VikstejnVítkov town as well as the castle was founded probably in 2nd half of 13th century by Vítek of Kravaře. The first written record dates to 1301 found in Budišov nad Budišovkou, in the deed about which the court district Dolejší Kunčice village belonged to Vítkov. According to the deed, "Kunčice shall respect the decisions of the court in Vítkov". The King Louis II of Hungary granted a town privilege for organizing annual fairs to Vítkov in 1523. The town including the castle and adjacent villages had various owners, e.g. the Bírka's of Násile, the Planknar's of Kynšperk and the Oder's of Lidéřov and many others. In 1713-1714, F.K. Wipplar of Ulschitz, the holder of Vítkov domain at the time, built a Baroque mansion in Horní Ves village (which later became a part of the hospital area). After 1776, the Vikštejn castle was abandoned and turned into ruins.

The Vítkov domain was bought by Emmanuel Záviš of Osenice in 1802 and in 1875 by Vítkov town itself. Then, although belonging to Opava District, Vítkov already had its own town council.

The Vítkov citizens were mostly farmers, craftsmen and traders. Regarding crafts, drapery and linen-drapery were expanding the most; in 1835, Vítkov had 38 master weavers. Therefore, the first factories founded in Vítkov were textile: i.e. a glove factory was established in 1858, two years later, the Wiena factory Eisenberger and the ribbon factory of Wiena company Fasshold. In 1863, the Wiena company Imlauer set up a silk mill in Vítkov. In rented houses, there were 40 weaving looms producing silk scarves and linen damasks. The silk mill was followed by another factory established by E. Friedmann (the owner of silk ware factory in Fulnek) in 1874 and employing 400 workers. In Anna's Valley, one of the Vítkov boroughs, a paper and cardboard factory was built by baron Anthony Záviš, one of Vítkov domain owners, in 1866.

The earliest references on education in our town date from the end of 16th century. The school was established by the Evangelicals and in 1630 became Catholic. The first walled school building was constructed in 1803 and in 1876, a new two-storey building was built. In 1927, a school for Czech children was open including a nursery, a primary and a bourgeois school.

J. H. Pestalozzi

In 2nd half of 19th century, other villages were joined to Vítkov: In 1850, villages Nýtek, Prostřední Dvůr, Veselka and Dolní Ves; in 1920, also Horní Ves village was added; In 1957, Podhradí (formerly known as Dolní Vikštejn), in 1975 Lhotka, Nové Těchanovice and Čermná and in 1979, eventually Jelenice and Větřkovice. Čermná and Větřkovice became independent villages again in 1992. The most of these villages belonged to Vikštejn, respectively Vítkov domain; only Klokočov was an independent farmstead and Jelenice belonged to Hradec domain.

In Klokočov, a one-storey Baroque castle was built by Jan Václav Želecký of Počernice at the beginning of 18th century. This castle, however, lost its original style during the reconstruction in 1960s. St. Andrew's church was built in 1807 and its furniture dates to19th century. In Lhotka, you can see the chapel of St. Cross built by I. Günther in 1777. It is worth to see the Calvary from 19th century situated in Nové Těchanovice village. In Podhradí, a water treatment plant, a part of Kružberk reservoir, was designed by architect Klimeš and built in 1954-1962. At the front of the building, a relief "Water" by V. Makovský, has been installed.

From 1850, Vítkov became the seat of a district court, a police station and a tax office. In 1868, Vítkov district court was added to Opava district. The railway Suchdol - Budišov, leading through Vítkov, was opened on 15th October 1891. At the beginning of 20th century, the sewerage system was built and the pavements were reconstructed. In 1904, at Christmas, the public electric lighting illuminated the town for the first time.

Christ statueThe town dominant is the parish church of the Virgin Mary's Ascension in Neo-Gothic style built between 1914 and 1918. The cemetery church from early 17th century was rebuilt after the fire in 1851 due to which, the major part of the town burnt down. The original equipment of the interior has not preserved except for the late Gothic statue of Our Lady of Sorrows, the Baroque statues of St. Barbara and St. Catherine as well as the Way of the Cross by I. Günther from 1771. In the parish garden, the statue of St. Florian from 2nd half of 18th century, is situated. The monument in front of the school in Opavská street by the sculpturer J. Obeth from 1886 commemorates Swiss educator J. H. Pestalozzi.

Other important buildings i.e. the gym, the cinema and the savings bank were built in the inter-war period.

Vítkov was liberated on 4th May 1945, in the final phase of World War II during which suffered significant damage, e.g. in the southern and the eastern parts of the town square. Once the war ended, the German citizens were deported and the town was populated by new inhabitants.


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