The seat of settlement of Dobrš is located 6 km. north of Vacov and approx. 33 km. north of Vimperk. It lies on a hill 18 km south-west from Volyne at an elevation of 710 meters above sea level. The ambient topography is very rugged. This region is very attractive for tourists, lanscape has a great charm, it is fairly wooded, along watercourses and roads there are alleys, numerous small sheds refuges and scattered (green) vegetation which predetermines high quality and lovely natural environment of Strakonicko region.
National park Sumava is located about 15 km south-west distance by air, in the vicinity there is a industrial landmark of former lime-kiln near a road in the direction of Vacov.
The first allegedly written record is from the second half of 14. Century-(1352). According to the legend, though, already around 1012-1037 count Oldrich was attacked by a wild boar when he was hunting in these local forests. At that time miller’s stripling named Kocik saved his life and the count gave him the local stronghold settlement as an expression of gratitude. Kocovs reigned here until 1616.
Foundation of new settlements in the region took place in the 14. Century. Original primeval forest was cleared by fire and around a small brook, nowadays called Peklov, new settlements were erected. Some minor ones became extinct, bigger settlements then even had their church. The earliest Dobrš settlement dates back to the early Middle Ages. Two Romanesque churches which are situated in a remarkable terrain serve as evidence of this fact. These churches are dated to early 13. century because of their form. A strategic position of the village of Dobrs and namely the position of the churches is a possible precondition for the existence of the site of settlement in these places. The Dobrs stronghold is located at some distance at the edge of terrain ravine under a mountain ridge, which from a defensive viewpoint is quite inconvenient. The position of both churches and fortification,being quite uncommon, is difficult to explain in a reliable manner for the time being.
The village underwent expansion in the 13.Century around the Kocovs from Dobrs fortification. The fortification was surrounded by a moat. In 1377 Pribik from Dobrs named Kocik appointed a pastor for the church. By 1528 Krystof Koc is in charge of Dobrs Estate, under the reign of Vaclav Koc a church bell with excellent relief ornamentation is installed in the chapel of St. John and Paul in the year 1590. Among other villages, Zihobce with it’s fortification were also part of Dobrs.In the 16. century Kocovs’ property was already large. Kocovs reigned at this fortified settlement till 1607. By agreement in 1609 the fortified settlement became partially owned by Miletických-brewery, moat, hopgarden and a portion of a manor with court. The other part was by the Ohrazenicka dissent, subsequently starting 1615 part was in possession by Kavků from Ríčan (Anna Ricanska). Around 1692 Hubert Zikmund started to build a new castle, in 1690-1707 the castle grounds were in possession by Althan family. From 1707 the owner was Jan Adam from Schwanzenberk. Since that time the castle deteriorated and was converted into granary, part of it served as residential quarters for serfs.From the two towers only the western one remains, moats were filled. As early as 1780 the Renaissance chteau garden was abolished, till today only the vestiges of enclosure wall remain.By 1838 a school was placed in the front wing of the chateau (in 1930, 230 students attended this school). The scool building was damaged by fire in 1911, it was renovated as late as 1924. There is proven existence of three underground tunnels (one of which leads to the crypt of the church Zvestovani of Virgin Mary). Today the tunnels are largely filled and thus inaccessible.
In the village, in addition to the stronghold ruins with chateau wing and outbuildings, there are other significant historic landmarks-parish church Zvěstování of Virgin Mary,at higher ground a chapel of St. John and Paul, Renaissance entrance gate into the garden premises. Among other noteworthy objects one finds for example, a rectory and a village chapel on the way to Chvalšovice.
Dobrš was always a significant regional and cultural centre. The township had the highest number of residents around the year 1900-unbelievable 400. There was a very abundant activity with regard to joint federations, to mention just one of them was Volunteer fire fighters association and Amateur-reader association Svornost. Federation activities came to an end in the early post war era, school classes were held in the village until 1964.
