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Šumperk, Hlavní třída.JPG
The Šumperk overview. High Ash Mountains are situated in background.
Coat of arms
Country Czech Republic
Region Olomouc
District Šumperk
Commune Šumperk
River Desná
Elevation 315 m (1,033 ft)
Coordinates 49°57′55″N 16°58′15″E / 49.96528°N 16.97083°E / 49.96528; 16.97083Coordinates: 49°57′55″N 16°58′15″E / 49.96528°N 16.97083°E / 49.96528; 16.97083
Area 27.91 km2 (10.78 sq mi)
Population 26 697 (2015)
Founded 1269
Mayor Zdeněk Brož
Timezone CET (UTC+1)
 - summer (DST) CEST (UTC+2)
Postal code 787 01
Location in the Czech Republic
Location in the Czech Republic
Wikimedia Commons: Šumperk
Statistics: statnisprava.cz
Website: www.musumperk.cz

Šumperk (Czech pronunciation: [ˈʃumpɛrk]; German: Mährisch Schönberg) is a district town in the Olomouc Region of the Czech Republic. It is the largest centre of the north of Moravia and owing to its location it is called "The Gate to Jeseníky mountains."


The original German name is a compound of an adjective „schön“ (meaning „beautiful") and a noun „berg“ (meaning „hill“), later supplemented by a distinguishing adjective Mährisch (= Moravian). The Czech name evolved from a direct phonetic transcription of Schönberg – „Šenberk“ (schön=šen; berg=berk), later „Šumberk“ and finally „Šumperk“. (There are many similarly emerged placenames across the Czech Republic, like Šumbark or Žumberk.)

After the World War II and the expulsion of Germans, there was some effort to give the town some genuinely Czech name. The suggestions included more or less direct translations like Krásná Hora or Krásno nad Desnou as well as names unrelated to the original name: e.g. Svobodov, Velenov, and even Jeseník, which was ultimately applied for nearby Frývaldov/Freiwaldau, whereas the name of Šumperk has after all remained unchanged.

Šumperk slip road


A View of Šumperk, painting by N. Malizius from 1864

Prehistory, antiquity, Early Middle Ages[edit]

Area of The Šumperk Basin probably was not permanently inhabited. It’s speculated that the Desná Valley was alternative route of Amber Road.

High and Late Middle Ages[edit]

Šumperk was probably established in the second half of the 13th century by German settlers from Silesia. The town became prosperous in short time mainly due rich deposits of precious metals and copper. Šumperk was a property of Moravian margrave. In 1281, first mention about Šumperk was written. It is a document referring about Jeneč ze Šumperka who was an administrator of the town and who lived in a small fort situated in outskirt. The fort has not been preserved. Dominican Monastery was founded in 1297.

The Šumperk was sold to the house of Páni z Lipé by Margrave Charles in 1340 . The house of Páni z Lipé built Šumperk Castle (Šumperský hrad) and erected stone defensive wall. Rests of both objects have been preserved. Šumperk was regained for Moravian Margraviate in 1352.

In 1391, Jobst of Moravia granted Magdeburg Rights for Šumperk including „The Mile Right“ (mílové právo or meilenrecht ). The Mile Right guaranteed production and trade monopoly for inhabitants of a town at a distance of 1 German Mile (meile, about 7,5 km or 4,7 international miles) from town gates. Šumperk inhabitants also got a permission for brewing.

During Hussite Wars, the town was pawned to catholic nobleman Beneš z Valdštejna therefore Šumperk was in opposition against Hussite reformation. 14 September 1424, hussite army successfully finished campaign in East Bohemia and moved to north Moravia on 23 September. Šumperk was not in center of attention of hussite warlords whose primary goal was to conquer margraviate capital city Olomouc. Attack against Šumperk was initiated by local lord Proček Bouzovský z Vildenberka, the owner of Loštice. The siege was short because town gates were opened by Šumperk hussite sympathizers. Proček Bouzovský z Vildenberka ruled the town to 1445 when Šumperk was besieged by catholic Olomouc citizens. Again, town gates were opened by disloyal inhabitants.

In 1490, Šumperk hosted meeting of Bohemian and Moravian provincial diet members (české a moravské stavy) who made the agreement about Vladislav Jagellonský candidature for Czech throne.

Šumperk was bought by The House of Zierotin in 1496 who significantly cultivated the town.

Early modern era[edit]

In a relatively peaceful 16th century, the town became prosperous, producing top quality clothes known across the Europe, and copper. The prosperity allowed the town to buy itself from serfdom and became directly subordinated to the Czech king in 1562. Šumperk council built aqueduct and canalization.

