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Zlate Hory

ZLATÉ HORY are laid in the Czech Republic, in Opawskie Mountains. Until the 1948 the city functioned under the name of Cukmantl, from German Zuckmantel. The origin of this name is practically unknown. One of traditions says that the name comes from German „zucke den Mantel”, that is „pluck out the overcoat”, because the spot was situated on the border of deep forests and one had to be very careful with personal belongings. The town is situated at the foot of  Biskupská kupy a Příčný vrch and all wanders in Zlatohorské Mountains from begin here.

Beginnings of settlement in Zlaté Hory are dated before 1200 r. Probably still in the period of ancient Rome gold rinsing began here. First written mention relating to Zlaté Hory (Zuckmantl) comes from the period 1222 – 1224. In that time was built the Edelstein Town which served for the gold mine protection.
Before the locality received town rights in 1306, it was a mining settlement. The nearby deposits of the ores of gold, iron and coloured metals were exploited from the XIIIth cent. It was this the main source of subsistence for local population. There were also produced coins for Wrocław bishops use. A clod of gold weighing 1, 385 kg was found in 1590 r., and a year later a clod weighing 1, 780 kg. The year 1651 did not bring good fame to the city. Witches processes reached their climax in that year. The inquisitor Jíndřich František Boblig from Zlaté Hory sentenced for auto de fé  85 persons accused of practising magic.

The periods of prosperity and fall of the mining alternated in the history of the city. Mining was replaced by textile industry and development of the city as health spa and the centre of tourism on the breakthrough of XIX and XXth centuries. Textile and stone industries, the bicycles factory, carpentry and food processing bloomed there. Breakthrough in the history of the city happened with the end of the World War II, when majority of the German inhabitants of the city was uprooted. Newly arrived settlers looked forward to the development of the craft. Formerly a significant health resort, touristic centre and a place of pilgrimages began to change,. From the bustling touristic city it became a provincial border town. Just after new enterprises came into being (of geological researches and then ore  mining), created new workplaces this way contributed to the growth of inhabitants number. This resulted in creation of new housing settlements, schools etc. Zlaté Hory became a mining city again, where copper and gold were mined. Mining crisis  came after year 1989 . The last trolley of the ore left on the surface on 17th of December,1993 and it became necessary to find  new development possibilities for the city. There remained textile and stone, bicycle parts and metal articles works. Development of tourism became to be backed upon. The road border passage was opened in 1995 , and in 1997 a touristic border passage on Biskupská Kupa. The city cultivates the mining tradition by yearly solemn celebrations, joint with organization of the rinsing gold contest. European Championships in the gold rinsing in 1996 took place there.

Zlatohorská history is enlived by the Military History club, which under the name of Imperial Municipal guard organizes an outdoor reconstructions of the battle for Zlaté Hory which took place  in 1779 between Prussian and Austrian armies.

Thanks to long traditions in gold search and smelting, there is a unique in the European scale mining heritage park situated in vicinity - „Gold-bearing mills”. At present, there are held International Championships in  gold rinsing. There are many old mining shafts and rocky formations nearby, hence why historical mine tunnels and routes leading through the terrains of former extraction of valuable ores were made accessible for tourists.

However, this is not the only town’s attraction. One can also see the ruins of mediaeval castles Edelstein, Koberstein and Leuchtenstein in the neighbourhood, bearing earlier a part of the defensive system for merchants' routes, leading from Olomouc to Wrocław. Baroque and Renaissance tenements in the centre of  Zlaté Hory, baroque church Nanebevzetí Panny Marie and church of sv. Kříže from XVIII century also drag attention. An interesting object is the shrine of  Panny Marie Pomocné.  It is also worth coming to the „Edel” sanatorium, built in 1879  by doctor Anjela as healing baths.

The most significant historical relic in the municipal antique zone is the „old post office” building from 1698, where, at present, is located a museum. One can see there exhibits from the history of  mining in Zlaté Hory and collections of minerals.

