9 – Kvilda’s system of the Golden Trail remains

The Kvilda system of the Golden Trail

In the expansive border forests between Kvilda and the former village of Bučina by a border crossing of the same name, the Kvilda system of the Golden Trail can be found. Its course rose to considerable altitude around 1200 meters and the trade caravans had to deal with harsh climatic conditions.

Travel was further complicated by the fact that up until the 16th century that the border forests belonging to the Passau bishopric, spreading north of Freyung, all the way to Kozí Hřbety by Kašperské Hory, was completely uninhabited. The Kvilda system was just about in the middle of this large forest. In both directions, the travelling tradesmen were facing around 15 kilometres of uninhabited primeval forest.

From the entire distance of 8 km between Kvilda and the border in Bučina, the Kvilda system takes up about 2 km. We are speaking of one main sunken lane, which in some places splits into two to four trails.
Kvilda system, current state
Area, nature, personalities, events

The Šumava mountains’ specific climate plays a large role in determining their overall character. Specifically, the climate is affected by the mountains southern location and predominant western streams. The temperatures here are higher than in the same altitudes in our northern mountains. Rains, coming mostly from the west or southwest, are quite heavy. Average yearly temperatures move between 6°C (750 m.a.s.l.) and 3°C (1300 m.a.s.l.)

Water in various forms (from fog, through rain, to snow and frost) majorly contributes to the overall image and character of local landscape. Water is also a necessary precondition for the creation of specific ecosystems – a mosaic of peat bogs and waterlogged spruce forests.
Alongside the Kvilda system run cross-country skiing tracks
After the end of the Golden Trail and the Golden Road

Metal detector research has unearthed the largest collection - 85 iron findings – that was ever recorded on the Golden Trail systems, mostly horseshoes and small objects, pointing towards the use of horses and caravans in this area. The findings were uncovered along the entire length of the system.

They are all made out of iron and clearly connected to employing horsepower in transport. Horseshoes are of various sizes, dating from the Middle Ages to the current era. Apart from them, there were other findings such as horseshoe nails, rings, parts of chains and one iron axe. All of them are undoubtedly connected to the processions of travelling trading caravans through this branch of the Golden Trail.