Dolní Benešov

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Dolní Benešov
Dolní Benešov over the Nezmar pond.
Coat of arms
Country Czech Republic
Region Moravian-Silesian
District Opava
Elevation 231 m (758 ft)
Coordinates 49°55′19″N 18°6′28″E / 49.92194°N 18.10778°E / 49.92194; 18.10778Coordinates: 49°55′19″N 18°6′28″E / 49.92194°N 18.10778°E / 49.92194; 18.10778
Area 14.8 km2 (5.7 sq mi)
Population 4,203 (2012-01-01)
Density 284/km2 (736/sq mi)
Mayor Martin Štefek
Timezone CET (UTC+1)
 - summer (DST) CEST (UTC+2)
Postal code 747 22
Location in the Czech Republic
Location in the Czech Republic
Location in the Moravian-Silesian Region
Location in the Moravian-Silesian Region
Wikimedia Commons: Dolní Benešov

Dolní Benešov (Czech pronunciation: [ˈdolɲiː ˈbɛnɛʃof]; German: Beneschau) is a small town in the Moravian-Silesian Region of the Czech Republic. It was first mentioned in a 1312 deed as an estate of the Benešovice noble family and received town privileges in 1493 by King Vladislaus II of Bohemia. On a ca. 1588 map of Poland and Silesia by G. Mercator it is spelt Benischaw, and spelt Benischow on a ca. 1688 map by N.S. D'Abbeville. So the original family name was likely spelt Benis, with the suffix -chaw or -chow meaning domain or town. In an 1812 reference book (A System of Geography, Ancient and Modern by James Playfair, Hill, p. 695) it is spelt Benischau, with a German suffix. On an 1880 map of Silesia it is spelt Beneschau. In 1846 Salomon Mayer Rothschild, who owned the ironworks in nearby Vítkovice, acquired Benešov Palace, probably then spelt Palace Benisowa (of the Benis family).

During the Second World War the village, then still known locally as Beneschau, was the base for a working party (E444) of British and Commonwealth prisoners of war, under the administration of Stalag VIIIB/344 at Łambinowice (then known as Lamsdorf) in Poland. In January 1945, as the Soviet armies resumed their offensive and advanced from the east, the prisoners were marched westward in the so-called Long March or Death March. Many of them died from the bitter cold and exhaustion. The lucky ones got far enough to the west to be liberated by the allied armies after some four months of travelling on foot in appalling conditions.[1]

Today Dolní Benešov has about 4,300 inhabitants. It is a part of the Hlučín Region.

International relations[edit]

Twin towns — Sister cities[edit]

Dolní Benešov is twinned with:

External links[edit]

Sunset over Nezmar in Dolní Benešov