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CZECZE-LLomnice nad Popelkou

Babylon

Data | History | Map | Comments

.

Skokanský můstek:

K-Point: 35 m
Tower height: 23 m
Further jumps: no
Plastic matting: no
Year of construction: 1925
Year of destruction: 1949
Status: destroyed
Coordinates: 50.525989, 15.355361 Google Maps OpenStreetMap

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History:

The history of skiing in Lomnice nad Popelkou is inseparably connected with the Babylon ski jump. Already since the end of World War I skiing enthusiasts in Lomnice were obsessed with the idea of building a ski jumping facility. Unfortunately, for years there was a lack of organisational power to realise such a project. However, they did not give up and on 6 October 1925 an independent ski club was founded and immediately at the first meeting a four-member committee consisting of Dr. Audolenský, Hlinka, Císař and Václavík was formed to choose the most suitable place for the construction of a ski jump. It was decided on the slope at Babylon with a 40-degree gradient, which descends towards Lomnice. The city leased the area to the club and also donated 15 trees from the city forest for the construction of the inrun tower. On 8 November, construction began by cutting down obstructing trees and digging the foundations for the tower. All work was carried out by club members and on 31 January 1926 the first jumps were possible. The prepared ceremonial opening, however, is torpedoed by a lack of snow in Lomnice and the event has to be postponed until next year. The maximum jump length which can be achieved was 28 metres, which was not sufficient for the jumpers, so plans for a modification of the facility appeared immediately. Finally the ski jumping hill was inaugurated on 8 January 1927 with a club competition. In May 1928 measures were taken again to enlarge the facility with an additional trench for the inrun extension.
However, the jumpers dreamt of jumping more than 40 metres, for which it was necessary to raise the inrun tower. A location for a new jumping hill was also being sought, which would allow jumps above 50 metres. The club entered into negotiations with the famous hill architect Karel Jarolimek, who prepared an expert assessment of the proposed sites. Nothing came out of these plans, however, and the jumpers remain at Babylon, renovating it before each new season, with no chance of a major reconstruction due to the lack of financial possibilities.
Babylon witnessed national, county and club competitions. Jumpers from other clubs in the area also use the facility as guests. In October 1935 talks with Jarolimek started again to draw up new plans for the reconstruction of the jump. In the following years partial modifications of the facility are made, the stone steps are extended, the tower is repaired and a budget is created to finance a larger reconstruction. Unfortunately, the outbreak of World War II made things difficult, only the digging of pits for new concrete foundations for the beams for a new tower and the stockpiling of wood succeeds. However, the Germans did forbid further sporting and building activities, so the wood was taken away and the construction abandoneded. Local enthusiasts, especially Florián and his son Vladimír Václavík, were not discouraged and with the help of other enthusiasts carried out ground work on the structure, bringing it back to life while sharpening its profile. This proved to be very useful for the jumpers from Lomnice, who, having mastered the technique of jumping on Babylon, were able to find their way to other hills without any problems and without any falls.
In the meantime, the facility underwent further minor changes and survived in this condition until the end of the war. Every year, several competitions were held, in which also the prominent Czech jumpers and Czechoslovak champions of that time, such as Oldřich Buďárek, Josef Lukeš or Rudolf Vrána, as well as the career-starter Miloslav Bělonožník, participated. Josef Císař, the 1939 Czechoslovakian champion, as well as his older rival Vladimír Václavík, the excellent Mirek Štolba, Karel Klíma and František Felix, later four-time Czechoslovakian champion, also began on this ski jump.
But time did not spare Babylon. In the post-war period it was no longer suitable for ski jumping competitions and in addition the poor winters caused competitions to be moved to Špindlerův Mlýn. Babylon became the prey of vandals, and finally in 1949 the inrun tower was demolished and the wood used for heating. The steep slope was reforested in the 1970s. Ski jumping was moved to Zadní Popelek at the beginning of the 1950s, where the present ski centre LSK Lomnice nad Popelkou is situated.

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