During Thirty Years War, Šumperk was collaborating with utraquist opposition against catholic Habsburgs. The town was heavily damaged by catholic armies and finally became property of the house of Lichtenstein who owned the city to the fall of the fedual system in 1848.

A terrible fire struck Šumperk in 1669 when 126 houses were destroyed. A lot of valuable Gothic and Renaissance architecture was lost.

Between 1679 and 1693, witch trials killed 48 people.

Industrial era[edit]

Wien industrialist Johann Ernst Klapperoth established a factory producing corduroy in 1785. The number of factories continuously rose during the 19th century. In 1800, Wagner brothers established a linen factory. In 1818, Eduard Oberleithner opened a textile factory which employed over 4900 people. A flax spinning mill was opened in 1842. In 1852, eleven major textile enterprises were operating in the town producing especially damask table and bed sets, silk clothing, and flax canvases.

Other enterprises were a brewery (opened 1861), a foundry (opened 1868), a factory producing earthenware (opened 1868), a mineral oil refinery (opened 1871), a textile machine factory (opened 1898), a factory producing iron goods (opened 1903), three large sawmills (in 1905), three brickworks (in 1905), two factories producing flying shuttles and bobbins (in 1905). Other enterprises operating in the early 20th century were two leather factories, factory processing fats, cardboard factory, slaughterhouse, power plant and gasworks.

In 1871, the railway line Zábřeh – Šumperk was finished.

Interwar period[edit]

Czechoslovak soldiers occupies Sumperk in December 1918, photo taken the front of town hall

Sudeten Germans members of Austria-Hungary Abgeordnetenhaus did not agree with establishing of Czechoslovakia and declared sovereignty of Germans inhabited Moravia including Šumperk under the name Sudetenland. One of these rebels was Gustav Oberleithner, the mayor of Šumperk who became vice-prime minister. The town was taken by Czechoslovak army on 15 December 1918 without any shooting. The town council published an official announcement that people should not show any resistance. Gustav Oberleithner was not punished as international status of Czechoslovakia was complicated as Czechoslovak sovereignty over Šumperk was not clear from the international law point of view.

The town kept its prosperity. In 1931 the Pramet metal tool factory was established. It still operates today.

An insignificant Czech minority became numerous during the interwar period which caused ethnic tension. In 1910, just 353 Czechs lived in the town. In 1930, number of Czechs increased to over two thousand people who were concentrated in the Česká čtvrť quarter.

Henlein's Nazi Sudeten German Party, which was an unconcealed Hitler sympathizer, and received 64% of the votes in the elections of 1935.

After the Munich agreement, the whole of Šumperk district was occupied by the Wehrmacht and was attached as Sudetenland province to the Third Reich. Most of the Czechs moved inland. Sixteen anti-Nazi rebels, of Czech and Sudeten German descent, were killed in Bratrušovská střelnice, the shooting range between Šumperk and Bratrušov village.


Šumperk was liberated by the Red Army on 8 May 1945 without significant damage.

German inhabitants were expelled, 9531 people in eleven convoys were moved to Saxony, Bavaria and Austria. Šumperk was rapidly repopulated by Czechs, Slovaks, later Roma, refugees from Greek Civil War and Czech minorities from Volhynia and Romania and the population even increased.

Almost all enterprises was confiscated by the state. Textile factories were united under the concern Moravolen, other factories were sold to Czechoslovak citizens.

Communist dictature[edit]

Although the Communist Party won the Šumperk election in 1946, gaining 34.7% votes, the council was ruled by a coalition of social democrats. After the coup d'état in 1948, all enterprises without any exceptions were confiscated by the state and were united under few concerns with low productivity.

The Severomoravské Divadlo theatre was opened in 1951, operating until today.

During the 1960s, extensive concrete blocks of flats were erected in the town's outskirts.

On 21 August 1968, Šumperk was occupied by Polish People's Army which was replaced by Red Army on 3 October 1968. Jan Zajíc, a student of the Šumperk industrial school, committed suicide by self-immolation as a political protest against Soviet occupation, following Jan Palach.

The Soviet army left Šumperk in May 1990 after the events of the Velvet revolution.


Šumperk was significant center of textile industry during Austria-Hungary, interwar and communist era. Communist rule nacionalized every single company in Šumperk and united them into few concerns with low productivity. Communist administration also supported developing of metalworking industry in the town.

After the Velvet Revolution during the 1990s the textile industry was not able to deal with cheap Asian competition and many textile companies went bankrupt, leaving large areas of brownfield sites. The metalworking industry has survived economic transformation relatively intact.

