Rudolice nad Bílinou
Rudolice nad Bílinou (Rudolice upon Bílina) is a district in the city of Most, Czech Republic. The most well-known part is Chánov housing estate, which is infamous as a ghetto inhabited by Roma (Gypsies). The population of Chanov is 1,500 - 2,000 (2006 estimate).
The area has been inhabited since the neolithic age. The first written mention of Rudolice (as Rudolfsdorf) comes from 1298. The place was also known under other names, including: Rudoltice, Rudolec, Rudolfsdorf, Rudelsdorf an der Biela. During 1298 - 1349 Osek Monastery (klášter Osek) bought out the estate and kept it until 1848.
Until the end of the 18th century Rudolice was a tiny hamlet; later, the number of inhabitants started to grow, peaking in the period of 1921 (389 inhabitants) - 1930 (1,279 inhabitants). In 1947 the village became part of the city of Most. Much of the housing was torn down during second half of the 1960s to make way for mining and transportation infrastructure.
Today, Rudolice is mainly an industrial area.
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The area is named after the nearby village of Chanov, administrative part of the village of Obrnice. The settlement is geographically separated by approximately 2 km from the rest of Most.
During 1976–1978, 12 large paneláky (concrete tenements) with 380 fully equipped flats, school building and infrastructure was built here to accommodate people from parts of Most torn down to make way for mining. The intention was to create an exemplary community for Roma (Gypsies) living, until then, scattered throughout Most in low quality housing, and to prove that the socialist state was able to integrate them. A government commission visiting Chanov in 1985 found most of the flats in poor condition and the people living in isolation from the rest of the city. About 50 flats were abandoned. The commission recommended that the Roma should not be concentrated in one place, and that ethnic Czechs should be brought in to reconstruct the place.(Details in Czech, p. 115 - 122.)
Since the 1990s, Roma started to move into Chanov while the remaining Czechs moved out, creating a de facto ghetto. The Roma, descendents from Slovakian Roma have low or no education and are most often unemployed (90% in 2006). Almost every inhabitant is a recipient of state welfare. About 38% of inhabitants are under the age of 15. 94% of the people have only primary education (often not completed).
Chanov lacks the majority of basic services. Hot water was cut off in 2000 as it was not paid for. Families that do not pay electricity have it disconnected, but illegal consumption is common. Security is terrible as police patrols prove ineffective, and over time Chanov has become a symbol of Roma ghettoization and criminality. One of the 13 block houses (No. 9) was completely derelict and torn down in 2002, several others are damaged and likely to be torn down in the future. 291 flats were inhabited and 64 flats were considered uninhabitable in 2006. The city of Most periodically repairs the houses and the infrastructure (e.g. in 2006 a boiler house was reconstructed at a cost of 30 million CZK).
- [Ghetto No. 1: new Czech film documents life at country's biggest Roma ghetto - Czech Radio]
- Description of Chanov
- Statistics about Roma in Chanov (in Czech)
- History of Rudolice, photos (in Czech)
- Documentary about Chanov (13 parts, subtitles in English)