Description of place
Kotouč is a Jurassic limestone/sandstone hill with its summit now 517 metres above sea level (formerly 539 m, before quarrying removed the top part). A castle used to stand on the western side of a hill near a 3–10 metre-high rock wall. Together with Radhošť, Praděd and Hostýn, Kotouč is one of a quartet of mythical Moravian hills – sacred places associated with many legends. The hill took its name from a wizard called Kotouč, the central figure in one of these traditional legends. For many millennia Kotouč was a natural economic and cultural centre for the surrounding region. In the early Middle Ages the main settlement moved to the nearby Zámecký (“castle”) hill, but Kotouč remained an important strategic site, with a watchtower dating from the mid-12th century and two small fortresses from the mid-13th century guarding the area. It was also an important religious site. When the industrial revolution came to Štramberk, Kotouč was transformed. The Guttmann brothers opened a limestone quarry on the hill in 1880, and quarrying began on the southern slope during the following year. In 1885 A. Schindler opened a lime kiln nearby, and a new chapter in Kotouč’s history was launched.