedicated to the fortified settlement and the archaeological park is being prepared in medieval vault of the Museum of JUDr. Otakar Kudrna on the Netolice square at the same time.
All works are done in the means of archaeologically documented technologies, with verifying original primitive technologies, materials and implements. A visitor attractive product, valuable not only from historical point of view but also from scientific, research and pedagogical perspective will be created this way. Also the possibility of promoting many cultural and educational activities will emerge. At the same time a remarkable cultural monument from the beginnings of the Czech state will be rehabilitated and the project will return the monument its dignity that belongs to it in our history by right.
The partner of this project is Keltendorf – Archäologischer Erlebnispark Gabreta in Ringelai, Bavaria. www.gabreta.de