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For other places of the same name, see Jeseník (disambiguation).
Coordinates: 50°13′47″N 17°12′17″E / 50.22972°N 17.20472°E / 50.22972; 17.20472
Frývaldov (until 1948)
Coat of arms
Country Czech Republic
Region Olomouc
District Jeseník
Commune Jeseník
Elevation 432 m (1,417 ft)
Coordinates 50°13′47″N 17°12′17″E / 50.22972°N 17.20472°E / 50.22972; 17.20472
Area 38.22 km2 (14.76 sq mi)
Population 12,510 (2006-10-02)
Density 327 / km2 (847 / sq mi)
First mentioned 1267
Mayor Marie Fomiczewová
Timezone CET (UTC+1)
 - summer (DST) CEST (UTC+2)
Postal code 790 01
Location in the Czech Republic
Location in the Czech Republic
Wikimedia Commons: Jeseník

Jeseník (Czech pronunciation: [ˈjɛsɛɲiːk]), Frývaldov until 1948 (Czech pronunciation: [ˈfriːvaldof]; German: Freiwaldau) is a city and a district in the Olomouc Region of the Czech Republic. From 1938 to 1945 it was one of the municipalities in Sudetenland.


  • Bukovice (Buchelsdorf)
  • Dětřichov (Dittershof)
  • Jeseník (Freiwaldau)
  • Lázně Jeseník (Bad Gräfenberg)


Originally, Jeseník was a town subordinated to the Silesian bishop of Wrocław. The original name was Freiwaldau, deriving from the German "frei vom Walde".[1] The adjective “frei” means "free“, the preposition “vom” means "from the” and the genitive noun “Walde” means “woods” – all together the name means “free from the woods”. The former Czech name of Frývaldov was a phonetic transcription[citation needed] of the German original (frei=frý, waldau= valdov).

After Second World War the town was renamed along with many other towns containing German elements in their names.[2][3] It is named after the surrounding mountains which are called Hrubý Jeseník, or Jeseníky.


Austrian KK stamp with German name, around 1855

This part of Silesia was in the Crown of Bohemia, which passed to the Austrian Habsburg Monarchy in 1526, until the creation of Czechoslovakia in 1918. According to the Austrian administration census of 1910 the town had 6,859 inhabitants, 6,619 of whom had permanent residence there. The census asked people for their native language: 6,588 (99.5%) were speaking German, 16 Czech and 13 Polish. Jews were not allowed to declare Yiddish, most of them thus declared German. Most populous religious groups were Roman Catholics with 6,552 (95.5%), followed by Protestants with 208 (3%) and the Jews with 83 (1.2%).[4]

The Freiwaldau massacre[edit]

On November 25, 1931, the local Communist party organised a hunger march of around 1,000 unemployed stoneworkers ('Steinklopfer') to Freiwaldau. The police chief at Setzdorf instructed his men to prevent the demonstration from reaching the town. The police forced the marchers to take an alternative route through the forest. The police soon caught up with them at Nieder-Lindewiese, and a clash ensued during which the marchers threw sticks, stones and other objects at the gendarmes. After two stones hit the commander of the unit, First Lieutenant Oldřich Jirkovský, on the forehead, gave his men the order to fire on the crowd. As a result, ten people, including six women - among them a 60-year-old woman and a 14-year-old girl - were killed and fifteen men and women seriously injured and taken to the hospital in Freiwaldau. The Vienna Neue Zeitung attributed the march to the growing indebtedness of local stone- and chalkworkers, who could no longer earn enough for subsistence.[5][6]The German population was expelled according to the Benes Decrees in 1945.

Famous personalities[edit]

plate of C.Ditters von Dittersdorf
Chapel on the Vincenz Priessnitz vault, Gräfenberg Hill, Jeseník

International relations[edit]

Twin towns — Sister cities[edit]

Jeseník is twinned with:


  1. ^ "Jeseník - Historie obce". Místopisný průvodce po České republice. Retrieved 27 June 2014. 
  2. ^ "Sbírka zákonu a nařízení republiky Československé" (4). Ministry of the Interior of the Czech Republic. 31 January 1948. p. 284. 
  3. ^ "Mrdákov, Sračkov, Mrchojedy. Obce touží po jiném názvu". Retrieved 27 June 2014. 
  4. ^ Ludwig Patryn (ed): Die Ergebnisse der Volkszählung vom 31. Dezember 1910 in Schlesien, Troppau 1912.
  5. ^ ÖNB/ANNO AustriaN Newspaper Online
  6. ^ ÖNB/ANNO AustriaN Newspaper Online
  7. ^
  8. ^ [1]
  9. ^ Krňávek, Petr (21 May 2013). "Jeseník má oficiálně přátele i v Maďarsku". Šumperský a Jesenický Deník. Retrieved 21 May 2013. 

External links[edit]