s e j n                                                                    b o h e m i ae   r o s a







B o h e m i ae  R o s a   August 25 - 30, 2023

Landscape & Memory

Bohemian Paradise & Isara River - The Czech Republic


International Interdisciplinary Open-Air Workshop for artists and dancers exploring the relation between body, art and landscape

led by Frank van de Ven and Milos Sejn


Waterfalls of the Green creek, © photo Sejn 30.7.201 Panorama of sandstone rocks above the Isara river / Bohemian Paradise


Since 1995 Milos Sejn and Frank van de Ven have co-operated in their bi-annual interdisciplinary open-air Body-Site-Exploration projects in various National & Cultural Reserves in the Czech Republic (Kokorin Valley, Plasy Monastery, Bohemian Karst, Bechyne Monastery with the Luznice River, Bohemian Paradise, Sumava and Rychleby Mountains, Kuks Spa, The Elbe Sandstone Mountains, Morava River, the Giant Mountains) known as the Bohemiae Rosa Project.


This edition of the Bohemiae Rosa Project will take place in the northeastern part of the Czech Republic right by the banks of the meandering Jizera River, known by the ancient name of Isara. Here we can find extensive original meadows, exposed bedrock and springs with rare preserved stands of giant horsetail. The territory is also the northern border of the Bohemian Paradise, full of sandstone rock towns, where we will work primarily. In our area, called Malá Skála, in addition to Mesolithic caves and early medieval castles, we also find outstanding examples of landscape and sculptural/textual interventions from the era of high romanticism. While walking and working in the Bohemian Paradise / Isara river we investigate the numerous relations between Body & Landscape / Landscape & Memory and their significance to contemporary (Performing & Eco) Arts.

The program will include:

•        MB - (mind/body, muscles/bones) movement training

•        practice of and reflection on physical and mental training

•        walking and wandering, silent walk, pilgrimage and nocturnal journeys

•        various modes of experiencing body, movement and landscape

•        investigating divergent senses of space and time

•        peripatetic records, drawing, writing, immediate contact with surroundings

•        mental topography of a location, myth, archaic mind and genius loci

•        geology, archaeology and history of the Landscape as a model of self: layers, vertical connections and labyrinths


An integral part of the workshop will be the individual artistic projects that participants are encouraged to formulate and work on for about 1 to 2 hours a day. (in the fields architecture, landscape art, dance, performance, photography, sculpture, theatre, visual arts, biology and natural history). The workshop leaders are available to guide and support these processes.


The body is a landscape in itself moving within the larger frame of the given surrounding environment. The vertical and horizontal layering of the (historical) landscape invites us to reflect upon our own layers and connections of self and imagination.



Practical information


August 25 -30, 2023, arrival in the evening of August 24
 Meeting Place: Cottage Chalupa Bukovina, Czech Republic

 GPS: 50°36'34.739"N, 15°10'32.085"E

Nearby airport is in Praha. 1 hour by car from Prague.
Place is accessible by train (Final station Dolánky from Prague with a transfer in Turnov.).
The target rendezvous, it is the 1 km walk.
Parking directly in the accommodation area.






E   X   T   E   N   D   E   D          I   N   F   O   R   M   A   T   I   O   N


Franz Ferdinand Effenberger: Rock Pantheon and nature park on the Malá Skála estate in Bohemia, 1828

