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Žďár nad Sázavou


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The settlement of Žďár originally grew up around a Cistercian monastery founded by Boček of Obřany in 1252. The first written mention of the community as a small town is found in a document from 1293. In 1588 the monastery and its domain came under the control of the bishopric of Olomouc. Then in 1606 the monastery was shut down and passed into the direct ownership of Cardinal Franz Dietrichstein, who in 1607 raised Žďár to the status of a town, giving it new privileges and a new emblem. The monastery was given its present appearance by extensive remodelling during the term of office of Abbot Václav Vejmluva (1705 – 38) in the style of the 'Baroque Gothic', designed by Blažej Santini Aichl. Then in 1784 the monastery was closed by Emperor Josef II. The second half of the nineteenth century saw a rapid development of Czech cultural life in Žďár.

 

The first substantial business enterprises were founded, mainly in the footwear industry, and the town acquired a railway connection. Meanwhile the first major changes were made in the town's buildings. Between 1914 and 1918 many citizens of Žďár died as legionnaires on the fronts in World War I. And the town was seriously afflicted again in May 1945 at the end of World War II, with many buildings destroyed or damaged. In the post-war period there was a steep rise in population associated with construction of the ŽĎAS machinery works. New housing developments were built, and in the 1970s the whole historical core of the town was almost completely rebuilt.

 

Today Žďár nad Sázavou has approximately 23,000 residents. With its Church of St. Jan Nepomucký (St. John of Nepomuk) on Zelená hora (Green Mountain) – a landmark protected by UNESCO – and its position as a gateway to the most beautiful part of the Vysočina (Bohemian-Moravian Highlands), Žďár nad Sázavou is becoming more and more popular as a centre of tourism.

 

There are many opportunities here for recreation and cultural enjoyment, beginning each year already on January 1 with a festive welcome to the new year including a fireworks display. March is a month of fairytales: the 'Fairytale Potpourri' is a review of amateur theatrical ensembles from the region that perform for children. Before Easter hundreds of amateur actors present a Passion Play dealing with the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. On 30 April we celebrate the Witch's Feast: in the recreational complex in the Libušín housing development there is a series of games and competitions, witches are burned in effigy, and the whole event culminates with fireworks. June belongs to the Concentus Moraviae Festival of Thirteen Towns with its concerts of classical music. The 'Horácko Pitcher' folk-style music festival, held in the complex of the stately home of Dr. Kinský in August, has a long tradition. And now we come to autumn: rowans ripen in the Highlands, and this tasty fruit inspires a cultural event called the Rowan Festival: for a whole month works of visual art, music, and drama are presented in the town's cultural facilities. In November the House of Culture hosts an Education Festival devoted to secondary schools and training centres. Finally, in expectation of the most beautiful holidays of the year we can see a play on the town square about the birth of Jesus Christ titled A Living Nativity Scene. What remains to be said? Perhaps only that Žďár nad Sázavou is looking forward to your visit.

 

More information about the town on:

www.zdarns.cz

www.zamekzdar.cz

www.zelena-hora.cz

www.unesco-czech.cz

 

Kostel sv. Jana Nepomuckého na Zelené hoře

Kostel sv. Jana Nepomuckého na Zelené hoře

Náměstí s kostelem sv. Prokopa

Náměstí s kostelem sv. Prokopa

Muzeum knihy

Muzeum knihy

Krajina Žďárska

Krajina Žďárska

Interiér kostela sv. Jana Nepomuckého

Interiér kostela sv. Jana Nepomuckého

Krajina Žďárska

Krajina Žďárska

 

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