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Historical Ridgeway

They were tough people who met each other more than 100 years ago, it was the 13.04.1902 in Warnsdorf/Varnsdorf, when they started an ambitious project – the establishment of a touristic connection between Rosenberg/Ruzovsky vrch (619m) in the Bohemian Switzerland and the hill Jeschken/Jested (1.012 m) in the Jeschken-Mountains, named after the hill. Much more – the people wanted to connect the growing towns Tetschen/Decin and Reichenberg/Liberec with this food path. On this meeting, 13.04.1902, between the two associations, Northern Bohemian and Lusatian Mountain Club, took part. The cheefs were Dr. Johann Hille (Northern Bohemian Mountain Association), Prof. Dr. Robert Lamprecht (Lusatian Mountain Association) and Josef Beuer (Mountain Association for the Jeschken- and Jizera Mountains). The leadership of the project assumed to Josef Mohr from Rumburg/Rumburk. About the symbol, which should mark the way all members agreed soon with – a blue, four-prongs ridge as a sign for all four related Mountain Associations.

Already in 1904 the marking of the Ridgeway was complete. In the same year the first book about this way from Anton Amand Paudler was published as an author´s edition under the title „The new Ridgeway vom Jeschken to Rosenberge“, Leipa 1904 (24). One year later Dr. Franz Hantschel published his Ridgeway-Guidebook (11).

Anton Amand Paudler (*08.10.1844 in Kamnitz-Neudörfel/Kamenicka Nova Viska +10.11.1905 in Prague) worked as professor, grammar schook teacher and Augustinian monk. He was one of the founders of the Norther Bohemian Field-Trip-Association.

As an enthusiastic local history researcher he edited already „A  German Book from Bohemia“ (3 volumes, Leipa 1894-1895, Commisssionsverlag Johann Künstner; (25) thorough descriptions of his loved Norther Bohemian home, especially about the Bohemian low mountain range, the Bohemian Switzerland as a part of the Elbe Sandstone-Mountains and about the Bohemian part of the Lusatian Mountains. It is sure, and his texts evidence this, that Paudler helped with his local knowledge to build the Ridgeway. A possible boat trip on Ferdinandsklamm near (Nieder-) Windisch-Kamnitz/(Dolni) Srbska Kamenice was his idea.

Although the way from the hill Jeschken to the hill Rosenberg is only 60 km long (added by the „final stage“ from Rosenberg to Decin or to Hrensko/Herrnskretschen and in the other direction from the hill Jeschken downhill to Liberec), it passes through three low mountain ranges – Bohemian Switzerland, Lusatian and Zittau Mountains (former named on the Bohemian side as „Kreibitzer Mountains“ and „Zittau Mountains“) and also Jeschken-Mountains.

Who wants to blame Anton Amand Paudler for his euphoria, when he writes: „The new Ridgeway from the hill Jeschken to the hill Rosenberg is finished and it will rank not behind other Ridgeways in the question of beauty, nature, variety and fairy tales.“ He edited his book under this impressions immediately after his Ridgeway-Trip with the painter August Find (*21.11.1852 in Schönlinde/Krasna Lipa +03.08.1924 in Munich) from June to Octobre 1903. Frind illustrated the book with pictures from the „Grund-Mill“/Dolsky mlyn in „Kamnitzgrund“ and 34 initials, one for each chapter.

After the German National Socialilism became Bestialism (Peter Glotz) and forced the world into the barbarious war, forced migration against the german people at the end of worldwar II followed - and tourism was not a theme in this area for a long time. Also the new czech residents found it hard to accept Northern Bohemia as their new home. On some places native czech people were a minority group under new inhabitants. Tensions followed under czech people. The Ridgeway nearly passed out of the minds. But many things also became new until 1989/1990. We think about the landmark of Jested – the building of a new hotel, from 1966 – 1973 under the leadership of Karl Hubacek (*23.02.1924 +25.11.2011) who won for his architet´s plan in 1969 the Perret-price of the International Architecture-Union in Buenos Aires (because of the political situation in the former CSSR he could not recieve this price personally).

In addition to „governmental decreeded“ contacts between people from the GDR and the CSSR private contacts established from 1971 on. This friendships between common people leaded to suspect from the states. One of a nearly forgotten reason for this development was, that the CSSR was the only country in which people from the GDR could go only with their own valid identity card.