Silent sign (Giant Mountains)

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Original sentence by Němé značky from 1923 with Muttich's monogram ( Krkonošský hřeben = Riesengebirge ridge , západní = west, východní = east, značky na německé straně = characters on the (then) German (now Polish) side)

The dumb characters , Czech Neme značky or Muttichovka called, are red-painted signs orientation of sheet metal, which today mainly in the Czech part of the Giant Mountains on the path marker may be used. The signs are usually attached to snow poles, which are often set up along the paths.


Usefulness of mute signs.jpg

The Czech painter and illustrator Kamil Vladislav Muttich (1873–1924), who himself was an avid skier, developed the pictograms to supplement the tourist signs in a meaningful and functional way and thus ensure safety in the often inhospitable nature, especially in winter, to improve. He made the picture on the left himself to present his invention and to demonstrate its usefulness.

The simple signs can be recognized even in the most adverse weather conditions - frost, strong wind and thick fog. Even the strongest hoarfrost does not make them unrecognizable. One of the original goals was also to mediate between the German and Czechoslovak authorities who had argued over which language should be used as a guide in both countries. The chosen term “silent characters” illustrates the language neutrality. In the winter of 1923/24 the first copies were installed in the most frequented places in the Giant Mountains from Harrachov to Janské Lázně . When it was first introduced, there were initially a total of 29 symbols representing important mining towns, peaks, settlements and other locations.

Their meaning is usually easy to understand, as z. B. shows a mug with a handle as a symbol for the pottery building ( Hrnčířské boudy ). With some signs, however, the meaning is not apparent at first glance. So it is not immediately clear why Muttich chose a rhombus for the Černá bouda mountain hut under the peak of Černá hora ( Schwarzenberg or Spiegelkoppe ). But if you know that the mountain hut was originally called Schwarzschlagbaude , you can see that this means the limited area of ​​the cleared area .

Over time, the characters have evolved. Some from Muttich's original collection, such as B. the fox for the Liščí hora have been simplified even more. Some have changed their meaning, such as the six-pointed star that used to stand for Nový Svět ( New World ). Others have disappeared for various reasons. This also includes the very obvious symbol for the Výrovka ( fir tree ) hut , also known by the nickname Geiergucke . And finally, new characters were added.

NZ Luční bouda.svg
NZ Hřeben.svg NZ Luční bouda.svg
Mountain ridge

The development of the symbol for the Luční bouda ( meadow hut ) is also remarkable . Your sign originally looked like an isosceles solid triangle with a wider rectangle at the base and thus resembled the sign for the ridge of the Silesian ridge , which is represented by an isosceles filled triangle. In bad weather it was easy to mix up the two images. Therefore, the symbol for the meadow hut was simply turned upside down.

Muttich's map from 1923 with all its 29 characters

6 of Mittich's 29 signs pointed to a place that was then on German ( na německé straně ) - now Polish - territory. Interestingly enough, however, there was never a sign for the striking building on the hoop support (built in 1922), visible from afar . Lying on Polish territory and indicated by the signs, only the snow pits are left today . A total of 7 characters have been retired:

7 retired characters
character meaning description status
Czech German Type
Jakobsthal Jakobsthal settlement the letter T retired, lies on the Polish side
Nová slezská bouda New Silesian Baude Shack the letter N retired, lies on the Polish side
Stará slezská bouda Old Silesian shack Shack the letter A retired, lies on the Polish side
Jindřich bouda Prince Heinrich Baude Shack the letter H retired, lies on the Polish side, burned down
Hamplova bouda Hampelbaude Shack the letter H , lying down retired, lies on the Polish side
Obří důl Huge reason valley Down arrow retired
Výrovka Fir tree, geiergucke Shack a stylized vulture retired


Sign for the snow pits on a pole in front of the Wosseckerbaude
D for Dvoračky
R for Rokytnice nad Jizerou

The following list contains all of the 31 characters currently in use (as of 2017). 7 of Muttich's characters have been retired (see above). Of the 22 remaining, 6 were changed, 16 remained unchanged. 9 characters were newly added, with five of them ( NZ Černá bouda.svg, NZ Janské Lázně.svg, NZ Lučiny.svg, NZ Úpa.svgand NZ Žacléř.svg) are in the triangle Pec-Žacléř-Janské Lázně, and thus the original distribution area of Muttichs characters expand to the southeast (the other four new characters NZ Bílé Labe.svg, NZ Klinovky.svg, NZ Lahrovy Boudy.svgand NZ Pec pod Sněžkou.svgare in the "old" map section ).

