|• Mayor||Hynek Blažek|
|• Total||45.81 km2 (17.69 sq mi)|
|Elevation||512 m (1,680 ft)|
|• Density||51/km2 (130/sq mi)|
|Time zone||UTC+1 (CET)|
|• Summer (DST)||UTC+2 (CEST)|
Slavonice (Czech pronunciation: [ˈslavoɲɪtsɛ]; German: Zlabings) is a town in Jindřichův Hradec District in the South Bohemian Region of the Czech Republic. It has about 2,300 inhabitants. It lies on the Austrian border in the historical land of Moravia, despite administratively being a part of the South Bohemian Region. The town centre is well preserved and is protected by law as an urban monument reservation.
Villages and hamlets of Kadolec, Maříž, Mutišov, Rubašov, Stálkov and Vlastkovec are administrative parts of Slavonice.
Slavonice was founded in the 12th century. The first written mention is from 1260. The settlement and later a market village slowly developed into a fortified town. From the 13th century, the underground system was built, which served as drainage and town's defense system. In the 14th century, Slavonice extended to the west (today's Míru Square) and to the east (today's Horní Square).
From the 14th to the 16th century, Slavonice was an important town on the route from Prague to Vienna, which brought it great wealth. When the route was relocated to the north, passing through Znojmo the town's source of wealth dried up as the local farming and forestry activities could never generate enough income. The town's renaissance look is therefore very characteristic.
The town and the surrounding countryside were lightly fortified in the period leading up to the World War II. Some of these small bunker complexes have been repaired and refurbished, with mock battles of Wehrmacht and Czechoslovak forces taking place in summer. The area and defences were never used against the Third Reich, being settled by a German-speaking majority, as the town and region had to be surrendered to the Third Reich following the Munich Agreement.
The original German-speaking population was expelled in June 1945 following the World War II.
Being so close to the Austrian border, Slavonice was heavily affected by the creation of the Iron Curtain during the period of communism. The hamlet of Maříž was emptied of its inhabitants during the communist era in an effort to prevent people from living anywhere near the border with non-communist Austria (the current inhabitants could stay but no new residents could move in and property could not be sold or inherited).
After the Velvet Revolution and the fall of communism, Maříž was recolonized by ceramics artists, and Slavonice has once again become a popular destination for Czech tourists and artists. Many small galleries have sprung up as a result of the work of artists and workshops in Slavonice.
|Source: Historical lexicon of municipalities of the Czech Republic|
The town has a traditional medieval Renaissance town centre. Cellar vaults, facades of houses with typical gables derived from the Italian Renaissance and a guild rooms with murals have been preserved. The rich sgraffito decoration of the houses is also typical, including complex figural scenes.
Church of the Assumption of the Virgin Mary is located between the two town squares. Its tower was built in 1503–1549 and is one of the symbols of the town. It is accessible to the public as a lookout tower.
Church of Saint John the Baptist was built in the 13th or 14th century. It has a facade decorated with sgraffito from the end of the 16th century. Today it serves to cultural purposes. Church of the Holy Cross is a cemetery church from 1702. Outside the urban area, there is the pilgrimage Church of Corpus Cristi, which was built originally in the 13th century and renewed after it was burned down during the Hussite Wars.
The Gothic underground system is preserved to this day. About 380 metres (1,250 ft) of tunnels are open to the visitors. Part of the town fortifications have also been preserved, including two gates, two bastions and several fragments of town walls.
In popular culture
Twin towns – sister cities
- "Population of Municipalities – 1 January 2021". Czech Statistical Office. 2021-04-30.
- "Historie města" (in Czech). Město Slavonice. Retrieved 2021-09-03.
- "Historický lexikon obcí České republiky 1869–2011 – Okres Jindřichův Hradec" (in Czech). Czech Statistical Office. 2015-12-21. pp. 15–16.
- "Památky" (in Czech). Město Slavonice. Retrieved 2021-09-03.
- "Partnerské obce" (in Czech). Město Slavonice. Retrieved 2021-09-03.