Oficial page of the Sudkův Důl fortress

The Sudkův Důl fortress is accessible for free, but by prior arrangement

The fortress is a protected cultural monument of the Czech Republic. It is also our family's home. We welcome visitors to the fortress with the gates wide open, but there are days when tours are not possible.

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In 2016, the stable building (1867) was transformed into a cider house. With this conversion, the fortress in Sudkovo Dol was returned to its economic dimension after decades. A visit to the cider house is also possible by prior arrangement. More about the cider house at www.utopia.direct

Sudkův Důl fortress

People who can be considered as holders of a noble seat in the village of Dol are mentioned in two written references in 1408 and 1475 (in the second case it is Jan Sudek from Dol, after whom the village was artificially renamed in the 19th century). This Jan Sudek could possibly have been the builder of the preserved fortress, because its current dating (compared to other buildings) is late Gothic, to the second half of the 15th century or rather to the turn of the 15th and 16th centuries, i.e. around 1500. Reliable the local residence with a court is mentioned in writing as far back as 1535, while its noble function was not very long: after a hundred years, during the Thirty Years' War, the former fortress was part of the largest, but peasant estate. Its owners were named, certainly according to their affiliation to the largest court, Dvořák, while this family held the homestead for more than 350 years, until 1998. The former fortress was converted into a granary in the farmstead, as in many other similar cases, which cannon in a manner relatively respectful of the old building. It was true that everything that was too closely related to the former residential use was removed from the building, but that was basically the end of the entire adaptation. After the torn out wooden parts, at least their legible imprints remained, so the former structure of the fortress, its construction equipment and the way of living are among the best understood of their kind in Bohemia (if the fortress was part of the still existing noble residence, which was gradually rebuilt, it would remain of its original construction and equipment significantly less).

The building has a simple rectangular floor plan with internal dimensions of approx. 5 x 10 m on three floors, i.e. with a slightly tower-like character. The construction of the building is very simple - not only the masonry was made from quarry stone on lime mortar, but also the lining of the openings: the entrance portal is a simple semi-circular one, equipped with a sheath for a sliding bolt, the windows are mostly slotted, with segmentally arched niches or simply folded flat stones. The ground floor was apparently more of an economic character - it went down to a small cellar and the original simple structure of the ceiling made of roughly hewn oak beams was preserved for the most part. Only two beams between the entrance and the chamber on the left have been replaced, which can be recognized by the removed original plaster, which otherwise adheres to the fronts of the beams. The chamber, raised above the ground in an interesting way, is apparently part of the later alterations to the granary, because in its wooden structure there are secondary used parts with traces of a different original function (e.g. the stripes on the boards separating the walls mean their original function in the ceiling cover). The stairs to the first floor have an ancient construction with beam steps and steps made of diagonally halved beams, nailed with wooden pegs. However, there are grooves in both staircases from earlier, different uses.

The core of the former residential use of the fortress was the first floor, once divided into two spaces. The first had the character of an entrance hall, into which the stairs from the ground floor opened and further stairs continued to the upper floor (again with the same old construction). The larger half of the floor was occupied by the most important space - a year-round residential, heated room. After its wooden structure was later torn out, clear imprints were preserved on the inner face of the masonry, which clarify both its character and the construction process: above the ceiling of the ground floor, the masons gave way to carpenters, who removed the wooden room, and then the masons walled it up. The sanctuary had five small windows, in front of which were in. masonry with typical outward-opening slats (three of these windows were later bricked up). The interior timbering was made of unedged logs, so the interior character of the room was similar to that of the rooms of peasant timbered houses. The original wooden structure has been removed, including the ceiling, and the younger origin of the ceiling beams above the former skylight is clearly visible. It happened maybe as late as 1830 according to the date written on one of these beams. The method of heating the wooden room is also very easy to read. It was indirect - i.e. from the kitchen in the adjacent corner of the adjacent hall (opposite the stairs to the upper floor), where clear imprints of the predecessor of today's chimneys - a wide open flue at the bottom - were preserved on the wall and two ceiling beams.

To the left of the small window, its outline can be clearly read by the interface of the unplastered masonry, and above the window on the beams, holes and pegs have been preserved (apart from being tarred by smoke), reliably proving that the structure of the chimney was wooden, protected by a clay screed. Below the chimney, there had to be the usual arrangement of openings for tiled stoves in the wall of the room - a larger fitting opening and above it a smaller opening for smoke extraction. The window directly above the fireplace was there for light and also for the access of air needed for heating operation. The stove in the adjacent corner of the room was made of ceramic tiles, fragments of which were found when cleaning the ground floor. According to the remains found, it was finished with a cornice with a battlement motif (and no doubt was supplemented in the usual way with a corner bench). The entire second floor was occupied by one undivided space of a kind of hall, the use of which, however, was limited to the warmer part of the year. There was no heating device, but a little heating was probably provided by the chimney body that passed through from the 1st floor. A print or an unplastered strip on the wall, which again vividly demonstrates the construction progress - the chimney was finished before the masons finished their work with the internal plaster. In this unplastered area, it is possible to see a large block of slag between the stones in the masonry, which apparently proves the existence of some older production equipment in the place. In the adjacent corner of the hall, there is an imprint of the former stairs to the attic on the wall, which were again of the same type as the two preserved staircases. The ceiling and rafter construction is only from the early 20th century, with the original elements second-hand - there are three old oak beams with the ends cut off, one of which (following the same traces as one floor below) was again related to the chimney structure.

Other smaller elements of the original roof structure were used as pads on the crown of the masonry, which was slightly reduced compared to the medieval state. The original roof was of a similar shape and slightly steeper - its resemblance is still captured in several photographs. On the walls, the original late Gothic plasters have been preserved almost entirely. The most interesting element of the hall is the window formation in the south-eastern frontal wall, equipped with typical medieval seats still with authentic, albeit damaged, wooden boards. Also, the wooden frame of the window, set in the outer face of the wall, is apparently medieval, probably the only one of its kind in Bohemia. According to the mortise and drilled holes for the connecting pins, it lacks a solid dividing cross, the larger part of which was secondarily installed as a younger frame in the smaller window on the right. On the wall between the two windows is a crude drawing of three figures of soldiers with distinctive tall caps, executed in about the 18th century.

In 2016, the fortress in Sudkov Dol received a special award from the director of the National Monuments Institute in the Patrimonium pro futuro competition for the restoration of medieval plasters and replacement of the roof covering.

In 2016, the stable building (1867) was transformed into a cider house. The conversion took place under the expert supervision of the state heritage preservation authority so that all modifications related to the new use of the building were reversible and did not reduce the existing architectural-historical values of the building. With this conversion, the fortress in Sudkovo Dol was returned to its economic dimension after decades.

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