Slovácko and Baťa Canal

Slovácko and Baťa Canal

2010/2011 Winner Category “Tourism and Regeneration of Physical Sites”

Picturesque Slovácko. Fertile Moravian Tuscany with fields and meadows, vineyards and alluvial forests in the south, the deep and dense White Carpathian woods in the north, or the sandstone formations of Chřiby. The Morava River meanders through the region, followed closely by the Baťa Canal, a saved and restored first-category technical monument which was one of the main reasons why Slovácko won the title of European Destination of Excellence in the category of Tourism and Regeneration of Physical Sites.

Tomáš Baťa’s dream-come-true

The dream became a reality in 1938. Unfortunately, war broke out and the post-war communist regime was not interested in the canal. It was not until the beginning of the 1990s when the local residents realised the huge tourist potential of the waterworks, restored the entire canal, completed the infrastructure, and created a unique, almost sixty kilometres long recreational waterway filled with vessels, lined with pubs, followed by people on bikes, and connecting to trails for hikers and cyclists at each dock, leading to the beautiful and interesting sites of Slovácko.

Not just a cruise through the countryside

The Baťa Canal Tourism Development Agency was founded, striving for sustainable development of tourism. Bicycles are in harmony with boats. The idyll is not disturbed by any roads or railways; there are only interchanges there. There is a perfectly designed system of 12 rental shops and 11 information centres, interesting events are organised – such as the opening of the canal season, or theatre boat performances. The surrounding countryside is interwoven with historical towns, architectural monuments, Moravian Wine Trails, folklore festivals, as well as folklore as a part of everyday life of the locals, traditional crafts and gastronomy. There is no other region where you could see three folk traditions inscribed on the UNESCO list – they are Slovácký verbuňk - recruit dances, the Ride of the Kings and indigo dyeing, a textile method you can learn about in a demonstration workshop. There are lakes where you can do water sports and fish, spas, castles, châteaux, museums and galleries, winter resorts.

Plentiful possibilities

Right on the Baťa Canal, you can admire the Výklopník Technical Monument in Sudoměřice or thirteen lock chambers. But the Baťa Canal mostly offers leisure cruises. You can use one of the cruise ships, motor boats, houseboats, kayaks, canoes, or your own boat. The Eurovelo 4 cycling trail leads along the canal and there are many options for accommodation and food, and also wine.
There are plenty of places to visit along the canal in Slovácko. There is Kroměříž with the Flower and Château Gardens and the Archbishop's Palace, UNESCO sites. Napajedla has a museum with a permanent interactive exposition of toys. Spytihněv with an exposition on the Baťa Canal. Staré Město with remarkable archaeological findings and the recently finished Church of the Holy Ghost. Uherské Hradiště with an interesting town loop trail and the Gallery of Joža Úprka, a painter of Slavic traditions. Near the canal, there is the famous pilgrimage site in Velehrad with the monastery and theBasilica of the Assumption of Virgin Mary and an exposition called Martyrion. In Modrá, there is Archeoskanzen with examples of life in a Slavic settlement during the era of Great Moravia, as well as the Living Water Area with the largest European freshwater tunnel in nature. Buchlovice invites you to visit the Baroque château as well as the majestic medieval Buchlov Castle.
In Uherský Ostroh, there is a charming Renaissance château with a multimedia project called the Crystal Cave. You can find a museum of personalities and folk traditions in Vnorovy. The château in Strážnice invites you to an exposition of musical instruments. There is also an open-air museum there and an indigo-dyeing workshop. In Petrov, you will find the charming Rural Architecture Preserve, and in Plže you can enjoy more than eighty wine cellars. The wine-making town of Hodonín has a pool and a zoological garden. Skalice is adorned by Dušan Jurkovič’s architecture and the ethnographic Záhorské Museum.