5 – Village Zhůří

Zhůří during the era of the Golden Trail and the Golden Road

Today, the former village can be identified in the terrain only by the remains of the Golden Trail, which led through it, and by small overgrown piles of rubble, signaling the former presence of houses. From the plains around the former village, one can, during favourable weather, admire one of the most beautiful views in Šumava.

The Golden Trail descended towards Zhůří from Huťská mountain (1187 m) across meadows and around old crosses in a noticeable “meadow” sunken lane of the impressive measurements of 4–6 meters of width and up to 3,5 meters in depth. In parts there are noticeable remains of paving and solidifying the sides with stone.

West of the former village Zhůří lies the place “U věže” (By the Tower), registered in some older and even newer maps. Some explorers think that from this strategically situated place, it was possible to control a large part of the Kašperské Hory branch of the Golden Trail. As such we cannot rule out the existence of a fortified protective building. However, it is not possible to test this theory via archeological research, because the whole area served as an impenetrable military compound during the socialist regime, and it has undergone widespread terrain modification, which irreparably ruined all possible archeological situations. A similar guard tower to the one on Stožecká rock on the Prachatice branch or by Strážný (Kynžvart) on the Vimperk branch of the Golden Trail can thus not be proven.
A depiction of a 16th century trading caravan
Area, nature, personalities, events

Peat used to be extracted from the nearby Zhůří peatbog. People would also make their living in glass production and logging.

On Christmas Eve of 1937, an aircraft tragedy occurred on the hillside of the nearby Huťská mountain. A three-motor Air France aircraft crashed with three men on board, the pilot František Lehký, navigator Pierre Austruc and a single passenger, a known Prague advocate Karel Flanderka. A memorial and a nearby information board commemorates the tragedy.
Huťská mountain above Zhůří in the area called “By the tower”
After the end of the Golden Trail and the Golden Road

The already vanished village of Zhůří (Haidl) was founded probably close the the end of the Golden Trail´s existence. The mentions of it come from the 18th century and likely the oldest map depicting it is from 1736. In 1840 the village had 15 houses and 128 inhabitants, who mostly made their living in pasturage and forestry.

After WWII, the German inhabitants of Zhůří were forcibly displaced and the village disappeared. During the socialist regime, there was a barrack of the border guards and a military watchtower, which made the area inaccessible for decades.