There is a board on the façade of the „Slezká beseda” hotel, commemorating the birthplace of E. Vitzová, mother of the of the epoch of the romantic Viennese musical composer,  Francis Schubert. Famous sculptors’ family Kutzera descends from the village Horní Údolí. Their works decorate neighbouring churches. On the hills nearby there are many stately monuments documenting  high artistry of Silesian masonry. At the end of the XIXth century to the history of townspeople in a significant way enrolled a businessmen family - Förster. Moreover, one can number to more illustrious citizens the poet V. Heeger, a collector of people's songs and fables and a culture worker from the period of First Republic. They tied their life and work with Zlaté Hory i.a. a composer V. Wolf, painters F. Tompler, E Brendl and historians J. C. Hoffman, J. Pfitzner, R. Zuber and E. Sauer.

The famous Silesian poet writing in German Viktor Heeger was born in Zlaté Hory. The composer Leoš Janáček stayed in the Schweinburg sanatorium in 1887, and in years 1905 – 1906  - Franz Kafka.

Zlaté Hory  have plenty to offer for tourists as in summer, as in winter. Walkers will surely value routes leading through the terrains of former gold mining or charming mountain paths. One can also use tennis tennis-courts, sport pitches and rifle-range and play mini golf. In the winter, in the whole region, it is possible to use ski routes, and do alpine skiing on the slopes in Horní Údolí. The most recommended ski slope for winter alpine skiing is ski slope Bohema.

The whole region of Zlaté Hory will deliver many unforgettable impressions to all lovers of the mountain nature. City ang  its neighbourhoods are characterized by coming up to 1000 metres hills surrounding them from three sides and Polish lowlands from the north. This favours great variety of the plants and animals’ world.

All visitors can rest in modern recreational centres and hotels with the full range of services for guests. The rebuilt shrine of Panny Marie unites the present day and history. Children's sanatorium „Edel” plays the leading part in the history of Zlaté Hory as health resort where, in a  specific microclimate, respiratory system diseases are cured in old mine shafts.

Within the four years’ co-operation the municipality Byczyna and the city Zlaté Hory realize the project  named. „Byczynian town – as the place where time has stopped”, which is addressed to children and youth both from the Byczyna municipality and Zlaté Hory. Within this project in days from 20 to 22nd of April, 2009 group of thirty young Czechs from  Zlaté Hory  paid a visit in Byczyna. Participants toured the town and its neighbourhoods, but they spent the most of their time in the Polish – Czech Centre of Knighthood Training. There waited for them attractions prepared by organizers, i.a. taking part in numerous demonstrations and knights' workshops. In turn, group of thirty young Poles entertained in picturesque Zlaté Hory  from 8 till 10th of May and spent their time there pleasantly.

The next undertaking which the municipality Byczyna realized together with Zlaté Hory city, Opolskie Bractwo Rycerskie, Šermiřsky Spolek Jesenik and the Polish – Czech Centre of Knighthood Training in Byczyna was: March of the Knights’ troop with camps to the place of battle of Grunwald. This undertaking was co-financed from the Micro-projects’ Fund of the Operating Programme of cross-border co-operation between the Czech Republic – the  Republic of Poland in Euroregion Pradziad  and from the state budget with the budget of Byczyna municipality.

On the last day of June the knighthood left in the long trip from the city Zlaté Hory in the Czech Republic. They were bade farewell by the mayor of Zlaté Hory who  handed over to Andrzej Kościuk, the deputy of Opolskie Bractwo Rycerskie, a small gift for the road. The camp followed from the Czech Republic to Byczyna. On the 2nd of July the Knights entered byczynian town on horseback and carts. The inhabitants of the city and mayor of Byczyna warmly greeted the knights crossing streets of byczynian market. City’s steward despatched the  knighthood biding them bon and safe voyage. In order to prevent the obstacles which can meet knights during so  long journey, the mayor presented them with pouches containing sweet money which would enable them to buy themselves out from robbers. The camp was following the planned route, stopping in individual localities subsequently where they were warmly greeted by inhabitants and plied with food and beverage water forhorses. The knighthood reached the fields of Grunwaldu succesfully and there it took part in the historical battle from 1410 . More information and photo - relation from the march past available on the website www.byczyna.pl