Slavonice (German Zlabings) is a small historic town in southwestern Moravia (on the Czech-Moravian-Lower Austrian border) in the district of Jindřichův Hradec. It lies about one kilometer north of the border with Austria, eleven kilometers southwest of Dačice, on both sides of the Slavonický stream. Approximately 2,400 inhabitants live in them. Thanks to the preserved historical core of the town, Slavonice is nicknamed "Little Telč" or "the pearl of the West Moravian Renaissance". Slavonice is the westernmost town in Moravia and, together with nearby Dačice, is the only two Moravian towns in the South Bohemian Region.
The first written mention of the city dates from 1260. The original guard settlement, founded in the 12th century on a medieval country road connecting Prague with Vienna, belonged to the lords of Hradec (golden five-petalled rose in a blue field). In the 14th century, the settlement became a town thanks to magnificent construction. It included two squares (now named Peace Square and Upper Square), which was surrounded by medieval town houses. The whole construction was conceived on very narrow plots, so that the owners of their houses and adjoining farms headed through the main entrance to the square and the outbuildings to the rear tracts of their houses. During the 16th century, a significant part of the city's population leaned towards the Lutheran Reformation. The Reformed sgraffito decoration of a number of burgher houses of the then Lutheran population significantly co-creates the unique atmosphere of the town of Slavonice.
During the Thirty Years' War, the city was looted by Swedish troops. Moreover, in the years 1680–1681, the Slavonians were plagued by plague, which claimed many lives. The city recovered from these hardships and wars at the turn of the 17th and 18th centuries. However, not all disasters and catastrophes should end. On March 27, 1750, a large fire broke out in the city, which destroyed a large part of both squares and 44 houses, along with the city tower. The decline of the city, which followed these events, was further deepened by the transfer of the postal route from Vienna to Jihlava via Znojmo in 1760. House No. 62 was then a switching station on this route.
On September 7, 1902, the Kostelec u Jihlava - Slavonice railway line was built and put into operation, as well as the building of the railway station in Slavonice. A year later, in 1903, Slavonice was connected with the Austrian Waidhofen an der Thaya and then with the Schwarzenau station on the imperial railway from Vienna to České Budějovice.
After the collapse of the Austro-Hungarian monarchy in 1918 and the establishment of the Czechoslovak Republic, the city with a predominantly German population responded by joining the province of Deutsch Südmähren based in Znojmo. Therefore, the Czechoslovak army had to be called to the city to subjugate the city to the power of the new Czechoslovak state. At the time, however, the collapse of the monarchy posed major problems for local textile factories, which had lost traditional markets in the former monarchy, and this situation was exacerbated by the outbreak of the global economic crisis at the turn of the 1920s and 1930s. The electrification of the city was completed by connecting to the ZME Brno network in 1929. A system of border fortresses was built along the state border between 1936 and 1938, which have survived to this day and are maintained in good technical condition and accessible to the public thanks to enthusiasts. Some of these fortresses are right inside the city.
After the Munich Agreement, the city was ceded to Germany in October 1938 and became part of the German Empire. However, Slavonice did not become part of the Sudetenland on the western borders of the country, but was annexed to the imperial county of the Lower Danube (Niederdonau) of neighboring Austria. The borders between Czechoslovakia and the German Empire were shifted 10 km north of Slavonice, with all the consequences of the expansion of German Nazism at the time. The Czech population, with few exceptions, fled inland. On May 9, 1945, the city was liberated by Red Army troops. Based on the decision of the victorious powers, the entire German population was displaced in two waves (1945 and 1946) and the city was inhabited by the Czech population from the interior.
Development of the city since 1945
In 1953, the city was included in the so-called border zone, which caused considerable isolation of the whole area from other civilizations and very strongly reduced possible tourism in this area. It was not until 1960, during the reorganization of districts and regions, that the built-up area of the city was removed from the border zone and could begin to use tourism. On August 31, 1961, Slavonice was declared a city monument reserve. Since the administrative reform on July 1, 1960, Slavonice has belonged to the South Bohemian Region, Jindřichův Hradec District. As part of the integration of municipalities, the formerly independent municipalities of Vlastkovec, Mutišov and Maříž were connected to Slavonice in 1964, and later, in 1972, also the last connected municipality of Stálkov.
In the period 1945–1989, a water supply system, a sewerage
system, a wastewater treatment plant, a central boiler room, a new
primary school building for 650 pupils with a school canteen and two
gyms (1978), a culture house (1979), and a kindergarten for 120
children 1983), a new fire station, a bus station, a new football
stadium, a skittle alley, a panel housing estate with 126 city and
cooperative flats built and a new residential zone prepared for the
construction of new individual and terraced houses. In this area
(General Svobody and Lebeděvova streets), mostly locals built 77 new
family houses. At this time, local companies, which built apartment
buildings with a total capacity of over 50 flats, contributed
significantly to increasing the number of housing units in the city.
At the end of the 1950s, regular and proper repairs of the historic
city center were also started, especially the facades of the houses
on both Slavonian squares, which at that time were for the most part
state-owned. At the end of this period, the construction of a health
center and a pharmacy was also started.
After 1989, four more prefabricated prefabricated houses with 56 flats were built. Individual housing construction did not develop significantly due to the lack of building plots, but also for economic reasons. The city continued to build new civic amenities, such as an administrative building at the football stadium and a nursing home, and a health center and pharmacy were completed. A multi-purpose playground with an artificial surface was built at the stadium. The local wood processing plant built an ecological wood waste incinerator, which had previously been exported almost useless to a landfill. The incinerator now produces electricity and heat for the company's own needs. Every year, the state and the municipality invest considerable funds for the repair and regeneration of monuments. Natural gas was introduced to the city in 1999. Reconstructions of the surfaces of both Slavonice squares were carried out, and in recent years some of the local roads have also been repaired. It is gradually being repaired and made accessible to the public by the city underground. In 2012, the reconstruction of the wastewater treatment plant worth almost 90 million crowns was completed.