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   26 - 31 August 2024

S i t e B o d y E x p l o r a t i o n

Lusatian and Zittau  Mountains - The Czech Republic & Germany & Poland


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

led by Frank van de Ven, Milos Sejn


The table mountain with Oybin Monastery, Zittau Mountains, Germany


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 Krkonose Mountains, Kuks Spa) known as the Bohemiae Rosa Project.


This edition of the Bohemiae Rosa Project will take place in an area known as „Lusatian and Zittau Mountains“ (czech: Lužické a Žitavské hory), a landscape with figurative rocks, caves, valleys, brooks, forests, groves, meadows and memorable castle ruins. Walking and working in the Lusatian and Zittau Mountains we investigate the numerous relations between Body and Landscape and their significance to contemporary (Performing) Arts.


The program will include:

•        MB -(mind/body, muscles/bones) dance 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 Bohemian Paradise 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.


Participants profile: for artists and advanced students working in the fields of performance, dance, landscape art, sculpture, photography, architecture, theatre, visual arts, biology and natural history.



Practical information



26 - 31 August 2024, arrival evening of 25 August 2024
Meeting Place: Na pekárně, 463 55 Rynoltice, Jítrava 37, Czech Republic
GPS N 50°47.30353", E 14°51.76933"


Accessible by bus from Prague Černý most station - Liberec and then by bus from Liberec to Rynoltice-Jítrava


The number of participants is limited. We recommend early applications.


Bring sleeping bag, sheets, work/yoga mat, backpack for day hikes, raincoat and hiking boots.

All participants must have a personal insurance and must provide a copy of this before start of the project.

For artists and advanced students working in the fields of performance, dance, landscape art, sculpture, photography, architecture, theatre, visual arts, biology and natural history.

No previous (dance) training is necessary but the workshop will be physically and mentally demanding, therefore a good overall condition is required.

To apply send name, a short c.v. and a motivation letter to
Frank van de Ven
or Katerina Bilejová Katerina.Bilejova@fhs.cuni.cz


From Bohemiae Rosa Project – September 11

2003 Bohemiae Rosa V Bohemian Paradise




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


 Lusatian Mountains

Lusatian Mountains

... the Lusatian Mountains above all I took to my heart. At first I was suspicious, even ironical. What they are for mountains, when their altitude does not reach the level of the Bohemian-Moravian uplands? But very soon I learnt that they indeed are real mountains, only in a reduced scale. Their peaks project monumentally above the surrounding landscape, the slopes of the highest hills are covered by stony debris, from the woods frequently protrude rocky formations, the ridges and their forks are divided by deep valleys. And all this is wrapped in beautiful woods, in several places containing pristine beech forests. I know of no more beautiful place than the Lusatian Mountains in autumn.
M. Sovadina, Jizerské a Lužické hory 6/97
The Lusatian Mountains (in Czech Lužické hory) are a small mountainous range in Northern Bohemia between Děčín and Liberec (see map). It lies at the border between Germany and the Czech Republic. The smaller German part is called the Zittau Mountains (in German: Zittauer Gebirge).

Geologically the Lusatian Mountains consist prevailingly of upper Cretaceous sandstone. In many places they are penetrated by Tertiary magmatic rocks, basalts and trachytes, which are more resistant to weathering than the surrounding sandstone. In volcanic necks and domes, therefore, they nowadays project over the surrounding sandstone's. The resulting relief of the Lusatian Mountains, therefore, is characteristic by wooded elongated ridges protruded by pronounced conical necks and rounded hills. In the north the Cretaceous sandstones have a tectonic contact with the granitoid masses of the Lusatian massif, the so-called Lusatian fault. Along of this fault the granitoid rocks were overthrusted over the younger sandstones.
On several places of this fault, e.g. at Doubice, small blocks of Jurassic limestones were drawn to the surface. The Quaternary frequently produced extensive cones of rock debris on the slopes of the volcanic hills. At Jítrava are deposited sediments of the continental ice sheet which at its greatest extent reached as far as the eastern boundary of the hill range. In the 17th and 18th century at a few places low-grade iron ores had been mined. In the surroundings of Jiřetín pod Jedlovou thin veins of low-grade silver-bearing lead-zinc and copper ores were mined.

