Znojmo (German Znaim) is a city with extended powers in the South Moravian Region on the left bank of the river Dyje, 65 km southwest of Brno and 83 km northwest of Vienna. The border with Austria runs eight kilometers from the city. Approximately 34,000 inhabitants live in the town. More than 40,000 inhabitants live in the Znojmo settlement agglomeration, including the adjacent independent municipalities. It is the second largest city in the South Moravian Region and the historical center of southwestern Moravia.

Until 2002, Znojmo was a district town in the administrative district of Znojmo. Under Austria-Hungary and during the first Czechoslovak Republic, it was also a statutory city until 1928.

The neighboring villages of the seat are Kravsko, Citonice, Strachotice, Podmolí, Dobšice, Chvalovice, Dyje, Havraníky, Nový Šaldorf-Sedlešovice, Tasovice, Mašovice, Suchohrdly, Únanov, Vrbovec, Plenkovice, Žerůtky, Hluboké Mašůvky and Kuchařovice.



History up to the Thirty Years' War
The area of ​​the city has been inhabited since prehistoric times. From the 8th century AD, on a rocky promontory opposite the present city center and castle, there was a large Great Moravian fortified settlement (now part of Hradiště), which guarded the ford across the river Dyje about 900 m, where the trade route from Bohemia through western Moravia to the Danube passed. Inside the fortified settlement, which in the 8th to 10th century controlled a large area of ​​today's southwestern Moravia and the adjacent part of Lower Austria, the church (rotunda) of St. Hippolyta. The existence of the second church is still being questioned by most of the academic community. There was also an extensive burial ground, discovered in 2007 and still being intensively researched. Old Moravian Znojmo (Hradiště) was destroyed by the Hungarians sometime in the middle of the 10th century, but life here was soon restored at the turn of the first and second millennium. After the conquest of Moravia by the Czech Přemyslids (1019/1029), the first administrative center was established in Hradiště. The new Přemyslid castle was built closer to the strategic river ford on the opposite side of the Gránický valley during the reign of Prince Conrad I of Brno and his son Litold Znojmo.

The apparent first written mention of Znojmo is found in a document dated to 1048, which, however, was a forgery with which the Czech prince Břetislav I. was to establish the provost's office in Rajhrad; the Znojmo castellan Markvart was mentioned among the witnesses. After the death of Prince Břetislav, Znojmo fell to his son Konrád I. At the latest after 1092, an independent Přemyslid principality called the Znojmo estate was established. Under Konrád's son Litold, the first coins were minted at Znojmo Castle - Znojmo denarii. Suburban settlements with the dominants of the churches of St. Michael and St. Nicholas were established on the forecourt of the castle.

The most important of the Přemyslids from Znojmo, Konrád II. Ota, who gradually controlled the whole of Moravia and eventually became a prince in Bohemia, founded the Premonstratensian monastery in Louka in 1190, which stands south of the historic city center. In the years 1222–1226, Znojmo was promoted by a royal town by Přemysl Otakar I, the first of its kind in South Moravia, and fortified by strong walls, which have largely survived to this day. Znojmo flourished in the 13th and 14th centuries, when Znojmo already had cobbled streets, a water supply system and two hospitals. In 1240, King Wenceslas I donated the provostship of St. Hippolyta in Hradiště a community of hospital brothers and sisters at St. Francis in Prague, founded on the initiative of St. Agnes of Bohemia, sister of King Wenceslas, from which the Knights of the Red Star soon became a knightly order.

In the immediate vicinity of the castle, King Wenceslas I founded a monastery of minorities (1226–1239), later a monastery of the Poor Clares (1271–1274) was later established here. After the Battle of the Moravian Field (August 26, 1278), the Czech king and Moravian margrave Přemysl Otakar II was buried in the Minorite monastery church of the Assumption of the Virgin Mary. (1279). In 1296, Wenceslas II transferred. the remains of his father to the Church of St. Vitus in Prague. In January 1307, the Czech King Rudolf of Habsburg and his father, King Albrecht I of Rome, met with the Znojmo minorities to proclaim a new order of succession on the Czech throne, which, however, never came into force due to Rudolf's early death and the different will of the Czech nobility. During the reign of King John of Luxembourg, the city was pledged several times to the Dukes of Austria. In 1404, as a bastion of the followers of the Moravian Margrave Prokop of Luxembourg, it was unsuccessfully besieged for two months by the troops of the Austrian Duke Albrecht IV. and the Hungarian King Sigismund of Luxembourg. During the Hussite wars of the first half of the 15th century, the city remained Catholic and sided with the Czech king and Roman emperor Sigismund of Luxembourg. With his death in Znojmo on December 9, 1437, the Luxembourg dynasty died out.

History after the Thirty Years' War
After the Battle of White Mountain, a provincial assembly was held in the town in 1628, at which a renewed provincial establishment was proclaimed for Moravia, enacting the Habsburgs' inheritance on the Czech throne and re-Catholicization. In 1645, during the Thirty Years' War, impoverished Znojmo was conquered by the Swedes in three days under the command of General Lennart Torstenson (1603–1651).


