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The Sázava Pacific

photo:  (czechtourism.com)

The Sázava Pacific is the poetic name of the legendary Prague-Vršovice – Vrané nad Vltavou – Čerčany railway line. It was named by Czech tramps who travelled from Prague to the region around the Sázava River, often called Posázaví, every weekend to their camps and cottages.

The train passes through the beautiful natural wilderness of the Sázava Canyon that symbolised the characteristic landscape of the Wild West from Jack London’s novels for the Czechs tramps. Therefore, they called the train they took there the Sázava Pacific and the Sázava River the Gold River (gold was actually cradled there once). The remains of the tramp settlements (camp sites with wooden cabins and totems in the middle) are still visible on the route along the Sázava River. They are the remainders of a time when the only way to take trips was by train and when songs about the Wild West were sung at camp fires in the evening.

The Sázava Pacific line was built in the hilly and rocky terrain along the entire Sázava Valley. Fifteen tunnels had to be excavated and three stone and five steel bridges were constructed to connect the valleys on the way. The most interesting of them is Žampach (Map) Bridge, which spans the Kocour (“Tomcat”) Valley near Jílové near Prague (Map). In 1899, when the seven arches constituting the bridge were finished, it was the tallest stone railway bridge in the CR at 41.5 metres  (the famous Nuselský Bridge is only one metre higher). 

Today, you can board the two-floor local Sázava Pacific train in the Prague quarter of Vršovice (Map), in Braník (Map) or Modřany (Map), and then continue through Vrané (Map) to Čerčany (Map) and possibly further, passing the 12 Český Šternberk Castle (Map) to Světlá nad Sázavou (Map). The Vršovice – Čerčany line is 57 km long and takes 2 hours. Čerčany is 90 km from Světlá nad Sázavou and the train needs more than 3 hours to get to its final destination.

If you decide to take this trip, we recommend not taking the train on the way back. In Týnec nad Sázavou, you can rent a canoe or a small boat to reach Pikovice (Map) near the capital city, where you can hand it over. It is only a few metres from the Petrov-Chlomek (Map) railway station, from where you can easily reach the Prague centre. This route is still one of the most popular and romantic water sports routes in the Czech Republic.

Author: Andrea Kábelová
Source: www.pacifikem.cz
Added: 09.07.2012

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