Hills and waters
The Lusatian Mountains are not very high. Nevertheless, they are an important climatic boundary separating the northern lowland from the hilly region of central Bohemia. The highest peak is the Luž (793 m above sea level) situated directly on the German borders. Other important peaks are, e. g., Jedlová (774 m), Klíč (760 m), Hvozd (750 m) and Studenec (736 m). Thanks to the relatively high precipitations the Lusatian Mountains are rich in water. Their sources have here the river Kamenice and its main tributary Chřibská Kamenice and several tributaries of the Ploučnice river, e.g. the brooks Sporka, Svitavka, Heřmanický potok. The northern slopes are drained by the Lužnička brook. The main ridge is part of the main European divide between the North and the Baltic seas.

Up to the present time woods cover more than one half of the area of the Lusatian Mountains. Until the intensive colonisation in the 13th and 14th century they were overgrown by the impervious bordering forest with prevailing beeches frequently accompanied by firs. After the 15th century the pristine woods were almost fully destroyed by the excessive development of glass-works. Later they gradually were substituted by spruce and pine monocultures. Remainders of the pristine beech forests are preserved only in separated small enclaves in secluded places and the hill tops. Today you may find here spruces and pines, and also beeches, maples, ashes, sometimes limes and elms, in some localities also oaks or alders, frequently growing along of brooks. In the eighties the woods were heavily damaged by industrial immissions. During the last years the atmospheric pollution decreased but, nevertheless, the woods are invariably endangered and only with difficulty resist the attacks of insect parasites and unfavourable atmospheric conditions. Their poor condition is clearly visible mainly in the hills surrounding the Jedlová hill.

In the Lusatian Mountains also grow several characteristic plant species, some of which belong to the species endangered in the Czech Republic. Especially botanically interesting are the flowering beech-forests in the undergrowth of which grow Actaea spicata, Dentaria bulbifera, Dentaria enneaphyllos, Asperula odorata, Lilium martagon, or Lunaria rediviva. Often we may meet also Daphne mezereum. In springtime in some meadows you will find Primula elatior, wet places are inhabited by Leucojum vernum, Valeriana dioica and V. officinalis, Menyanthes trifoliata, Pedicularis palustris, Juncus effusus and several species of Carex.
In a few places the so-called orchidaceous meadows survived with numerous specimens of Dactylorhiza majalis and D. longebracteata, accompanied by the rare Listera ovata, Platanthera bifolia, Orchis mascula, and Epipactis palustris. In clearings in the forests we see the conspicuous Digitalis pupurea spreading into this area from the west. Interesting also is the reported occurrence of the glacial relics Aster alpinus and Woodsia ilvensis – which, however, in the last years were not confirmed. Sporadically also Ledum palustre and Drosera rotundifolia are found.

In the fauna of the Lusatian Mountains prevail common species of the woods. Herds of deer, very numerous pigs and also moufflons are living here. A peculiarity is the occurrence of chamois introduced in the first years of the 20th century from the Alps into the surroundings of Děčín. They became perfectly acclimatised and spread from here into the Lusatian Mountains. The mountain fauna is, in accord with the relatively small altitudes, relatively poor. Its representatives are Nucifraga caryocatactes, Glaucidium passerinum, Salamandra salamandra, Lacerta vivipara and Sorex alpinus. Of the birds of prey Buteo buteo and Buteo lagopus were observed. Rarely also Bubo bubo had been nesting here. Recently we could register a spreading of Corvus corax, Crex crex and Ciconia nigra. Of the rarer butterfly species we can meet Papilio machaon, Limenitis populi and Apatura iris. In abandoned old adits several species of bats are hibernating.

Nature conservation
Since 1976 the Lusatian Mountains are protected as a Landscape Reserve. Moreover, twelve of the most valuable localities are declared small Nature Reserves. Natural wood associations are protected in the nature reserves of Jezevčí vrch, Studený vrch and Klíč, valuable is also the nature reserve Vápenka in the Jurassic limestone of Doubice. The only recently proclaimed nature reserves Marschnerova louka and Louka u Brodských are both characterised by the frequent occurrence of orchids, but also other endangered species are found here. Protected is also an unusual great growth of Lunaria rediviva near Líska and a rich occurrence of crocuses at Kytlice. Interesting plants are found also at the Pustý zámek and the Zlatý vrch nature reserves which, however, are renowned primarily as examples of columnar jointing in volcanic rocks.

