EDIT: Thanks to Martin Kaltoun, a lovely chap from Pardubice for filling me in on more details of the site. In his words “This place was training ground for railway troops. Back on river is other abandoned bridge. The building with red stairs was officer’s Club. The remains of stone bridges behind cemetery and pillar near hospital were for training for the establishment of railway bridges. Buildings with volleyball court were military swimming bath (until the end of 2WW), then there was the SVAZARM”.
Yesterday morning I decided to go for a little walk down the Chrudimka river in Pardubice and to try and find an old abandoned bridge that I had seen on one of my colleague’s Facebook pages. Another colleague had also told me off an abandoned military facility that was also next to the river so I figured it could be a case of two birds one stone.
The military facility was the first place I came across in a clearing in the woods. There’s not much to see there really except for some out-buildings, what looks to be some kind of underground structure, a dilapidated volleyball court and oh yeah, an abandoned train line! I noticed it when I first entered the clearing and saw a concrete bridge off to the right that looked fairly run down with vegetation on the top of it. I figured it must be a train line and set about trying to find a way up the steep embankment leading up to the tracks. Nature had definitely taking back its land with entire trees growing up where the cracks once stood, the wooden sleepers covered in moss and lichen, the only evidence left of what once was.
I came back down from the tracks and looked for other interesting things around about. The path quickly ran out however and was reduced to a much smaller one broken through the hedgerow over the years. I followed it through, pushing branches and plants aside until it came to a fence on the edge of the facility. Someone had torn a hole in the fence and I could have gone inside but decided against it as I didn’t fancy getting in trouble with the Czech police if I was caught trespassing.
I made my way back out again and doubled back to the bridge over the Chrudimka and crossed over, hoping the path on the other side of the river would carry on towards the aforementioned bridge. On my way down along the path through the woods there were some other interesting places such as an abandoned building that I wasn’t sure had people in it or not so I decided to just walk around the outside. Then there was what looked to be the makings of another bridge with a huge 30ft tall concrete column looming up out of the forest but with nothing else attached.
I got the fright of my life a few moments later when there was a loud crashing sound from the bushes ahead of me. I had startled a deer which bolted at first and then stopped, turned around and stared at me, sizing me up and finding out what I was going to do next. I had to carry on so unfortunately for the deer it had to keep on running (Sorry deer!)
Eventually after slogging through the damp woods I came across the bridge in all its rusty glory. The far end of the bridge was fenced off at the entrance to an industrial/warehouse facility on the other side of the river. Holes littered the wooden surface of the bridge and I was a little skeptical walking out on it but it’s still fairly sturdy.
Afterwards not fancying the walk back through the woods I found an exit point that brought me out around the back of the cemetery, back to civilisation and a welcome pint of Guinness in St. Patricks on the way home.