Lookout towers are very popular in our country – thanks to their spectacular architecture and, primarily, because they offer unparalleled views of extraordinary natural scenery. In addition to this, all of them have a very interesting history. That is why Czech Mint decided to issue a separate collector series depicting these special structures. And this year (2014), it presents the second medal in a row dedicated to Josef’s lookout tower on Kleť made of pure gold and weighing one troy ounce.
The lookout tower Kleť, named Josef’s tower, is situated on the highest mountain of the nature conservation area Blanský les (Blanský forest) at the altitude of 1083 meters in the region of Český Krumlov. The construction of the lookout tower was initiated by owner of the local dominion and traveller, prince Josef Jan Schwarzenberg, and the lookout tower was named after him. In 1822–1825 he entrusted the project to Jan Sallaba; the cost of the 18 meters high stone structure amounted to 5.5 thousand florins (gold coins). It was first used only by prince’s selected guests and visitors; to the public it was open no sooner than in the second half of the 19th century.
In 1872, a small house for the gamekeeper was added to the tower. In 1925 it was rebuilt into Tereza’s mountain cottage, named after its patroness - princess Therese of Schwarzenberg. Two transmitters and an observatory were subsequently built here, too. In summer and winter alike visitors can use 1,752 meters long cable car to get to the lookout tower. In 2008 and 2009 the lookout tower was reconstructed. It offers views of the Třeboň and České Budějovice basins, Novohradské hory mountain range, part of Šumava between Český Krumlov and Prachatice and, in favourable weather even the Austrian Alps with the massif of Dachstein.
Gold medal with a motif of Kleť is another masterpiece of medal designer Luboš Charvát. He decorated the obverse side with the view of Josef’s tower and Tereza’s cottage. The reverse side features the panorama of the Šumava mountain range with designated landmarks and the village of Chvalšiny in the forefront. Do not miss this spectacular piece and add it to your numismatic collection – the mintage is limited to mere 300 pieces!