“It is not the case that a company provides us with a turnkey exhibition, including the design of the content. It is a very close cooperation with the supplier company. We know our territory better, we so we decided ourselves what we want the exhibition to contain. It was up to the company to create an aesthetic and engaging exhibition,” says Zdeněk Záliš, Deputy Director of the Administration of the Žďárské vrchy Landscape Protected Area, and notes that the preparation and implementation was all the more difficult as it took place during a pandemic.The success of the result is also confirmed by two awards of the Construction Vysočina 2020 competition. the audience price.
Visitors can walk through the exhibition independently, in the case of larger groups and school groups a guide can be arranged in advance. The space is dominated by paintings by the academic painter Irena Wagnerová.
“We provided the painter with photos of the most interesting elements of the local landscape – forest, bog, rocks or stream. She then blended these components into a single image that depicts wilderness. We completed the space with examples of contemporary and historical flora and fauna. Visitors can see, for example, woodcarvings of animals or various types of mosses, fungi and much more,” calculates Záliš.
Giant bird’s nest and 3D cinema
And what do newcomers appreciate? “Visitors to the ranks praise the exhibition entitled Wrestling the most. It contains four pictorial maps, on which it is possible to observe the evolution of the local landscape from the 14th century to the present day, when it has changed considerably, mainly in because of the burning of forest stands,” says Marie Rajnošková from Op Chaloupky in Kněžice.
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Many attractions also appeal to children. “Children are usually interested in a giant bird’s nest, where they can sit on their own. They will also have fun playing computer games with a natural theme on our touch table,” Marie Rajnošková adds. Each visit to the House of Nature ends at the local 3D cinema. “We show visitors a film about the changing nature of the Žďár hills. After agreement, we can also offer films from other Nature Houses that we have at our disposal,” adds Zdeněk Záliš.
“Children are usually interested in a giant bird’s nest, where they can sit alone. It will also be fun to play computer games with a natural theme.”
According to Marie Rajnošková, it is interesting to observe the youngest children during the screening. “They’re so busy they want to pet the animals in the movie, which is often touching,” he smiles.
The operation of the Maison de la Nature is ensured by employees of the Chaloupky association, who are also helped by students during the holidays. Outside the high season, i.e. from October to May, the Maison de la Nature is open to visitors only on weekends, in the period from May to October, then every day except Monday, during the summer holidays. summer every day including Monday.
Project in numbers
Marie Rajnošková described what visitors can expect now in spring: “We had the How to Break the Spring game here. The children in the exhibition performed various tasks in search of spring flowers. We always try to make sure that children can take a small thing away from us after play – for example, a bag of clay with instructions on how to make clay balls, or seeds of spring plants, qu they can sow in a pot and bring it home. “
You can spend the whole day in Krátká
According to Zdeněk Záliš, it is possible to spend a pleasant day at the House of Nature and in Krátká and its surroundings. “One of the buildings of the Maison de la Nature is equipped with a space for workshops and workshops, where children can try their hand at various creations. Excursions in the surrounding area are also worth a visit. Within easy reach are, for example, the picturesque villages of Blatiny, Samotín and popular corners – Drátenická skála and Malinská skála. These are pleasant two-hour walks in the beautiful countryside, where scenes from the movie The Bat Out of the Bag were filmed,” says deputy director Zdeněk Záliš.
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For groups they organize various field walks (bird walk and also a walk for spiders), on request are guided tours – for example, a visit to the village Krátká, which itself is a reserve of village monuments.
They are preparing the installation of an exhibition dedicated to the 50th anniversary of the Žďárské vrchy landscape protected area at the House of Nature this summer.
Zdeněk Záliš: In our visitor center we discuss the changes in the landscape of the Žďár hills
The Žďárské vrchy nature house is the only one of its kind in the Vysočina region as a visitor center in a specially protected area. The Agency for Nature and Landscape Protection of the Czech Republic received a grant from EU funds for the reconstruction of its buildings and the creation of an exhibition. Zdeněk Záliš, deputy director of the regional office AOPK ČR – Administration of the Žďárské vrchy Landscape Protected Area Administration, revealed several interesting facts about the House of Nature.
He has been working in the Vysočina region since 2008, when he came from the protected landscape area of Orlické hory. However, the forester comes from Nový Městan Moravě due to his upbringing and therefore has a long-standing relationship with Žďárské vrchy.
The nature house was created by the reconstruction of two buildings. How did the reconstruction go and what was the hardest part of the project?
The initial condition was very favorable, because we acquired historical buildings for free in a beautiful place in the heart of the Vysočina region. However, their poor condition necessitated significant investment in renovation and conversion into a modern visitor center. This would not have been possible without the support of EU grants, where 85% of the total costs of CZK 37.8 million were paid by the Operational Program Environment.
The preparation of the project documentation in cooperation with the care of the monuments and the future operator was already demanding in order for the buildings to retain their traditional character (eg shingle roof, lime plaster, brick and stone paving), but they have been judiciously integrated with modern exhibits and technologies for economical and ecological operation. The construction work proceeded relatively well according to schedule, but sometimes had to deal with unexpected complications related to the age of the buildings.
In the end, the realization of the own exhibition turned out to be much more demanding.
“A touch table is prepared for map lovers, in which animations about the origin of Žďárské vrchy, the largest local pond Velké Dářko and the highest peak Devět Skal are in progress.”
What will visitors now find in the two buildings? What attractions can the Maison de la Nature offer them?
The main building is farm no. 2, in which there is an exhibition Transformations du paysage. It introduces visitors to the “savage”, the “struggle” and the “reconciliation”, as the three main rooms are called. The first, an approaching image of the landscape before the arrival of man, is supplemented by sculpted and living representatives of flora and fauna.
The struggle has been called the period of settlement of the landscape, the name of which is derived from the acquisition of land by irradiation of the forest. Visitors can touch some ancient handicrafts – files, shingles or peat-bark bricks.
The most valuable preserved parts of the contemporary nature of Žďárské vrchy are approached by the room of “reconciliation” in the form of stories, from which one can report an interesting case of the red woodpecker and search for its route to the winter quarters . Children can use the climbing wall or sit in the artistically designed bird’s nest. A touch table is prepared for map lovers, in which animations about the origin of Žďárské vrchy, the largest local pond Velké Dářko and the highest peak Devět Skal are running.
The theme of landscape changes ends in a multipurpose room, where we project a 3D film. In building no. 12 and the adjacent barn occasionally host thematic exhibitions.
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The surrounding land is adjacent to the building. How do you use it?
The adjoining garden is a resting place for the visitor with a creative space. The wooden statues of vipers, salamanders and ants are an attraction for children. The flower beds have been laid out by the visitors themselves, and in time it will hopefully be possible to taste the fruits of the local varieties of plums, pears and apple trees in the garden.
The Maison de la Nature hosts many events for the public, schoolchildren and tourists. Can you name some interesting activities that we have managed to set up?
The most popular event is the traditional “Short Fair and Wire Meeting”, where visitors can experience for themselves how traditional craftsmanship is made.
What are your next projects with the Maison de la Nature and what novelties are you planning for this year’s tourist season?
We are going to operate the Maison de la Nature with the non-profit association Chaloupky for at least 10 years. To keep visitors coming back, we want to focus primarily on parents with children and inspire them with something new every year. Currently, with the arrival of Easter, we are preparing an event focused on Easter creation. Go on!