character meaning description status
Czech German Type
NZ Benecko.svg Benecko (orig. Žalý ) Benetzko settlement Cross with point on top of a horizontal beam original
NZ Bílé Labe.svg U Bílého Labe Weißwasserbaude Shack Bowl or semicircle, open at the top New
NZ Černá bouda.svg Černá bouda Schwarzschlagbaude Shack Outline of a square, turned on its tip New
NZ Dvoračky.svg Dvoračky Hofbaude Shack the letter D , stylized with straight bars original
Harrachov.svg Harrachov (orig. Nový Svět ) Harrachsdorf (original Neuwelt) settlement Star, six-pointed (symbol for the shine of the crystal glass of the local glassworks) original
NZ Hřeben.svg hear Mountain ridge Mountain ridge Triangle, filled original
NZ Hrnčířské boudy.svg Hrnčířské Boudy Pottery Buildings Shack Outline of a mug simplified
NZ Jablonec nad Jizerou.svg Jablonec nad Jizerou Jablonetz settlement the letter Y on a horizontal bar original
NZ Janské Lázně.svg Janské Lázně Johannisbad settlement Bird's claw or spruce branch New
NZ Klinovky.svg Klínové Boudy Wedges Shack the letter K New
NZ Labská bouda.svg Labská bouda Elbfallbaude Shack the letter L with a slightly sloping bar original
NZ Lahrovy Boudy.svg Lahrovy Boudy Lahrbauden Shack the letter Y , turned upside down New
NZ Liščí hora.svg Liščí hora ( orig.Liščí boudy ) Fuchsberg mountain Fox, stylized simplified
NZ Lučiny.svg Lučiny Hartmannsgrün Settlement / shack the letter B for the German place name Bodenwiesbauden New
NZ Luční bouda.svg Luční bouda Meadow chalet Shack Triangle, isosceles, set on its tip with a beam overhanging the base turned
NZ Martinovka.svg Martinova bouda Martinsbaude Shack the letter M original
NZ Mísečky.svg Mísečky Bowl buildings Shack Step pyramid, turned upside down simplified
NZ Pec pod Sněžkou.svg Pec pod Sněžkou Petzer settlement Mushroom or umbrella New
NZ Petrova bouda.svg Petrova bouda Peterbaude Shack the letter P original
NZ Pomezni boudy.svg Pomezní Boudy (orig.Hraniční boudy) Border buildings Shack the letter E , rotated 90 ° to the right simplified
NZ Rezek.svg Rezek Jerusalem settlement the letter E rotated 90 ° to the left original
NZ Rokytnice nad Jizerou.svg Rokytnice nad Jizerou Rochlitz on the Iser settlement the letter R original
NZ Rýchorská bouda.svg Rýchorská bouda (formerly Rennerova bouda ) Rehornbaude (formerly Rennerbaude) Shack three house gables standing side by side original
NZ Sněžka.svg Sněžka Schneekoppe mountain Outline of an equilateral triangle (previously filled triangle like mountain ridge) detailed
NZ Snezne jamy.svg Sněžné jámy or Vysoké Kolo Snow pits or Hohes Rad Valley / mountain Vertical diameter circle original
NZ Špindlerovka.svg Špindlerova bouda Spindler's hut Shack the letter Z , mirrored original
NZ Špindlerův Mlýn.svg Špindlerův Mlýn Spindleruv Mlyn settlement the letter X or a cross (symbol of a crossroads) original
NZ Úpa.svg Úpa Aupa Settlement / river a right-angled U with a straight line underneath, or a right-angled Y New
NZ Vosecka bouda.svg Vosecká bouda Wosseckerbaude Shack the letter V original
NZ Vrchlabí.svg Vrchlabí Hohenelbe settlement the letter W original
NZ Žacléř.svg Žacléř Schatzlar settlement the letter Z New
  1. The sign with the three house gables has not changed, but is now used for the Rýchorská bouda (Rehornbaude), previously for the Rennerova bouda (Rennerbaude). Both places are about 15 km apart as the crow flies.

Web links

Commons : Silent characters  - collection of images, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. a b c Giant Mountains - Winter 2013 season . Krkonoše - Association of its Cities and Towns, Zámek 1, 543 01 Vrchlabí. P. 15. Retrieved October 10, 2017.