Open Access

Traces of former mill races in Krnov: Possibilities of revitalization and interpretation


Mill races were an integral part of many towns in the past. But when they lost their economic importance, they were mostly filled and buried underground. Although we can now find them in their original form in a few cases only, their spatial corridors have often been preserved in the urban structure. The research aims to detect the historical trace of the former mill races in Krnov, a small town in the district of Bruntál in the Moravian-Silesian region of the Czech Republic, and investigate the possibilities of their interpretation and revitalization. The research focuses on the identification of the remnants and traces of the former mill races using historical maps, literary and visual sources, and subsequently on the investigation of the state of their current existence in the urban structure, according to current orthophoto maps, real estate cadastre records, and field research. During the 19th century, the mill race system in Krnov and its surrounds consisted of four mill race channels. Two of them have been preserved with water flow to the present day. The other two mill races were filled. Research shows, however, that the footprint of their corridors is legible in the urban structure even today, and its presentation in new forms could significantly contribute to regenerate the urban fabric and revitalize public spaces. The mill races represent historical and cultural heritage, and the presentation and interpretation of their values, even those that have disappeared, can significantly help increase the quality and attractiveness of urban public spaces for residents and tourists.

Publication timeframe:
4 times per year
Journal Subjects:
Architecture and Design, Architecture, Architects, Buildings, Landscape Architecture, Landscape Architects, Design, Designers, other