Bohemian Paradise

Jizera river

historical guide to german
historical guide in czech



Charming landscape in the northeastern Bohemia bears a truthful name Český ráj (Bohemian Paradise). The most outstanding feature of this landscape are the romantic sandstone formations with no less romantic ruins of old fortified castles. A verid mosaic of natural beauty and historical monuments is accumulated on a relatively small spáče of land, attracts every perceptive visitor and leaves with him lasting and lovely memories. In the northeast as a mighty guard to the Jizerské mountains and to the Krkonoše massive extends the Kozákov ridge (the highest point in the landscape 744 meters) and Tábor (678 mts) From here at a good visibility ono overlooks a great part of Bohemia up to the fertile Polabian lowlands. The name as the heart of Český ráj bears the town of precious stones and unique stone-cuttinp. Turnov. From the south-west opens gate to Český ráj The town Mnichovo Hradiště and from the southeast the town Jičín; to the north in the deep valley of Jizera river is spreading the town of glass Železný Brod. The main symbol of Český ráj is the basalt doublehump Trosky with the ruin of a medieval castle, characteristic at a distance with its silhouette. The well known tourist route going through the landscape remarkable places between Mnichovo Hradiště and Jičín is the 98 kilometres long Zlatá stezka (Golden path) of Český ráj.
Český ráj for its multiform of landscape points and of natural richness was rightly declared, as the first in Czechoslovakia, the preserved territory, including Hruboskalsko region up to Trosky a Příhrazské skály (rocks) up to the castle Kost, in a total area of 95 km2. Further important parts of Český ráj, chiefly Maloskalsko region and the whole ridge of Kozákov Tábor are still waiting to be declared as an extended preserved territory from the year 1975 up today. Outside Český ráj are also three State natural reservations (Prachovské skály - wood growth Na hranicích at Bukovina - and the basalt hill Káčov) and several protected natural formations (Suché skály, Klokočské skály, Borecké skály, western slope of Kozákov and the basalt hill Zebín).
    From the geological point of view is almost all Český ráj a part of the Bohemian chalk table. Its origin goes back to the Mesozoic period, roughly before 100millions of years. In that time began to penetrate shallow sea into the lower parts of the Bohemian massif. In the sea settled sandstones, marls, clays or clay slates. For Český ráj are especially important the ashlar sandstones, in their mighty layers originated in million years lasting erosion, the known sandstone formations with high towers and deep cloughs. Volcanic activity on the beginning of the lounger Tertiary resulted in an array of basalt knobs, making often a dominant of the landscape, the world-wide unique doubled knog Trosky, Vyskeř, Mužský, Střelečská hurá, Sokol, Kumburk, Veliš and others. On the northeast of Český ráj ends the chalk region by a specific bizarre rocks of the Maloskalský ridge and Suché skály. In the places of the so called Lužice dislocation which, in the end of the Palaeozoic Age, folded the predominantly melaphyric ridge Kozákov - Tábor. In melaphyre are to be found on several pláčeš precious stones, making famous this landscape - agates, amethysts, jaspers, smoke-quarz, chalcedony.
    Woods of Český ráj are prevalently secondary clusters of spruces, on the stone plateaus prevail pine woods, in places pervaded by poor acidophilous oak woods. In them, on the shallow soil, originated by disintegration of silicious sandstones, are wide growth of bilberries. various firns, including the biggest fim bracken. heath, out of grasses the hair grass, numerous mosses and lichens. Richer flora is in the oak-hornbeam woods in the southern part of thecountry or in the beech woods in the Jizera valley in the Maloskalsko region. A remarkable plant of some places in Český ráj is the horsetail, over 1 meter high. Rare flora is to be found on the last remainder of the peat and swamp meadqws and in the surroundings of the lovely lakes such as Věžický, Vidlák, Nebákov, Drhlenské rybníky, Komárovský, Žabakor or Jinolické rybníky. Also a rich net of brooks and small creeks, aiming chiefly to the Jizera river, create romantic nooks with interesting botanical and animal species.
    Settlement of Český ráj is of an age-old date, it began already in the older Stone Age. In the 3rd millennium b.Chr. are documented many agricultural settlements in an almost continuous zone out of Bohemian inside up to the Turnov region, to the rocks of Prachov and the Sobotka region. There interchanged people of volutě portery, stitched pottery, people of the um fields, Celts, Teutons and Slavic Croats. Mighty Slav walled settlements are known in the precincts of the Mužský hill and in the rocks of Prachov. In the 12th-15th centuary, when this country was ruled by the members of the powerful Markvartic elán and its branches Vartemberks, Wallensteins and Lemberks, numerous fortified castles and redoubts were bulit and their picturesque ruins attract today thousands of tourists. They are for inst. Frýdštejn, Zbirohy, Rotštejn, Valečov, Valdštejn, Trosky, Kost, Bradlec and Kumburk. In that time towns were founded which, in the course of time, developed to cultural and later some of them to industrial centres: Turnov, Jičín, Mnichovo Hradiště, Železný Brod. Lomnice nad Popelkou, Sobotka. Rovensko pod Troskami. From cultural-historical singularities of Český ráj are of outstanding importance also castles, bulit sometimes on places of past fortified castles or medieval strongholds. In some of them are installed valuable collections of furniture, paintings, pottery, weapons etc., others are specially used. Out of the known could be mentioned: Sychrov, Hrubý Rohozec. Hrubá Skála, Mnichovo Hradiště, Jičín, Humprecht, Staré Hrady. Charm of Český ráj were not complete without folk architecture and fortunately there is still lot of it in some villages and in seclusions: from the Dlask estate in Dolanky near Turnov, over the estates in Příšovice, in Vesec near Sobotka, in Maloskalsko, in Markvartice, timber-framed houses in Železný Brod up to the belfries in Rovensko pod Troskami, in Železný Brod or in Osek near Sobotka.
In Český ráj have their birthplace whole range of Czech famous personages. Many others found liking for it. The Czech historian Josef Pekař, native from Malý Rohozec, wrote about Český ráj: „There‘s no such landscape all the world over in which I return again and again to breath in the physical and moral beauty of it, to gather new powers, thoroughly enjoyed my fatherland. In it and through it l grew into what l am, a Czech patriot and historian“.

