Blaník (Czech: [blaɲiːk]) is a mountain in the Czech Republic near Louňovice pod Blaníkem. The hill and surrounding area is a nature reserve. The Blaník massif consists of two forested rocky hills, Great Blaník (638 m) and Small Blaník (580 m).
Buildings on top
In the 5th century BC, in the Hallstatt period, at the top of Great Blaník was a circular hillfort with two rows of massive stone walls, remnants are still visible around the summit, later a fortress and probably a wooden castle were built here.
At the top of Great Blaník stands 30 m tall wooden watchtower from 1941 in the shape of a Hussite towers. On the top of Small Blaník are the ruins of pilgrimage Chapel of St. Mary Magdalene. Construction was completed in 1753, then abolished in 1783 by a decree of the Emperor Joseph II. The ground plan of the chapel is formed by an octagon composed into an ellipse, under which a cave with a hermit used to be. In the middle of the ruins, there is a 160 year old spruce called "Big Monk."
Alois Jirásek portrayed the Blaník legend in his Ancient Bohemian Legends.
The last movement of Smetana’s Má vlast is called Blanik.
The Czechoslovak-built Let L-13 sailplane is called the Blanik after the mountain, and the Let L-23 is called the Super Blanik.
Blaník is surrounded by many legends, some of which probably originate in Celtic times. The main legend about knights arose probably in the 15th century among the common people on the basis of an event, when the enemy army was defeated in a miraculous way at the southeastern foothill of Blaník, near the village of Býkovice.
The legend says, that there is an army resting inside the mountain and waiting for the Czech nation to be at worst. Its commander is the saint patron of the country St. Wenceslaus. The day inside the mountain is as long as a year on the surface. As soon as our country is in its deepest distress, a rock opens in the mountain, the knights inside wake up from a deep sleep, and will set off against the enemies. They will defeat them, and peace and tranquility come back to Bohemia.
Since 1989, St. Wenceslas Celebrations have been regularly held here. From the Great Blaník is Wenceslaus accompanied by his soldiers and comes on a white horse to Louňovice square, where the celebrations are held.
At Rudka, near Kunštát is located a sandstone cave with carved figures of the Blaník Knights.