Medieval village Pfaffenschlag
Early Slavs probably inhabited this place, but the original settlement disappeared sometime during the 12th century. At the end of 13th century a Slavonice´s priest built a new colony village on the same place, which was named Pfaffenschlag. The village consisted of more than ten homesteads, which were arranged in two rows, each 140 meters long. There was a little stream that flowed between them. The houses were built of stone (layout : main room with fire place, hall and chamber) and connected with the barns and underground spaces (grain holes, storage holes and cellars. A magistrate and miller held privileged position in the village. The remaining inhabitants were farmers, field owners and peasants, the poorest social class. The crisis of feudalism led to the Hussite wars, during which this medieval village ceased to exist. Then the forest covered the whole village for several centuries until the 1960ieswhen it was revealed during archaeological exploration. Visitors have the opportunity to explore the foundations of buildings and explore the layouts of these medieval residential buildings. This location has both national and European importance.
The first mention of Kuní dates from 1487. In 1890 there were 108 German residents. After 25 years their numbertripled to 342. The village was shaped like a “street village” with houses arranged along the main street with several big homesteads and a school. In 1930 the Kuní area included 66 houses and 302 inhabitants (13 Czechs). It vanished in 1945. Nowadays the remains of cellars, stone water wells and some household equipment can be discovered.
(Dietreichs, Dytrejch )
The first mention about this settlement is from 1579. In 1921 there were 25 houses with 95 inhabitants (8 Czechs). In the center and on theperiphery there wereseveral ponds. For such a small settlement there was a varietyof amenities such as chapel in the center, mill Hammermühle (Ruppmühle) anda sawmill on the stream Pstruhovec.
(Bernharz, Pernarec )
The first mention of this settlement is from 1579 when it was called Bernharz. In 1869 it became part of the municipality Kuní under the new name,Pernarec. In 1921 Pernarecincluded 14 houses and 79 inhabitants (13 Czechs). A base for border guards was located within the area. When they moved away they were instructed to clear away the last remnants of the settlement.
(Kokšlák, Kokschlag )
The first mention ofthis settlement is from 1579. In addition toDětříš and Pernárecit was part of municipality Kuní. In 1921, there were 35 people ( 7 Czechs) in 8 buildings arranged in a semicircle. Košlák was the smallestsettlementbut there is a lot to explore in the area. Remains of cellars and stone columns give the place unforgettable atmosphere.
The first mention ofthis village is from 1579. It was shaped like street village and in 1930, with 246 people (7 Czechs) in 61 houses. In the center was placed chapel of Guardian Angel, a memorial to those killed in the World War I and an elementary school. The village had a gamekeeper’s house, large farm called Gabrielka (Gabrielhof) and Haftl mill (Haftalmühle). After the expulsion of Germans Košťálkovwas re-populated with Czechsfor a short time . Czech children used to play with Austrian children from neighboringKleintaxen and both villages used to have common Holy Mass. Please view the video with the 3D model of village.
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Rajcherov was shaped a like street village, with one side facing the bank of Rajchéřov pond. There used to be 2 large pondsclose to the village. One of them,33 ha Duck pond (BtandTeich) still exists, 40 ha Big Romava pond (Grosse RomauerTeich)has turned into a wetland. The first mention of the village dates from 1487. During the Thirty Years War (1618 – 1648) the village was destroyed and rebuilt several years later. In 1930 there were 220 inhabitants (1 Czech) in 45 houses. There was a small Gothic chapel of st. Michael from 1714 and an elementary school. Farmers, weavers of flax and horsehair, craftsmen and loggers all lived here. A visit to Hadívrch (Snake Hill), close to Rajchéřov, is also recommended. Its highest point is called Výhon (647m). Snake Hill is a stone field richly covered with juniper and blueberry shrubs. In 1987 this place was proclaimed a natural monument due to its esthetical and ecological value.
In this village is the Museum of history and culture of the Germans living in the area of NováBystřice. You can interpret stories of their life and expulsion in 1945 by reviewing the historical documents, exhibits, and photographs. You can also take a virtual tripthrough the vanished village Romava. Reingers is also known asHanfdorf, whichmeans Hemp village. Hemp is a traditional product that was grown, processed and used in this region for centuries. The local Museum of Hemp introduces you to traditional and non-traditional products from this crop.
