Špindlerův Mlýn

Špindlerův Mlýn (Czech pronunciation: [ˈʃpɪndlɛruːv ˈmliːn]; German: Spindlermühle, formerly also Spindelmühle) is a town in Trutnov District in the Hradec Králové Region of the Czech Republic. It has about 1,000 inhabitants. It lies in the Giant Mountains and it is one of the most frequented ski resorts in the country.

Špindlerův Mlýn
Town centre
Town centre
Coat of arms of Špindlerův Mlýn
Špindlerův Mlýn is located in Czech Republic
Špindlerův Mlýn
Špindlerův Mlýn
Location in the Czech Republic
Coordinates: 50°43′31″N 15°36′30″E / 50.72528°N 15.60833°E / 50.72528; 15.60833Coordinates: 50°43′31″N 15°36′30″E / 50.72528°N 15.60833°E / 50.72528; 15.60833
Country Czech Republic
RegionHradec Králové
First mentioned1676
 • MayorVladimír Staruch
 • Total76.94 km2 (29.71 sq mi)
718 m (2,356 ft)
 • Total979
 • Density13/km2 (33/sq mi)
Time zoneUTC+1 (CET)
 • Summer (DST)UTC+2 (CEST)
Postal code
543 51

Administrative partsEdit

Villages of Bedřichov, Labská and Přední Labská are administrative parts of Špindlerův Mlýn.


Špindlerův Mlýn, literally meaning "Špindler's Mill", received its name after a mill belonging to the Špindler family, which was moved between the surrounding settlements Bedřichov, Labská and Svatý Petr in 1765. The municipality which did not exist at that time yet was given this name due to an official error. The locals wrote a request sent to the authorities here and signed it written in Špindler's Mill, but the authorities mistakenly thought that they were giving the name to a new municipality. After the merger of scattered settlements into one municipality, the name remained. One of the German variations of its name, Spindelmühle, was also created by an error of authorities.[2]


Labská Dam

Špindlerův Mlýn is located about 26 km (16 mi) northwest of Trutnov and 37 km (23 mi) east of Liberec, on the border with Poland. It lies in the Giant Mountains. In the east of the territory rises Luční hora, at 1,555 metres (5,102 ft) above sea level the second highest mountain of the Czech Republic. The town is situated a in the valley between the Medvědín mountain and the ridges of Kozí hřbety and Pláň.

Špindlerův Mlýn lies at the confluence of the river Elbe and the Dolský creek. The Elbe source is located northwest of the town, near the Polish border, on the slopes of Mt. Violík at an altitude of 1,386 m (4,547 ft). About 1 km downstream are the Elbe Falls (Labský vodopád) which cascade about 30 m (98 ft) in depth.[3] The Labská Dam with an area of 40 ha (99 acres) was built near Labská village in 1910–1914.[4]


Spindelmühl about 1900

The area was covered by forests and not settled until the 16th century, when the first prospectors and then miners of silver and iron ore came. The miners and lumberjacks who came from Alps settled here and began to build huts. They took advantage of the experience from home and started raising cattle in the seemingly inhospitable mountains and farming in the clearings. The clearing became meadows and pastures, creating typical enclaves in the middle of forests, preserved to this day.[2]

In the 18th century, large parts of the surrounding forests were a possession of the Habsburg minister Friedrich August von Harrach-Rohrau (1696–1749), after whom the village of Bedřichov (Friedrichsthal) is named. The Harrach family contributed to the improvement and development of the landscape. They founded several mountain huts all over the Giant Mountains.[5] Jan Nepomuk František Count of Harrach (1828–1909) established a tourist route leading through Špindlerův Mlýn and established the first nature reserve in the Giant Mountains, located in the valley Labský důl on an area of more than 60 ha (150 acres).[6]

After World War II, the remaining German-speaking population was expelled according to the Beneš decrees.


After four travellers accommodated here in 1865, the locals recognized the tourist potential of this place, began to expand the huts and build hiking trails. The construction of the road from Vrchlabí in 1872 significantly contributed to the greater number of tourists. Poor buildings often became quality hotels. In 1909, operation of the electric lift for sledges, one of the first of its kind in Europe, started, which contributed to the reputation of the winter tourist resort.[2]

With year-round use and with accommodation capacity of 10,000 beds, Špindlerův Mlýn is one of the most visited ski resorts in the country. There are 26 km (16 mi) of 11 technically snow-covered downhill runs and 85 km (53 mi) of cross-country trails.[7]


Historical population
Source: Censuses[8][9]


In the Przełęcz Karkonoska mountain pass, there is a pedestrian border crossing.


During the winter season the area hosts the Europacup in freestyle skiing and SnowJam, a professional snowboarding event. Some years, e.g. 2019, the Alpine Ski World Cup has been held here. In the surroundings there are many marked hiking, mountain biking and cross-country skiing trails.

Wildwater canoeing is also common on the Elbe river. One of the most demanding natural tracks in Central Europe and the hardest in the Czech Republic is located here.[10]


Bílý Bridge from 1911

The main sights are the Church of Saints Peter and Paul from 1802 and reinforced concrete arch bridge from 1911.[11]

Notable peopleEdit

  • Anna K (born 1965), singer; raised here

Franz Kafka stayed here for recreation in 1922 and began writing of his famous work The Castle.[11]

Twin towns – sister citiesEdit

Špindlerův Mlýn is twinned with:[12][13]


  1. ^ "Population of Municipalities – 1 January 2022". Czech Statistical Office. 2022-04-29.
  2. ^ a b c "Historie" (in Czech). Město Špindlerův Mlýn. Retrieved 2021-09-21.
  3. ^ "Labský vodopád – Špindlerův Mlýn, Krkonoše" (in Czech). Region-Tour.cz. Retrieved 2021-09-21.
  4. ^ "Labská přehrada – Špindlerův Mlýn, Krkonoše" (in Czech). Region-Tour.cz. Retrieved 2021-09-21.
  5. ^ "Historie Krkonošských bud" (PDF) (in Czech). Administration of Krkonoše National Park. 2016. Retrieved 2022-10-06.
  6. ^ "Hrabě Harrach Krkonoše miloval, vybudoval rozhlednu, silnice a přivezl lyže" (in Czech). Novinky.cz. 2012-04-18. Retrieved 2022-10-06.
  7. ^ "Špindlerův Mlýn" (in Czech). Špindl.cz. Retrieved 2021-09-21.
  8. ^ "Historický lexikon obcí České republiky 1869–2011 – Okres Trutnov" (in Czech). Czech Statistical Office. 2015-12-21. pp. 13–14.
  9. ^ "Population Census 2021: Population by sex". Public Database. Czech Statistical Office. 2021-03-27.
  10. ^ "Obávané krkonošské peřeje. Kanoisté sjíždějí Labe při nejtěžším závodě v Česku" (in Czech). Deník.cz. 2022-04-30. Retrieved 2022-10-06.
  11. ^ a b "Do Špindlerova Mlýna se vrací smetánka" (in Czech). Novinky.cz. 2011-05-18. Retrieved 2021-09-21.
  12. ^ "Podgorzyn" (in Czech). Město Špindlerův Mlýn. Retrieved 2021-09-21.
  13. ^ "Alanya" (in Czech). Město Špindlerův Mlýn. Retrieved 2021-09-21.

External linksEdit