Welcome to the Blansko region ...
... to the north of Southern Moravia, to the valley of the River Svitava, to the place where the Drahany Highlands meet the Highlands of Bohemia and Moravia, a region with a rich history and tradition of craftwork, a region associated with the lives and destinies of many famous people...

Demographic details on the southern part of Blansko district:

  This area takes in around 55 towns and villages with a population of 57,304. The town of Blansko itself has a population of 20,694 (as of 31 March 2001). The total area of the Blansko region is 942 km2.

Remarkable historical testimonies

  Blansko began life as a settlement on the right bank of the River Svitava. The first written record comes from 1141, when its name appears in a document from Bishop of Olomouc Jindřich Zdík as part of the Olomouc fief. Records of “New Blansko”, a settlement which sprang up on the opposite bank of the Svitava at the spot where the chateau now stands, appear from the end of the 13th century onwards. The two parts of the town developed independently, in terms of their administration and economics, until 1526. In 1580 Blansko was elevated to the status of township and given the right to use a township seal. From the end of the 17th century Blansko belonged to the Silesian house of the Counts of Gellhorn, who established large-scale iron production here in 1698. In 1766 the estate was purchased by the Salm-Reifferscheidt family which then held it until 1945. The first half of the 19th century saw a boom in Blansko’s iron industry and the production of artistic cast-iron (see picture). A great day in the history of Blansko came in 1905 when it was elevated to the status of a town by the decree issued by Emperor Franz Joseph I. In 1960 Blansko became the district capital.
Famous personages from the Blansko region
  Since long ago Blansko has been associated with a number of distinguished people of a supra-regional importance, who had a significant influence on many areas of social life: Karel Absolon – the Czech palaeontologist and speleologist (see picture), Jan Dubravius – the Czech humanist and Bishop of Olomouc, Arnošt Julius Leopold, Count of Gellhorn – founder of the Blansko ironworks, Karel Ježek – son of the founder of the company Adamovské Strojírny (Adamov Machine Works), Jindřich Zdík – Czech cleric and diplomat and Bishop of Olomouc, Caroline von Linsingen – wife of the future King of England William IV, Karel Jaroslav Maška – Moravian archaeologist and anthropologist, Karel Ludvík Baron von Reichenbach – managing director of Blansko Ironworks, Erich Roučka – Moravian engineer, inventor and research scientist, Ferdinand von Saar – Austrian writer and playwright, Hugo František Count of Salm – founder of František Museum in Brno (now the Moravian Museum), Hugo V. Sáňka – teacher and local historian, Josef Stařecký – the first working-class mayor of the town of Blansko, František Trávníček – Czech linguist, Dr. Jindřich Wankel – a leading personality in Czech cultural and scientific life in the second half of the 19th century, and Jan Žalkovský of Žalkovice – owner of the Blansko estate.
  In the Middle Ages the area belonged to the Nový Hrad estate. From the 17th century onwards it was then part of the Pozořice estate. Iron-mills were originally located here. The name Adamov was first given to the settlement established here at the turn of the 17th and 18th centuries. The town has long been associated with a tradition of iron production (see picture – the Františka Ironworks).
Černá Hora
  The first records date back to the 11th century and are associated with the Lords of Černá Hora. From the end of the 14th century Černá Hora belonged to the Lords of Boskovice, one of whom, Vaněk Černohorský of Boskovice, played an active role in the political life of the Czech Kingdom. In 1415 he was one of the Czech and Moravian noblemen who voiced their opposition to the burning to death of John Hus.
  The name of this village, not far from Sloup, was derived from the corruption of the German Höhler Stein (Hollow or Cave Stone), originally a settlement around a castle and first recorded in 1349. Sources from the middle of the 16th century note a little town with a courtyard and fishpond. The Lords of Holštejn were a large and famous family in the Middle Ages. One of them, Crha of Třebelovice, attained a high social position during the reign of Přemysl Otakar II.
  The first records of Jedovnice date back to 1251, at which time it formed part of the Holštýn estate. It is also recorded in a charter of John of Luxemburg from 1335, when the king confirmed the town’s right to the forests for its faithful service. This charter also elevated Jedovnice (see picture) to the status of a town, as which it obtained a coat-of-arms and was accorded the right to seal documents with green wax. In addition to the Hussite Wars and the Thirty-Year War, Jedovnice also experienced a number of other catastrophes, such as a cyclone, fires, plague and cholera. In 1579 Jedovnice obtained the right to hold markets, which were subsequently held here without interruption for 360 years.
  A famous place of pilgrimage, Křtiny is first mentioned in 1237. In the 14th century it belonged to the “de Krscina” family. It obtained its seal in 1629. Priests from the church in Zábrdovice in Brno attended to the spiritual administration of Křtiny.
Ostrov u Macochy
  The village was originally the seat of a family of the same name. The first mention of one of its members, Albert of Ostrov, comes from 1349. At the end of the 14th century Ostrov belonged to the Holštýn estate, as which it is first mentioned in 1371.
Rájec nad Svitavou
  Originally a feudal estate of the Bishops of Olomouc. Its name is first mentioned in relation to Blansko in 1141 in a document of the Bishop of Olomouc, Jindřich Zdík. Records of the Lords of Rájec appear from the 13th century onwards. Following the Hussite Wars, which greatly devastated the Rájec estates, it was restored to the Olomouc bishopric in 1446. A particularly important figure associated with Rájec was Hugo František of Salm-Reifferscheidt, who opened the first sugar refinery in Moravia here.
  In the Middle Ages a fortified settlement stood here, the remnants of which were torn down in 1869. Freemen settled here, who took their name from the name of the village. The surrounding area was famous for the extraction of iron ore, and the whole area remains extremely rich in minerals to this day. Iron ore was mined here until 1893. The famous Olomučany ceramics were made from the excellent local clays.
  Senetářov was probably established by the Lords of Holštejn and settled by German colonists. It belonged to the Holštýn estate, in relation to which it is mentioned in 1406. During the German occupation it was evacuated, and resettled after the war (see picture – a thatched cottage – The Museum of Traditional Habitation and Pearl Working).
  The first written records come from the 14th century. In 1862 the village was elevated to the status of a township, and two annual markets were permitted (see picture – Hřebenáč near Sloup).
Fragments of history from the subterranean Moravian Karst
  The subterranean spaces of the Moravian Karst conceal many secrets from the past. The Hladomorna (Dungeon) Cave beneath Holštejn Castle, for example, served as a prison in the Middle Ages, while the Výpustek and Dagmar Caves were home to coin counterfeiters in the 17th century. It was also in the 17th century that Boetius, physician to Emperor Rudolf II, became the first person to show a scientific interest in the caves and understand the process by which stalagmites and stalactites are formed. In 1723 Lazar Schopper, a Minorite friar from Brno, descended to the bottom of the Macocha Abyss. In the 19th century Dr. Jindřich Wankel, discoverer of the famous find known as the Prince’s Burial at Býčí Skála (Bull Rock), conducted an expert archaeological and speleological investigation of the caves in the Moravian Karst. A number of further investigations were conducted by Dr. Karel Absolon in the 20th century. During the Second World War the caves were used as secret arms factories by fascist Germany. A number of them were destroyed or seriously damaged.