1 The stronghold
2 The chapel of St. John and Paul
3 The Church of the Annunciation of the Virgin Mary
4 (pub and village center)
is initially a Gothic structure, it was destroyed in 1421, was then rebuilt in 1561. It was enlarged at the end of the 17. Century. A triple-winged structure with a torso of square tower, on the lateral side it is enclosed in southern direction by a boundary wall of former garden, whose remaining parts are visible from distant views. An entrance building with a gateway opens a view of a residential building opposite the tower, open to the inner courtyard by two arcades, in it’s inner rooms one can see ribbed vaults. On the exterior one notices the remains of sgrafitto parpoint. Under the stronghold ruins there is an extensive network of underground tunnels. Unfortunately this part is not open to general public.
In 1707 an early Baroque rectangular chateau building was added to the tower in the northern direction, it is two storeys tall, on which above window three-sided superfenestrations are preserved, double pilasters above the window sill. The structure is undergoing reconstruction, the interior is being newly modified into summer art school and a regional museum. An atrium with homestead and Renaissance vaults was also decorated on it’s walls by sgrafitto ornamentation, of which only fragments have been preserved till today. The structure is not open to general public due to previously mentioned reasons. Remains of the enclosure walls line large Renaissance gardens, entrance gate to the chateau grounds was modified in 1596 into Renaissance form, repaired and restored in 1996. During the Renaissance period Dobrš enjoyed being a cultural and social centre of a region in it’s prime years.
The chapel of St. John and Paul
in front is quite uncommon type of a structure which secondarily acquired a character of campanile. A small Romanesque chapel was built around 1230 at a site of a presumably pagan sacrificial grounds. It is characteristic in it’s single nave space with offset tower, apse and above all pseudo-Gothic storey.On the south side of the nave a Romanesque portal is placed, similar to the west portal of the parish church in it’s style and form. For the purpose of campanile, a huge church bell was casted in 1561 at a workshop of Prague’s bell maker named Brick from Cimperk. Originally this church bell was mounted separately in a wooden campanile at the foot of a hill and not until the 19. century was it moved to the completed bell storey. In addition to this bell there are two smaller church bells from the 16. and 17.century placed one above each other in the Romanesque steeple.
The Church of the Annunciation of the Virgin Mary
has Romanesque origin, it has existed already in the middle of the 13. Century. It was damaged around 1420, and after that was rebuilt in early Gothic style. Central nave was vaulted in 1561 by Thomas Rossim from Medrisia, at that time a sacristy was added and successively around 1660 a chapel of St. Catherine was also added. In the area of west facade wall the central nave is adjoined by a chapel space with Romanesque portal with little arched cresting and with a sculpture depicting the resurrection of Christ. This sculpture was created in 1998 by a young sculptor Thomas Vejdovský, a graduate from Prague Academy of Fine Arts. Altar in the central nave is early Baroque, on the wall under the organ-loft a crucifix is situated. This comes from the workshop of Dietrich Brothers.They are also the authors of well known Samson’s public fountain in České Budejovice. In 1969 rare wall paintings were uncovered in central nave and original Gothic windows. Their missing parts were replaced by panels of glued layers of glass in the framework of modern approach. Wall paintings are perceptible in two phases, partly we find here early Gothic fragments and late Gothic phase which includes for example, a depiction/illustration of the death of Virgin Mary surrounded by eleven standing apostles-that is witout Judas.
Inside the cemetery of this church we find a Baroque ossuary house. Under the choir space a crypt is located, where the remains of clan members of nobility are buried, those who reigned in Dobrš throughout history (for example, Kafkovs from Ricany, Malovcovs from Malovice, Kocovs from Dobrs Chreptics from Modliskovice).
Dobrš also has it’s remarkable historical personalities. Among those is also a Baroque preacher and a man of letters Ondřej Jakub de Waldt, who worked here as a priest for as long as 42 years at the turn of the 17. and 18. Century and made out a fundamental part of his work-above all his Baroque preaching. A sizable part of the church furnishings was obtained while he was a priest. A humble monument is dedicated to him, which you can see at the entrance to the parish church cemetery.
Local former pub ( U Dražných)