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Miners’ Village

GPS: 49°49'17.699"N 17°42'52.740"E – map


ZÁLUŽNÉ – MORADORF

A village in the valley of the Moravice river, today part Vítkov. It is a colony (called Moradorf in German) founded in 1785 on the land of a former farmstead named "Saluschen". Originally, it was a woodcutters' village. After ten years, in 1795, there were twenty houses. Seven of the house-owners had originally Slavic names written in German (Czernin, Michalke, Onderka, Piatke, Pollak, Gapsa, Smettan). Fifteen of the village house-owners were illiterate.

In 1835, there were twenty-one houses in the village on the left bank of the Moravice river. The mill and another two houses – standing near the present-day resort "U brodu" – stood on the opposite bank. A group of six separately standing houses (so-called "Upper Zálužné") was assigned to Melč, while the remaining fifteen houses belonged to the ecclesiastical administration in Nové Těchanovice. At that time, 128 German-speaking people lived there. Residents of three houses on the right bank of the river send their children to the school in Staré Těchanovice, and the other children were educated by a teacher from Nové Těchanovice. Already at that time, there was a slate quarry opened on the grounds of the local mill. By the end of the 19th century, the local population has increased up to 175 individuals. In the period between the world wars, the village – also thanks to the nearby spa Janské Koupele – became a popular vacation spot. Several boarding houses (houses No. 29, 32, and 35) and many weekend houses were built here, and also the local inn and shop established rooms for summer guests. This new wave of tourism brought the village great benefits. Therefore, in 1928, a new school building was constructed, and in 1939 the local fire brigade got a new motor fire engine. After World War II, the local population was almost entirely replaced, and since the 60s, Zálužné has begun gradually depopulating. Contrary to this fact, a number of new holiday cottages started to appear here. At present, the village has only 43 inhabitants and is primarily a recreation centre. It is a crossroad for several hiking trails, and the municipality also has a few summer camps for children here.

 

ZÁLUŽNÉ – A MINERS' VILLAGE

During the 19th century, the local area witnessed the beginning of intensive mining of roofing slate (the so-called blue Moravice slate). The mining was extended especially in the second half of the 19th century. From originally an agricultural settlement, Zálužné became a miners' village. This brought about an increase in population, which at that time grew by a half; mostly Czech and German miners.  In 1857, the local slate mines employed 60 to 90 workers.

Between 1866 and 1870, the house No. 11 served as a seat of the entrepreneur Carl Weisshuhn, owner of the Carl Mine and spa Janské Koupele. Weisshuhn entrusted the management of the spa to a local farmer Adolf Smettan from the farm No. 15.

The village was home to miners, farmers, and woodcutters. It had its own mill, fulling mill, smithy, carpentry, joinery, shop, or pub. Transport of slate products was provided by local farmers with their horses. Most of the mines remained in operation even during the First World War. The slate mine Nové Těchanovice-Lhotka, called “Pollak's adit", was running until the 1970s.

Directly in the village, throughout the area, in the woods, and on the banks of the Moravice river, there are still traces of mining of this highly sought after raw material. There are numerous tunnels – today important wintering sites for many bat species – and heaps of waste slate.

Over time, the heaps has become a natural part of the local cultural landscape and give it its distinctive character. They are mostly covered with birch and pine trees with several typical xerophilict plants. Also, the heaps and abandoned slate mines contain imprints of Paleozoic plants and animals from the time of Culm.

 

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