At the end of the 17th century, the city was hit by a major plague epidemic, which claimed nearly 800 lives. Later, Znojmo was affected by the Napoleonic Wars, first in 1805, when the Russians and French passed through it before the Battle of Austerlitz, and the second time in 1809, when a battle between Austrian and French troops, known as the Battle of Znojmo, took place near Znojmo. After the defeat of the Turks near Vienna in 1683, Znojmo Castle lost its strategic importance and in the desolate state Emperor Joseph I divided it: the inner castle was granted as a fief of the Czech Crown to Maximilian Francis of Deblin and his brother, who built a Baroque castle on the ruins. The outer castle was handed over to the city of Znojmo, which founded a brewery here. After the extinction of the Deblin family in 1784, the chateau fell back to the Czech crown. Emperor Joseph II. here in 1787 he placed a military hospital. After 1865, there was a military barracks, until in 1910 the building began to be used by the Znojmo City Museum (now the South Moravian Museum in Znojmo). Of the original castle, only the Romanesque rotunda of St. Kateřiny, a powerful perimeter wall and the Gothic cellar of the inner castle. Until 1892, the so-called Robber's Tower stood at the entrance to the outer castle from the forecourt.

Further development of the city of Znojmo took place in the 18th and 19th centuries in connection with the construction of imperial roads to Brno, Prague and Vienna, the construction of the connecting Vienna-Hrušovany nad Jevišovkou-Brno State Railway with the Znojmo branch (1870) –Jihlava – Nymburk – Prague / Děčín (1871). The construction of the railway prompted the elaboration of a timeless, high-quality regulatory plan, according to which the town began to expand very quickly, especially to the east to Novosady, to the valley of the Leska stream and to the new railway station. An interesting star-shaped Marian square was created on the ring road, inspired by the Place de l'Étoile in Paris. The construction of the railway enabled the development of Znojmo vegetable growing and horticulture. Znojmo cucumber has become a household name abroad.

The discovery of kaolin deposits contributed to the development of the ceramic industry in the city. Alois Klammerth's ceramic factory (+1878) has been producing brown glazed ceramics, white sanitary ceramics and faience since 1851. It reached its peak in collaboration with Viennese artists from the School of Applied Arts in the 1970s.

Numerous parks were established, new schools were built, Albrecht's barracks (later Žižkova), the town waterworks, the Jewish synagogue (1888), the town theater (1900), the Evangelical church and the regional court with a prison (1913–1919, today the district court is located here) .

History in the first half of the 20th century
The promising expansion of the city was killed by the First World War. During the disintegration of Austria-Hungary in the autumn of 1918, Znojmo became the center of the separatist region of German South Moravia, which resisted annexation to the newly formed Czechoslovakia and, with reference to Wilson's right to self-determination, declared affiliation with German Austria. It was not until a military intervention on December 16, 1918, that Znojmo and its surroundings were occupied by Czechoslovak troops. This was followed by a massive influx of Czech officials into the city and the related departure of some Germans, especially from the ranks of the intelligentsia. Thus, the current majority of Germans in the city was balanced to a ratio of 1: 1. In 1920, the first Czech was elected mayor of the city - Dr. Josef Mareš. Thanks to his prudent policy of broad consensus, coexistence between the two nationalities in the city was kept within calm limits. The city was then officially visited by the President of the Republic Tomáš Garrigue Masaryk. The development of the city in the interwar period continued to be dynamic due to the massive construction of residential houses, yet for the first time in its history, the city began to struggle with the syndrome of the city on the periphery. The creation of the customs border between the Czechoslovak Republic and Austria, the reduction of traffic on the Northwestern Railway and other centralist measures of the Prague government greatly limited the export of traditional Znojmo commodities to the vast catchment area around Vienna and contributed to the impoverishment of a large part of Znojmo's population. This aspect contributed to the strong radicalization of the German population, especially after the establishment of the Sudeten German Party.

By the Munich Agreement of Autumn 1938, Znojmo was annexed to Hitler's Third Reich. This caused the exodus of a large part of Bohemia, Jews and German anti-fascists from Znojmo to the truncated rest of the republic. The Jewish synagogue was closed and later demolished. Before the war (1930), 675 people of Jewish origin lived in Znojmo. On August 4, 2016, the first Znojmo stones of the missing, the so-called stolpersteine ​​for Holocaust victims were laid in the city.


With the end of World War II in the spring of 1945, Znojmo was damaged by several raids by Soviet and American bombers. The building of the old town hall was directly affected, and the train station suffered great damage. The German Armed Forces left the city just before the arrival of the Red Army (May 8, 1945). With the arrival of the Soviets and the restoration of Czechoslovak state power, there was a wild phase of the expulsion of the German population from the city. The first trains brought hundreds of Czech new settlers from the interior along the renewed line. Later, in the phase of organized deportation, the German population was interned in the area of ​​a forced labor camp on Pražská třída (today the premises of the Police of the Czech Republic). An extraordinary people's court also sat in the town in 1945–1948. During train transports in 1946, 15,000 Znojmo Germans were deported to the American occupation zone in Germany. The new population came mainly from the area of ​​the Bohemian-Moravian Highlands and also from Haná, Wallachia and Slovácko. It was the largest ethnic change in the history of the city since the 13th century.

In the parliamentary elections in 1946, the candidate of the Communist Party of Czechoslovakia won in Znojmo. After the communist coup in February 1948, the border with Austria was gradually closed. Znojmo became a so-called border town, a "dam against imperialism". On Wednesday, August 21, 1968, Soviet T 54 tanks with white invasion stripes flooded today's Masaryk Square.