The first mention of this village dates back to 1375. Fifty-five years later Romavawas destroyed by Hussites and in 1645 it was destroyed again by Swedes during Thirty Years War. Every time the village came back to life thanks to hardworking farmers,but further development was hindered by difficult conditions and itsposition on the border-line. That is why it used to be called “Desert”. The village was located along the bank of theRomavamill pond. There was a mill, saw mill, chapel of Holy Cross and school in the heart of village. Farmers, craftsmen, loggers, knitters and stonemasons lived here. In 1930 Romava counted 64 houses with 246 inhabitants (10 Czechs). In1945a base for Border Guardswas located here. A 3D video of the village Romavacan be see in the Museum of Expulsion in the village Reingers.
The first mention of the village dates from 1399. In 1921 there were50 residents (12 Czechs) in 12 houses. Leštnice was situated exactly on the border with Austria. In the center of Leštnice used to be small pond, next to it the oldest wooden church in Moravia. The only reminders of the former village are the fruit trees that bloom every spring.
Within the territory of the Czech Republic exist hundreds of abandoned settlements. Life returned to some of those villages, but other places were left forever.
Why did those settlements disappear?
First example –Black Death
As the population increased, people were forced to move to higher, cooler mountain areas where the fields were smallerand the soil less fertile, as i.e. in the Bohemian/Moravian Hills. Than the Black Death or other such diseases spread, the places emptied, and people moved back to lowlands with more fertile soil, often along the streams.
Second example - Wars
The wars of the past, especially the Thirty Years War, were merciless and devastating. The villages were burned down, the cattle scattered, the fruit trees damaged, and the wells filled in. In some areas nearly half of the population died. Small places disappeared without a trace; a church with a cemetery was all that remained of the larger villages.
Third example–End of the castles
The castles were usually surrounded by extensive settlements. Servants, soldiers and farmers used to live there. During the 16th century and later most of the castles perished and with them the settlements around the castles, which partly had reached the size of a small town. The population moved from the non-functional castle (mostly placed elevated on a hill) closer to the fields and the water sources.
Fourth example–Exhaustion of the Resources
Bohemia was rich in minerals such as iron ore and non-ferrous metals. Around the mines villages sprang up which after the exhaustion of the deposits disintegrated into solitary settlements. The miners usually had two main occupations. Next to the mines they ran small farms, forest, and grazing land. The miners often relocated to fresh mines, but some stayed in their old villages. The result of this was a transformation from a lively village to a few scattered houses. Similarly the glass huts moved to the forest as it was easier to move the production unit than the energy source.
Fifth example–Failure of Development Projects
Sometimes the nobility founded a new settlement inaunsuitable place, there was not enough water or spring frost destroyed the crop. These places struggled on for a while but yielded no profit so that the inhabitants moved on to more prosperous villages. Some places disappeared during the building of the ponds; others were destroyed later in modern times during the construction of dams or military training areas. Many villages were abandoned after World War II during the expulsion of those ethic groups deemed undesirable. Each place has its own story. For the archeologist it is important to know when(i.e. middle of the 15th century) the place disappeared (discovered relics date back to before that time)as based on the finds we are able to reconstruct the way of life. The history of a city we can find in the archives of written documents, but the history of small places can only be based on archeological finds. An important motivation for archeological research is also the fact that we know a lot about the life of the nobility, but nearly nothing about the way of life of the ordinary people, about the foundation of their dailylives such as local energy sources, ecological models, and nutrition.
Political reasons for termination of villages after 1945
The expulsion of the Czechs from Sudeten are asoccurredin 1938 as a result of the Munich agreement. The main point of this agreement was the cession of the borderlands of Czechoslovakia to the German Empire within limits the Empire laid down.Approximately200,000Czechs, Czech Jews and German anti-fascists were forced to leave and this movement continued for several years thereafter. At the end of the Second World War the cards turned and there was massive deportation of the German population from the former Sudetenland (1945-1946). Many newly deserted villages in the border region were re-populated by Czechs, as part of the program “Building borderlands”. The villages that have found themselves behind the newly established border line called the “Iron curtain” (1948) were never re-populated again. The buildings were plundered and disassembled for material. What wasn´t destroyed by man, has been by time. The border zone was 4-10 km wide, and from 1952 to 1989 it was completely impassable. It gave the opportunity to nature for undisturbed development. In many places this isolated area has been turned into a preserved Green Belt system.
Between 1945-1960 130 villages, 3000 settlements and 50,000 solitary houses vanished.