Jindřichův Hradec



Jindřichův Hradec (German Neuhaus, Latin Nova Domus) is a town in the South Bohemian Region, 43 km northeast of České Budějovice on the river Nežárka. Approximately 21,000 inhabitants live here. In the immediate vicinity of the historic center of Jindřichův Hradec, which is a city monument reserve, there is a Vajgar pond with an area of 49 ha.



The first fortified seat on the territory of Jindřichův Hradec can be considered the border Přemyslid fort from the 9th to the 10th century. At the end of the 12th century, the surrounding region gained the influence of the powerful Vítkovci family, from which, after the death of Vítek I. of Prčice, the lords of Hradec separated, who owned the local estate until 1604, when they died by the sword.

Around 1220, the first lord of Hradec, Jindřich, son of Vítek I of Prčice, had a new Gothic castle built on the foundations of the old Slavic fortified settlement, which he called the New Castle, or the New House (Nova domus) - hence the German name Neuhaus used to this day. The name of the castle was soon transferred to the emerging market settlement in the castle grounds. Thanks to its strategic location between Prague and Vienna, this settlement soon experienced an unprecedented rise. In 1255, a manorial mayor was mentioned in connection with it, ensuring the operation of the town and supervising the operation of the market.

The turning point came in 1293, when Jindřichův Hradec was first mentioned as a town. At this time, Hradec had most likely already completed the fortifications, and in the following decades the planned construction of mostly stone burgher houses continued. In the first third of the 14th century, minorities came to the town, who founded the church of St. John the Baptist and then the adjacent monastery. After the middle of the 14th century, the construction industry focused on building the parish church of the Assumption of the Virgin Mary.

In the 14th century, he also strengthened the influence of merchants and craftsmen, especially drapers. Cloth-making has become a key industry for several centuries. Jindřichův Hradec clothiers exported their goods not only to other cities in the Czech Republic, but also far abroad. The second important branch was brewing, which dates back to the 14th century. The local manorial brewery became the largest brewery in southern Bohemia in the 16th century, and was definitively abolished in 1967.


The town flourished smoothly in the 15th century and peaked in the 16th century, during the reign of Henry IV. from Hradec and his son Adam. Renaissance buildings were added to the Gothic buildings, mainly due to the presence of many Italian builders, who converted the castle into a modern chateau. These architects and stonemasons also worked for many wealthier burghers, and so many very showy houses with arcades were created on the market. At this time, Jindřichův Hradec reached the ten largest cities in Bohemia, and was the largest of the serf towns. The golden age of the town ends in 1604, when the lords of Hradec died out, and the estate was taken over by Vilém Slavata of Chlum and Košumberk. The outbreak of the Thirty Years' War was the beginning of the decline of Jindřichův Hradec, although at that time it was even the second largest city in the entire Kingdom of Bohemia. At the end of the 17th century, the Černín family from Chudenice took over the manor and owned it until 1945.

The 18th century meant a decline for the city, although one of the dominants dates from this period - the column of the Holy Trinity. In 1773, a devastating fire hit Jindřichův Hradec and in 1801 another, even more catastrophic one. Over 300 houses burned down and several dozen people burned down. Jindřichův Hradec acquired a new classicist look after the fire. In the first half of the 19th century, the city became the center of the national revival. The subsequent crisis of draperies and the unrealized construction of a railway line from Prague to Vienna slowed down the development of the city. During the care of V. Naxera (1882–1908), the town became a living cultural center. At this time, the track was finally brought to Hradec (1887). In the same year, the former watermill was rebuilt into the Křižík power plant and the town was the second in the Czech Republic to receive temporary electric lighting. On April 1 of the following year, an electric light came on in the city permanently. Jindřichův Hradec was the first city in Austria-Hungary where electric lighting was introduced in private houses.

Jindřichův Hradec is also the probable birthplace of Adam Michna of Otradovice (1600). In the years 1831–1835, Bedřich Smetana stayed in the local brewery, who suffered a serious injury here, which caused his later deafness.

On November 1, 1940, the Government of the Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia, by its Decree No. 388/1940 "on Certain Changes in the Districts of the Provincial Offices in Prague and Brno", annexed Jindřichův Hradec and its surroundings to the Moravian-Silesian Land and did so for more than four and a half years. the city of the westernmost municipality of this country. After the liberation of Czechoslovakia in 1945, Jindřichův Hradec returned to Bohemia.