Manor Waterworks and Power Plant

A water-powered ‘detailing workshop’ was once located under the castle in Nové Město; it was a grinding mill, where local artisans brought their tools and products for sharpening and polishing. The workshop was on the bank of the river at the site of today's power plant. In 1688, the owner of the estate, Count Jakub z Leslie, had manorial waterworks built nearby, and a weir was created on the river. Water from the Metuje River was transported into the waterworks by pumps, driven by a water wheel to a water tower (originally a cylindrical bastion) standing at a height of 32 feet, i.e. 57 m, above the river level. From the water tower, water was piped to fountains in the city. In addition to these tanks, it also supplied the chateau, the manor brewery, and the manor garden. The waterworks were rebuilt several times during their existence, and served their original purpose until December 31, 1907, when they were discontinued.

In 1908, the family Bartoňové z Dobenína bought the chateau and other properties belonging to it, commissioning the architect Dušan Jurkovič to carry out renovations. The new owners decided to convert the waterworks into a small hydroelectric power plant. A steel Kaplan turbine was supplied by the Karlín engineering firm Bernard, Martínek and Česák, while the generator and other electrical equipment was provided by the company Bartelmus-Donát a spol. from Brno. The power plant supplied the castle, offices, the dean’s house, the apartments of officials, and the gardener’s house. Electricity has been produced here since 1937 using a Kaplan turbine from the workshop of the Brno company Ignác Storek; the alternator was also modernized in the 1930s.

The inlet to the covered race is located on the right above the weir. The water inlet to the turbine has a rectangular profile, the total length of the channel is about 29 m, and the water depth in the inlet is about 1.4 m during operation. The outflow from the turbine is fed back downstream and empties into the river. The total length of the outlet is 33 m. The increase in the water level is provided by a sluice gate, consisting of nine sections of stop locks, pulled out by hand, which are supported by vertical trusses. Up to a flow rate of 12.6 m3/s, the operating level can be maintained by the gradual insertion of sections; in excess of this flow rate the waterworks cannot be controlled.

The power plant is still connected to the public network, but it no longer belongs to the castle. It is currently owned and operated by MVE Nové Město nad Metují s.r.o.

 

GPS: GPS: 50° 20′ 35.159″N 16° 9′ 1.665″E

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