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Ministry to ask for National Stud landscape UNESCO listing

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Kladruby nad Labem, East Bohemia, Sept 27 (CTK) – The Czech Culture Ministry will submit a request for UNESCO listing of the National Stud farm’s landscape in Kladruby nad Labem on October 29, Agriculture Minister Marian Jurecka told journalists on Wednesday.

He signed the nomination draft together with Culture Minister Daniel Herman (both Christian Democrats, KDU-CSL).

The nomination aims to establish that the cultural landscape, the stud farm and everything related to horse breeding there is a unique site in Europe, Jurecka said.

The nomination proposal is entitled “Landscape for the Breeding of Ceremonial Carriage Horses in Kladruby nad Labem.”

“We have a worthy landscape here as regards its fields, meadows, grazing land, forests and park landscape. All this has served over half a millennium for the breeding of the unique Old Kladruber horses. It is something we should protect and that UNESCO, too, should protect,” Jurecka said.

The Kladruby landscape is a blend of the influences of horse breeding and long-term farming and landscaping work. In its total area of 1,310 hectares, there are several types of landscape.

“There is a central band of meadows and grazing land, and it is interesting that these are strictly symmetrically organised,” said Jiri Machek, the stud farm’s director.

There is a block of a mixed forest at the farm’s north and the Mosnice decorative park at its south. A river forms the southern border of the landscape. The area includes the Kladruby raceway – a branch of the Opatovice channel, which is the stud’s main water supply. Old alleys are the landscape’s another significant feature.

The stud farm has been a cultural heritage site since 1995, including the stud of Old Kladruber horses, and a national cultural heritage site since 2002.

The farm’s cultural landscape entered the UNESCO’s indicative list in 2007.

Following the proposal submission, comments by representatives of the UNESCO centre will be incorporated into the final document until the beginning of 2018. The final listing decision is to be made in two to three years.

In the past few years, the stud farm has been undergoing an extensive restoration of its premises worth 350 million crowns, of which 300 million crowns were from the EU funds. The next stage is about to cost 180 million crowns.

Although the number of the farm’s visitors, including visitors to the related facilities, reached its record of 60,000 people last year, the farm’s management expect their number to increase ten times after the UNESCO listing.

The Kladruby stud farm was founded in 1563 by the Emperor Maxmilian II. It is the oldest large stud farm in the world. The Emperor Rudolf II promoted the stud, originally a horse park, to an imperial court stud in 1579. In 1918, the stud became a property of the newly founded Czechoslovakia, however the Old Kladruber horse breeding was almost ruined at that point and it was renewed only in the 1940’s.

Currently, the farm is a subsidised organisation of the Agriculture Ministry.

A total of 12 Czech monuments have entered the UNESCO list of world heritage so far, the last one in 2003. They are situated in nine of the country’s 14 regions.

The first ones were the historical centres of Prague, Cesky Krumlov, south Bohemia, and Telc, south Moravia, all listed in 1992, followed by the Renaissance chateau in Litomysl, east Bohemia, the south Bohemian village of Holasovice, the chateau and gardens in Kromeriz, south Moravia, the centre of Kutna Hora together with St Barbara Cathedral, central Bohemia, the pilgrim church of St John Nepomucen at Zelena hora at Zdar nad Sazavou, south Moravia, the chateau and garden complex of Lednice and Valtice, south Moravia, the Trinity baroque column in Olomouc, north Moravia, the villa Tugendhat in Brno, south Moravia, listed in 2001 and the Jewish Quarter and St Prokopius Basilica in Trebic, south Moravia.

Apart from real estate, some Czech items have entered the UNESCO List of Intangible Cultural Heritage, such as verbunk, a folk dance from south Moravia dating back to the 18th century, the Ride of the Kings annual folklore festival in south-east Moravia, the Shrovetide masks and traditions from the Hlinsko area, east Bohemia, and the Czech and Slovak puppetry.

The Czech Republic has also some items in the UNESCO’ Memory of the World Register that was established to save the most valuable documents and make them accessible to the public.

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