The landscape of north-western Bohemia covers the area between the towns of Duchcov, Most and Bílina and its immense historical value could hardly be overestimated. Unfortunately the landscape was heavily hit by the industrial era of coal mining (especially on the surface) and it was exfoliated on a large scale. Mining is in decline, and we are facing the task of restoring almost annihilated landscapes, including their memory traces. It is important to summarize the possibilities and methods of recalling, or ‘re-creating’ landscape memory, and even to search for new ones.
The paper works with the symbols of a specific predicative value – ‘minor landscape monument’, e.g. crosses, statues, small wayside chapels, etc. These widely disappeared because of brown-coal mining in the mining area of Bílina, and thus are endowed with extended symbolic strength. The leading idea of this project of preservation and recalling of memory traces in an industrial landscape is that of regarding small landscape monuments as the main source of historical identity and an equally essential tool for re-creating it. This project was worked out as a case study investigating the decayed small monuments as well as their re-calling in the strip-mine area of Bílina. The retrieval of information regarding essential cultural, historical, and natural values as well as a general development plan were implemented on the basis of multi-disciplinary cooperation including philosophy, cultural heritage theory, landscape architecture, landscape planning and horticulture. As a result ‘the principles of preservation and recalling of memory traces’ themselves were proposed as the general attitude to the preservation and recalling of historically precious areas within industrial, deeply changed landscapes afflicted by aberrations of modernity.
A methodical procedure has been thus evolved to be used for a wide range of landscapes of high historical value that have been roughly modified by industrial activities.
Middle Ages, modernity, post-modernity, landscape memory, minor landmark (small landscape monuments), cultural heritage theory, industrial landscape, landscape planning
The north Bohemian brown-coal basin covers the area between the Krušné hory mountains (Erzgebirge) and České středohoří (Central Czech Highlands).