Ceramic Model of Český Krumlov

The Ceramic Model of the Český Krumlov historical center is a unique showpiece of the District Museum of National History in Český Krumlov. The brainseed of its existence was born in the mid 1970's. The authors of the model, the former Český Krumlov historical monument specialist Peter Pešek, engineer and architect, and his wife, Jana Pešková, ceramics artist, decided to display the uniqueness of the urban and architectural appearance of the town in its ideal form dated around 1800 and in an unusually large scale of 1:2000. The borders of the modeled area were made equal to the deliniated Historical Urban Reservation.

The authors dedicated almost eight years to their masterpiece. They chose an untraditional and difficult way to express their ideas. They made it out of baked clay, colored most of the objects with lime paint and as additional materials used glass grit (for the Vltava River), wood (for bridge models) and metal (towers and steeples).

Ceramic model of Český Krumlov, exposition of Regional Museum of National History, foto: Libor Sváček

The unique clay model, as well as the technique used, has no comparison. In such a case as this, the very of ceramic art was just the basis upon which many individual problems, large and detailed, had to be overcome. The major task was to gain control of the material being used and to tame it to the point where its inherent qualities didn't create a spiteful or inefficient relationship between artist and matter. This had to be balanced with the need to exploit the material's full natural potential. Both these principles were then subject to the overall requirement of the project: to keep the model to scale while saving the most important details for the end.

The Ceramics Model of Český Krumlov has now become one of the dominant showpieces of the Museum. It presents an extent of 56 hectares with eight hundred structures, houses, town ramparts and gates, towers and steeples, bridges and footbridges, streams and the Vltava River.

The Model developed under the guidance of archival documents, plans and blueprints, ancient paintings, graphics sheets and historical photographical studies. The designers then acquired additional information on the terrain. They went through every city nook, backyard, lodge and attic with their camera, measuring and sketching all the way.

The Budějovická Gate and its rough surroundings were the first town element to be modelled. The edifices, river, stream, rocks and open space behind the municipal historical reservation necessarily had to be modelled on that specific block. It was made to be the touchstone against which all procedures and material qualities were to be tested. The blocks with the Castle and Chateau are indicated as the most beautiful and laborious parts of the Model. The work performance on that one component took a year and a half. The part of the Castle Gardens with the Summerhouse Bellarie (implemented to the Model in the end of 1984) was the last model section to be completed.

Ceramic model of Český Krumlov, exposition of Regional Museum of National History in Český Krumlov, detail

It is necessary to point out that the model was installed in only a third of its entirety after the re-opening of the Museum (after reconstruction in 1980). The next finished sections were attached year by year on the site of the exhibition. The creators of the model thus had a chance to confront the results of their work with the visitors' reactions. The visitors did not conceal their admiration, recognition and praise from the early beginning. The positive reaction of specialists in care of historical monuments, history itself and urbanism, was very important. In the beginning of 1985 the model was accessible in its entirety for the visitors of the Museum for the first time.

Further information :
Culture and Society in Český Krumlov
Places of Interest in Český Krumlov
Tourist Service in Český Krumlov
Tourist Service in the Český Krumlov Region


© Sdružení Oficiálního informačního systému Český Krumlov, 1999
Number of visitors this page since 13th November 1998 : TOPlist 0

Česká verzeDeutsche fassung