As a result, Šumperk has significant industry sector. Pramet company makes industrial tools with worldwide distribution. Epcos factory produces ferits for automotive purposes. Urdiamant processes synthetics diamonds into tools. Pars Nova revitalizes old trains and trams, the best known product is RegioNova train.

Several companies produce construction elements such windows, windowsills, doors, louvers and so on.

Less important is food production like bakeries and meat processing.

Wholesales and retail distribution for Šumperk district is also important source of income.


Recent population is 27 040 people.[1]

Tiny communities are from Vietnam and Ukraine.

History of population numbers[edit]


  • 1869 – 9 651 people in 836 houses
  • 1900 - 14 658 people in 1034 housses
  • 1921 – 16 006 people in 1330 houses
  • 1930 – 18 739 people in 1756 houses
  • 1950 – 17 192 people in 2014 houses
  • 1970 – 23 683 people in 2013 houses
  • 1991 – 30 422 people in 2328 houses
  • 2001 – 29 490 people in 2328 houses



  • A cinema named Kino Oko and a theatre named Severomoravské divadlo are situated in the town.
  • Person also can visit a private galleria - Galerie Jiřího Jílka (Gallery of Jiří Jílek) and a museum – Vlastivědné muzeum Šumperk – focused on local nature, art and history
  • The H-Club is a music club interested in alternative and independent music. The Disco 1 and The D*123 clubs are for commercial dancing music
  • Kulturní dům Šumperk (The Community house of Šumperk) is used for balls, music, performances, meetings, lectures etc.
  • Town library has 71 039 books [3]


Several festivals run during a year.

  • International Folklore Festival – Folklore groups from whole world show their customs.
  • Hrnečku Pař – music and literature festival focused on local authors.
  • Blues Alive – well known blues focused festival. Big number of performing bluesmen even from USA.
  • Džemfest – popular commercial music festival.
  • Špek fest – music festival which takes two days.
  • Klášterní hudební slavnosti – summer series of classic music concerts.
  • Divadlo v parku - theatre festival. Plays are performed in town’s park by professional actors from other towns and cities.


Valuable architecture of Šumperk
Kino Svět (literally The World Cinema), designed by German architect Rudolf Bican in 1928
Kino Svět (literally The World Cinema), designed by German architect Rudolf Bican in 1928. 
Functionalist post office designed by Ernest Wiesner.
Functionalist post office designed by Ernest Wiesner in 1927. 
Ehrt Hanschel's  functionalist resident and commercial house.
Ehrt Hanschel's functionalist resident and commercial house. 
Historicist theatre designed by Georg Berger in 1903
Historicist theatre designed by Georg Berger in 1903. 


  • Bernhard Joseph Ritter Anders von Porodim, also Bernhard Joseph Anders (1752-1827), Austrian civil servant
  • Dominik Ullmann (1835-1901), Jewish jurist
  • Emile Mario Vacano (1840-1892), Austrian artist and writer (de)
  • Leo Slezak (1873-1946), a tenor singer
  • Leo Freundlich (1875-ca. 1950), Jewish publicist[4]
  • Max Barta (1900-1990), artist, (de)
  • Hans Klein (1931-1996), politician (de)
  • Gerda Rogers (b. 1942), Austrian astrologer and radio presenter (de)
  • Jan Balabán (1961–2010), Czech writer, journalist and translator
  • Ivana Kubešová (b. 1962), middle distance runner
  • Jaroslav Mostecký (b. 1963), Czech author
  • Jiří Dopita (b. 1968), former Czech professional ice hockey player
  • Ondřej Sokol, (b. 1971), Czech director, actor and translator
  • Aleš Valenta (b. 1973), Czech freestyle skier
  • Jan Hudec (b. 1981), skier
  • Jakub Kindl (b. 1987), Czech professional ice hockey player


See also[edit]

  • Háj - an observation tower situated 3 km northwest from Šumperk


  1. ^ http://vdb.czso.cz/vdbvo/tabdetail.jsp?kapitola_id=5&pro_1_154=523704&cislotab=MOS+ZV01
  2. ^ http://vdb.czso.cz/vdbvo/tabparam.jsp?voa=tabulka&cislotab=AGSLD2010PC_OB1.164&vo=null
  3. ^ http://www.vkol.cz/data/soubory/rf/mk_sumperk.pdf
  4. ^ "1913 - Leo Freundlich: Albania's Golgotha: Indictment of the Exterminators of the Albanian People". 14 October 2007. 

External links[edit]

Media related to Šumperk at Wikimedia Commons