The forest slopes below Vinařice are green with creeping clematis and catch-weed and together with the buildings they are reminiscent of some kind of terrace gardens surrounding the mining towers.
The Mayrau mine protrudes as a ghostly peak especially in the evening in the moonless nights. All the hidden corners have the same eeriness as during the day, but the black is metallically absolute and the tile white glows as if through the crowds passing by into the underworld. Besides the dark crepitation coming from all the folds of this labyrinth’s soul, the dominating sound of the nights is the barking of the dogs of the guards of the nearby prison, resounding through the whole space. It is an echo from the underground, which was physically lost under the concrete slabs, swamped with water and ashes forever.
The fierce barking of the Cerberus brings back to life the reeking fatty acids penetrating the dust, which lies on everything. Time triumphs here, but the shells of human presence remain.
The dawn doesn’t change anything, only the howling is altered by the croaking of the ravens and raptors flying out of the surrounding fields and thickets. The red insides of the still tepid waste heaps burning speak of those who used to walk by here with dust in their teeth. They are also recalled by the birches flaming green and the vegetation growing through the spawn into the ground again and again. The subsoil is soft though, it is slipping under the feet. The steps are uncertain, and walking means walking backwards. Even a cry immediately dissolves in the spray of the shallow footprints. The roots once pulled out keep coming back; this is the way full of rough, sharp-edged nostalgia.
The sintered druses of slag and dross have a lot in common with the bits of lava thrown out of the earth. Unlike the natural volcano fields of the moving earth, these are mountains of human sense for accuracy, absolute aim and endeavour.
Mining, the story of a mystery-seeking journey downwards, was always regarded as an art. It requires sacrifices and the moments of beauty are always accompanied by huge moulds of cooled-down ruins, privation and loneliness.
The garden of Mayrau is neither a garden of paradise nor the abandoned study of a romantic magician. It is one of the unforgettable torsos of human history, a cry from the dark into the light as bright as a forged rooster’s crow.