by RNDr. Bohumil Slavík, CSc.







Milos Sejn works in the fields of visual art, performance and study of visual perception. In 1990 he was appointed professor of painting and from this year to 2011 he leads an intermediate studio with a focus on landscape ecology and environment at the Academy of Fine Arts in Prague. He has worked with the world´s leading artists such as The Harrisons (Elbe River Project). He is also the creator of the Solar Mountain near Olomouc and a number ot other projects related to landscape and memory. Many of his works have been presented at hundreds of exhibitions around the word.


Frank van de Ven is a dancer and choreographer who spend his formative years in Japan working with Min Tanaka and the Maijuku Performance Company. In 1993 he founded together with Katerina Bakatsaki 'Body Weather Amsterdam', a platform for training and performance. Since 1995 he conducts with Milos Sejn the interdisciplinary Bohemiae Rosa Project, connecting body and landscape with art, geology and architecture. Interest in dance and theory led to the 'How to make yourself a Dancing Body Without Organs' Project. Together with Peter Snow (Monash University) he performs the famed Thought/Action Improvisations.  An ongoing collaboration exists with musician Daniel Schorno, artistic director of Steim Amsterdam. In recent years, he has worked mainly in Australia in various parts of the continet.

Dictionary definitions


*site n., pl. -s [Latin situs "place, position", from sinere "to leave, place, lay"] 1. the actual or planned location 2 the place or scene of something (a camp site) / site vt., to place on a site or in position: locate


*body n., pl. -ies [OE, bodig, cask] 1. the whole physical substance of a man, animal or plant 2. the trunk of a man or animal 3. a corpse 4. [Colloq.] a person 5. a distinct mass [a body of water] 6. a distinct group of people or things 7. the main part 8. substance or consistency, as of liquid 9. richness of flavor


*landscape n., pl. -s [Dutsch landschap, from land + -schap "-ship"] 1. a picture of natural inland scenery 2. a portion of land that the eye can see in one glance


*wander vb., wan-dered, wan-der-ing [OE, wandrian] 1. to move about aimlessly or without a fixed course or goal: ramble 2a to deviate (as from a course): stray 2b to go astray morally: err 2c to lose normal mental contact (as delirium or madness)


*walk n., pl. -s [vb OE, wealkan "to roll, toss"] 1. a going on foot (go for a walk) 2. a place, path, or course for walking 3. distance to be walked 4a manner of living 4b social or economic status (various walks of life) 5a manner of walking 5b a gait of a four-footed animal in which there are always at least two feet on the ground



Contact:  Katerina Bilejova  

e-mail: Katerina.Bilejova@fhs.cuni.cz