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The Rakouš's Cabin at the Dlask's Farmstead

Josef Pekař is one of the Turnov natives who made his region more famous than others. Even President T. G. Masaryk sent flowers to his funeral in spite of the disputes they had over the interpretation of history. Pekař was a historian and devoted his work to almost all aspects of Czech history. He took part publicly in journalistic debates and at the end of his life accepted the post of Rector of Charles University. 

His is the story of a boy from a cottage in a small village near Turnov who became one of the most influential Czech intellectuals of the first half of the 20th century. He was seen in public debates throughout the state, first in Austria-Hungary and then in the First Republic. He was admired and damned. He moved between the “big world” of the capital and the picturesque region of his birthplace.

Turnovsko

The Turnov region is the homeland that Professor Josef Pekař loved his whole life long. This small but unique area, where so much natural beauty and so many historical monuments are concentrated, is unprecedented according to the many visitors from around the world.

During a short journey through this region we can see jagged sandstone rock formations, on some clifftops castles or chateaux, and on almost every promontory the disappearing ruins of towers and castles. Silhouettes of Tertiary volcanoes rise above the dense forests with diverse fauna and flora, and at the bottom of the valleys separating them there are glistening levels of ponds, lakes and wetlands. In the Bohemian Paradise we often walk through villages and past solitary houses with intact timbered architecture, and our way will take us back two or three centuries. The landscape of the Bohemian Paradise can be an open textbook of history, various natural sciences and an oasis of peace, quiet, rest and meditation for attentive and sensitive visitors.

“Shortly after our childhood, we (the boys who lived in nearby Daliměřice, Ed.) admired daily the beauty of the Turnov region, feeding her soul. The Turnov boys still going to school saw nothing.” Josef Pekař, 1930

Into this environment, Josef Pekař was born on 12 April 1870 in nearby Malý Rohozec. A distinctive personality, Pekař always connected his life with Turnov, even when he came into a completely different social position and had stopped long ago focusing only on regional issues, but was responding to national and even global events. Turnov did not forget its native son and in March 1920, together with Josef Vítězslav Šimák, another important historian of the region, he was made an honorary citizen of Turnov.

“Turnov and its region occupy a unique place in my mental life. I return to this landscape again and again to breathe its physical and moral beauty, to recruit new mental powers and to feed my eyes. In it and through it I became what I am, a Czech patriot and a Czech historian.” Josef Pekař, 1920

Dolánky near Turnov

It does not often occur that a single building overshadows the municipality in which it is located. However, in the case of building No. 12 in Dolánky near Turnov, this really happened. The so-called Dlask's Farmstead is known far beyond the borders of our region as one of the most outstanding and best preserved monuments of folk architecture representing the two-storey timbered architectural style of central Pojizeří. The cultural-historical significance of the farmstead is also exceptional, as one of its owners was an educated farmer and folk chronicler, Josef Dlask (1782-1853). His notes, which bear witness to the material and spritual world of the farmer in the first half of the 19th century, are today an important source for regional history. Josef Pekař was well aware of this. At Christmas 1898, as a supplement to the German-language daily Politik, Pekař's article Memoir of Farmer Josef Dlask was published. Here, perhaps for the first time, Pekář revealed his interest, his life's theme: The Czech agrarian history of the 17th-19th centuries, which culminated in the works Book of Kost Castle and Czech Land Registry. 

"Dlask's name is now somewhat well-known in the Czech Republic – even better known is Dlask's farmstead in Dolanky near Turnov. It is the characteristic large rural building in Upper Pojizeří, whose motifs – to the merit of the academic painter Jan Prousek of Turnov – were used at an ethnographic exhibition at the Turnov farm estate (...).” Josef Pekař, 1898

Here begins the path of Josef Pekař, which continues from Dolánky towards Malý Rohozec, to the Professor's birthplace, and ends in Jenišovice, where we find his last resting place in the local cemetery. Even here in Dolánky you can find a piece of Pekař's Malý Rohozec, because we are standing at the so-called Rakouš's Cabin, which was only brought from his home village in the sixties of the 20th century and which Josef Pekař perceived as an integral part of cottage No. 5 in Malý Rohozec.

The area of Dlask's farmstead was extended by this two-storey timbered granary on a high stone foundation from the year 1807, at the time when it was in danger of certain destruction at its original location near Rakous's farmstead No. 5 in Malý Rohozec. The aim was that the position of the cabin corresponded in some way to the complex of Dlask's estate, and that in the future it would be possible to add other buildings of folk architecture that would be collected here. At that time, it was still planned to build a folk architecture open-air museum in this area, where the buildings that were in imminent danger of demolition in the region would be collected. However, this idea was ultimately not realised.

Map of Josef Pekař´s Thematic Trail by Jiří Lode (2020)


Young associate professor Josef Pekař in a photograph from 1898


Pictured from the mid-1880s. Josef probably poses with his sisters Anna (1878–1888) and Maria Aloisia (1874–1886)

Turnov-Daliměřice, No. 18. In this photo, Josef Pekař from the other side remarked: “Our farm in Daliměřice before the fire”

Such a view of Turnov was offered to the young Josef Pekař during his daily attendance at school

Favorite lime trees near Hrubý Rohozec, under which Josef Pekař liked to sit. Later they will be referred to as Pekař's lime trees

The uniqueness of Dlask's farm is also evidenced by the fact that in 2010 it was included among the national cultural monuments

Rakouš's granary in its original place in Malý Rohozec No. 5
 
 
 
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