Darkovice

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Darkovice (German: Gross Darkowitz) is a village in the Moravian-Silesian Region of the Czech Republic. It is part of micro-region Hlučínsko. It has about 1,200 inhabitants.

Village history starts in the 13th century when the Czech king made a present to the Cistercian monastery in Velehrad. By this act on 18 December 1250 the small village became a property of the monastery. This is the first written mention of the existence of Darkovice. Soon there appeared a new village near Darkovice, called Žibřidovice and between them the oldest pond with a mill in the county of Opava. Unfortunately, after the death of the King Přemysl Otakar II, the whole situation in the Czech kingdom changed. During the war Žibřidovice ceased to exist and the number of inhabitants in Darkovice dropped rapidly.

The situation did not change till the Opavian duke Mikuláš II named a king's delegate, Prešek, to rebuilt Darkovice. Colonization followed and Prešek managed to settle 14 fields with new inhabitants. He received two fields as a reward. Darkovice was placed under the administration of the castle Landek and had to pay an annual fee. Then another Opavian duke Kazimír Těšínský attached Darkovice to Hlučín. But sons of Štěpán z Vrbna split this heritage in the year 1568. By this act, the village became a part of the possession of Karel z Vrbna.

Against the wishes of Opavian dukes Darkovice was given to Jesuits in Opava in 1673. Their task was to perform violent recatholization. During this time 27 persons lived in servitude; of these 21 were peasants and one was an independent miller. A pond and farm belonged to the Jesuits. They overburdened peasants and the result was series of rebellions in 1734.

The village shared troubles with Šilheřovice possession from the 17th century. The Šilheřovice county, as well as Darkovice were associated to Prussia in 1742 and the servitude was abolished in 1823 (25 years earlier than in the rest of the Czech Kingdom). This event was celebrated by building a chapel. Even though the village belonged to Jesuits for a long time, the school was not founded until 1867.

After affixing to ČSR, area of the village was 514 ha, there lived 989 inhabitants, there were 148 houses, three pubs and two shops.

From 1979 to 1991 was the village was annexed to Hlučín, but from 1991 Darkovice have been independent again. There now live 1235 inhabitants.

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Coordinates: 49°56′N 18°14′E / 49.933°N 18.233°E / 49.933; 18.233