Velké Bílovice

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Velké Bílovice
Town
Church of the Nativity of the Virgin Mary
Church of the Nativity of the Virgin Mary
Flag of Velké Bílovice
Flag
Coat of arms of Velké Bílovice
Coat of arms
Velké Bílovice is located in Czech Republic
Velké Bílovice
Velké Bílovice
Location of Velké Bílovice in the Czech Republic
Coordinates: 48°51′N 16°54′E / 48.850°N 16.900°E / 48.850; 16.900Coordinates: 48°51′N 16°54′E / 48.850°N 16.900°E / 48.850; 16.900
CountryCzech Republic
Historical regionMoravia
RegionSouth Moravian Region
DistrictBřeclav District
First mentioned1306
Government
 • MayorLenka Grofová
Elevation
176 m (577 ft)
Population
 (1 January 2019)
 • Total3,907[1]
Time zoneUTC+1 (CET)
 • Summer (DST)UTC+2 (CEST)
Websitewww.velkebilovice.cz
Chapel on the hill Hradištěk surrounded by vineyards.
Velké Bílovice viewed from the north from the hill Hradištěk. In the distance you can see the town Břeclav (10 km away).

Velké Bílovice (Czech pronunciation: [ˈvɛlkɛː ˈbiːlovɪtsɛ]) (German: Groß Billowitz) is a town in the Czech Republic. It is a part of the Břeclav District in the South Moravian Region and is located about 45 km southeast of Brno and 80 km northeast of Vienna. It has a population of 3,907 (2019).[1] It is the largest grapevine-growing town in the Czech Republic with more than 750 hectares of vineyards.[2]

History[edit]

The first written record of Velké Bílovice comes from 1306 but the area was settled much earlier. Houses of Liechtenstein and Žerotín were the most important owners in the history of Velké Bílovice. In the 16th century, group of Hutterites (Habáni) settled in the area,[3] cultivated grapevine and built many large wine cellars.[4]

At the beginning of the 20th century many citizens of Velké Bílovice migrated to Argentina, Canada and the United States.[4]

Velké Bílovice was officially promoted to town status in 2001.

Places of interest[edit]

Hutterite (Habánské) wine cellars - the biggest one was built around 1614 and is located near the pond Velký Bílovec in the direction of Čejkovice. Its current owner is the company Habánské sklepy.[5]

Town Museum - There you can find local folk costumes, many archaeological finds from the area, old farm tools and other interesting things associated with the history of the town.[6]

Hill Hradištěk is a very visible local landmark. From the hill you can see not only the town but also many other nearby towns and villages and very many vineyards. Under good weather conditions you can also see monumental Pálava upland, wind farms in Austria and even distant White Carpathian mountains. On the hilltop there is a chapel which is consecrated to four saints: St. Urban (patron saint of winemakers), St. Wenceslas (patron saint of the Czech Lands) and St. Cyril and Methodius (patrons saint of Christianity in the Czech Lands).

Church of the Nativity of the Virgin Mary was built in late Baroque style in 1764–1765.[7]

Viticulture and winemaking - Velké Bílovice boasts more than 650 privately owned wine cellars[8] located in 40 named cellar streets[9] and more than 730 hectares of vineyards (the largest area in the Czech Republic).[2]

Culture and festivities[edit]

Hody” (the Feasts) is the most important folk festival in Velké Bílovice. It begins on the first Sunday after the Day of the Virgin Mary's Birth (September 8), patron saint of the local church, and continues till Tuesday. On the Saturday before the Feasts festive maypole is manually erected. The main celebration takes place on Sunday, when many visitors even from far away come to admire the folk costume parade, which is annually attended by more than 50 costumed couples. In 2017 the event takes place on September 10, 11 and 12.[10][11]
From wine cellar to wine cellar - During this event you can literally wander from one local wine cellar to another and taste plenty of different varieties of wines from many different winemakers. It is regularly held on Saturday at the turn of March and April. In 2017 the event takes place on April 1.[12]
Wine exhibition - Wine tasting of wines made not only by local winemakers, but also winemakers from near and far away. It is regularly held in the local ''Kulturní dům'' (House of Culture) on Saturday at the turn of April and May. In 2017 the event takes place on May 6.[13]

Surroundings[edit]

There are two ponds near Velké Bílovice, Šísary and Velký Bílovec, which are used mainly for fishing.

Lednice–Valtice Cultural Landscape - registered in the list of monuments protected as World Heritage Sites by UNESCO.

Pálava - protected area and UNESCO biosphere reserve

Nové Mlýny reservoirs - have good conditions for fishing, yachting and windsurfing. On one of its islands you can find the church of St. Linhart (Leonard), which is the last remaining relic of the flooded village Mušov.

Transport[edit]

Southwest of the town runs the D2 motorway with exit Velké Bílovice and Podivín.

The nearest railway station is located 3 km away in Podivín.

Local government[edit]

Since 2018 the mayor is Lenka Grofová (Independent Candidates).[14] The town council has 15 members (8 for Independent Candidates, 4 for Association of Independents for the Town and 3 for coalition of KDU-ČSL and TOP 09).[15]

Notable people[edit]

Gallery[edit]

Velké Bílovice from the northeast.
The road between the vineyards leading to the chapel.
Looking north, on the way to the chapel. In the distance you can see the village Vrbice.

External links[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Population of municipalities of the Czech Republic on January 1, 2019".
  2. ^ a b Situation and Outlook Report - grapevine and wine - October 2018 (page 88) (in Czech)
  3. ^ Billowitz Hutterite Colony (Moravia)
  4. ^ a b Official website of the town - History of Velké Bílovice Archived 2017-08-27 at the Wayback Machine (in Czech)
  5. ^ Official website of the town - Hutterite (Habánské) wine cellars Archived 2017-08-27 at the Wayback Machine (in Czech)
  6. ^ Town Museum of Velké Bílovice Archived 2015-11-24 at the Wayback Machine (in Czech)
  7. ^ Official website of the town - Parish church (in Czech)
  8. ^ Official website of the town - General Information Archived 2015-12-23 at the Wayback Machine (in Czech)
  9. ^ Winemakers Guild of Velké Bílovice - Cellar streets (in Czech)
  10. ^ Official website of the town - Calendar of cultural events Archived 2017-03-21 at the Wayback Machine (in Czech)
  11. ^ Official website of the town - Cultural events in Velke Bilovice (in Czech)
  12. ^ From wine cellar to wine cellar 2017 (in Czech)
  13. ^ Wine exhibition 2016 (in Czech)
  14. ^ Velké Bílovice will be led by a woman again. The ending mayor Vlková will remain in the town council. (in Czech)
  15. ^ iDnes.cz - Municipal elections 2018 (in Czech)