Nový Knín

The royal gold mining town of Nový Knín attracted people to its riches from the Neolithic. The first evidence of settlements appear in the late Stone Age, as documented by numerous traces of life and mining like diggings, galleries and isolated archeological findings, and later also by maps and written reports. The first written report is from 1186, when the treaty on alliance of Moravia and Bohemia was signed here by the sovereigns of the two countries. A gold mining boom brought miners to this area, and subsequently also fostered the development of crafts. In the 16th century, Nový Knín belonged to the Czech royal mining towns and as such was governed by the supreme royal mining prefect. During the Hussite rebellions in 1424 and again later, during the „30 year war“ in the 17th century, the town was burnt, mines heavily destroyed, and its former heyday was never revived. Multiple attempts to renew local exploitation were not successful until the second half of the 20th century when new gold reserves were confirmed on the deposits of Čelina and Mokrsko.

An insight into the history of Nový Knín is provided by the local Museum of Gold, at present a branch of the Příbram Mining Museum. It is located in the historical „Mint House“ on the main square at Nový Knín. Gold from three local ore belts was processed here from the 15th century. From here, the gold was transported to the royal mint houses in Prague and Kutná Hora. Bergmeisters resided in this „Mint House“ from 1561. The Nový Knín Gold Museum documents mining activities along the Kocába river, refers to the history of gold mining and processing in the Nový Knín district, and presents the town history through local crafts and industry. A part of the mining exhibition is also dedicated to the modern competitions in gold panning held in Bohemia, Moravia, and in the famous centers of the historical world gold rushes.
Educational trails with mining contents are signposted in the outskirts of Nový Knín. They pass through the remnants of hard rock and alluvial mining preserved near Chramiště, Kozí Hory, Psí Hory, Libčice, Čelina, Mokrsko, and other former mining settlements between Dobříš and the Vltava River from Kamík to Štěchovice.

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