Places, hills, architecture
Geologically interesting are also the sandstone rocks of the Bílé kameny and the ice cave (Ledová jeskyně) at the north slope of the Suchý vrch hill. Closely beyond the borders of the Protected Landscape there are four additional nature monuments: the bird reserves Světlík and Velký rybník near Rybniště and the geologically interesting nature monuments Panská skála and Dutý kámen. In the region of the Lusatian Mountains there are also several protected trees the most known of which are the yew-trees of Krompach. Also there are some instructional trails. The first leads the visitor along of the morphologically pronounced line of the Lusatian Fault at Jítrava, the second shows the renaturation of a peat-bog destroyed by human intervention at Brazilka whereas the third in the Milířka valley is devoted to the remainders of mining occuring here. A small instruction trail for schools had been opened below the Lemberk-castle near Jablonné v Podještědí.
A very characteristic element of the Lusatian range is the variegated folk architecture. The original type is represented by the timbered house with a special kind of brace-frame construction and small divided windows and with a gable roof. timber framing is used only in the second floor. The gable mostly is decorated by slates of different colours. In the area the ruins of several castles are preserved the most known of which is the Tolštejn castle. Into the ruin of the Kamenický hrad a timbered look-out tower had been constructed. Only very poor remnants of masonry are found in the ruins of the castles Milštejn, Fredevald and Starý Falkenburk. Remarkable are several rock formations (Bílé kameny, Pustý zámek, Zlatý vrch, Dutý kámen and Panská skála, well-known as the "Rock organ" - "Varhany") or the ice cave Ledová jeskyně near Naděje. From many of the hill tops there are very broad views into the surrounding country, especially from the Klíč, Luž, Hvozd and Jedlová. Interesting monuments are found in the towns at the foot of the hills. At Jablonné v Podještědí is the remarkable baroque Dome of St. Laurentius and St. Zdislava, built by Lucas Hildebrandt and not far from here the castle Lemberk, at Česká Kamenice an interesting church. Of particular interest also is the mining town of Jiřetín pod Jedlovou with its place of pilgrimage Křížová hora or Chřibská with the oldest still working glass factory in Europe.

From Lusatian Mountains: Jiří Kühn

Zittau Mountains

The Zittau Mountains (German: Zittauer Gebirge), formerly also called the Lusatian Ridge (Lausitzer Kamm, Czech. Žitavské hory), refer to the German part of the Lusatian Mountains that straddle the Saxon-Bohemian border in the extreme southeast of the German state of Saxony.

The Zittau Mountains lie in the extreme south of the district of Görlitz in Saxony. A few kilometres north of the range lie a number of settlements; from west to east they are Großschönau, Hainewalde, Olbersdorf, Bertsdorf-Hörnitz and Zittau. In the mountains themselves are, again from west to east, the settlements of Waltersdorf, Oybin, Jonsdorf and Lückendorf . The highlands are drained by streams that flow roughly north into the Mandau, a western tributary of the Lausitzer Neiße.

Oybin is a municipality in the district Görlitz, in Saxony, Germany, located very close to the border of the Czech Republic. Following the defeat of the Protestant armies by the Habsburgs in the Battle of the White Mountain in 1620, many Protestant Czechs found refuge across the border in the hills of Upper Lusatia. It is a "Kurort", a resort or spa certified by the state, where people go for rest and recuperation. It is most famous for its mountain of the same name, an exposed natural sandstone dome that towers above the town. The ruins of a medieval monastery lend a wild romantic beauty to it and it was a favorite subject of 19th century Romantic painters like Caspar David Friedrich. Many bizarrely shaped geological rock formations can be found in the surroundings.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Oybin Camera Obscura
Camera Obscura


From Bohemiae Rosa Project – September 2011



Milos Sejn works in the fields of visual art, performance and study of visual perception. From the beginning of the 1960s he took pictures, drew, collected and described his observations of nature during his wanderings through the Czech landscape. Currently he teaches mixed media and the relationship of nature and art as intrinsic needs of the mind, and focuses on immediate creative possibilities, based upon relations between historical humanized landscapes and intact nature. 
CD ROMs: Colorvm Natvrae Varietas (Centrum for Culture and Communication in Budapest c3, 2000); Make Your Own Island/Make Your Own Forest (Utrecht School of the Arts, Institute for postgraduate and professional higher education in the Arts, 2001); Books: Being Landscape, 2010

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.
Films (video and 16mm): Dancing Plasy Times 8, CI-VIT, LOM and NOUGHTS.


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


Caspar David Friedrich: The Dreamer - Oybin Monastery Ruins, (1835), 27 x 21 cm, Hermitage, St. Petersburg

Important part of the cultural history of the place.

Production of Bohemiae Rosa Project: Katerina Bilejova