- Hans Weber
- December 1, 2023
Czech Town of Zatec and its Hops Landscape Designated as UNESCO World Heritage Site
The Czech town of Zatec and its historic hops landscape have been designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site during the 45th session of the World Heritage Committee held in Riyadh. This achievement marks the 17th site in the Czech Republic to be added to the prestigious World Heritage List and notably, the first hop-growing landscape globally to receive this prestigious status.
The successful nomination process followed the original recommendation by the World Heritage Committee in 2018 to revise the nomination to include a currently active hop-growing landscape. The new designation recognizes the cultural significance of hop cultivation in Czech history.
Culture Minister Martin Baxa (ODS) expressed his delight at the news, highlighting the deep cultural connection between Czech heritage and hop cultivation. He believes that the UNESCO status will not only validate the exceptional value of the site but also stimulate further development, enhanced protection, and collaboration in areas such as conservation, tourism, and promotion.
The designation offers promising prospects for the town of Zatec, which has been striving for inclusion on the UNESCO World Heritage List since 2007. Mayor Radim Laibl (ANO) emphasized the uniqueness of this recognition, underscoring the fact that it’s the first time a hop-growing area has received such status.
The Zatec World Heritage Site encompasses a centuries-old tradition of hop cultivation and consists of two distinct parts. The first part features a landscape with hop farms and the villages of Trnovany and Steteknik, including a local castle. The second part encompasses the historic center of Zatec, along with its 19th-century industrial quarter, characterized by a high concentration of buildings linked to hop processing and trade. Both parts are intricately connected by the Ohre River.
This newly designated site showcases a hop-growing heritage that spans over 700 years, surviving demographic changes throughout history. It comprises a wide range of features, from traditional hop houses to structures used for drying, packing, certifying, and storing hops, as well as elements of the historic transportation network encompassing roads, railways, the River Ohre, and other watercourses. The UNESCO recognition solidifies the cultural and historical significance of the Czech Republic’s hop cultivation traditions on a global scale.
Article by Prague Forum