Kdyně And Environs
The town of Kdyně inhabited by 5.000 people is situated 7 km off the Všeruby - Eschlkam point where the Czech Republic meets the Federal Republic of Germany. It is in a valley closed by a ring of mountains. A television tower on the highest hill of the region - Koráb (773 m) beams three Czech programmes day and night to the households of Kdyně and its 7 satellite villages - Prapořiště, Starec, Hluboká, Dobříkov, Smržovice, Vítovky and Podzámčí. The Catholic church of St. Nicholas built in the 14th century in Kdyně´s old section and the Synagogue in the new town represent the core of early culture. Kdyně is well-known for its spinning mill /přádelna/ and a machine-building plant which used to produce famous Arachne textile machines exported to many countries of the world.
The microregion of Kdyně includes the villages situated in the south-eastern corner of the Domažlice district. A railroad between Domažlice and Klatovy, the microregion´s main route, was constructed in 1888. All railwaystation buildings on the way have historic value. Kdyně is connected with the border-crossing at Všeruby by a tarred road passing through Brůdek and Hájek.
The territory, bordering on Bavaria, is a popular tourist destination. In Kout na Šumavě, for example, you will find a former renaissance fortress, nowadays the seat of the Municipality. A pub called Korbelka is also housed there, facing St. George church built on unused cellars of a brewery which is now abandoned. Local people say a priest was allocated an annual allowance in beer by the brewery. The unique monument in the form of a hat erected by Kout nobility in 1723 glorifies the victory of the Hussite troops over the Catholic crusaders in the Battle of Domažlice in 1431 in which cardinal Cesarini - who became later Pontiff - lost his cap.
The origin of the very name "Kout na Šumavě" challenges the imagination. It literally means "The Corner of the Šumava Highlands". An imaginary line cuts the village in two sections, the one belonging to the Šumava and the other which is a part of the Bohemian Forest Highlands.
The Všeruby Pass played an important role in the past, as the old trade route from Bavaria to Bohemia led through it.
The ruins of the Rýzmberk castle are the most famous monument far and wide. The castle was built in the second half of the 13th century. From the look-out tower on Rýzmberk one can observe the surrounding landscape.
A stone's throw away, there are the remains of the romantic Gothic castles of Nový Herštejn and Netřeb, as well as the early medieval castles of Velký Kouřim and Příkopy. The small church of St. Wenceslas in Brůdek reminds us of the memorable battle between Czech and Bavarian troops in 1040. Now, the masses are celebrated there concurrently by a Czech and a German priest, F. Suchánek from Mrákov and P. Ries from Eschlkam. The baroque church of St. Anne is on the other side of the road. Every year, on the name-day of Anna, Anča, Ančí, Anička we - and many other pilgrims - climb to the hill to attend a sermon on the meadow in front of the shrine. A father from Plzeň diocese preaches to local parishioners and visiting Bavarian worshippers. We always find his sermons splendid. Over and over, he has been preaching about the importance of reconciliation with our traditional enemies - Germans.
As soon as the service comes to the end, we buy gingerbread hearts for our loved ones at a pilgrimage stand and go home believing that we did something godly for our souls.
- A group of foreign tourists crossing Charles Bridge in Prague was told that its construction had begun in 1357. "It is impossible!," an American lady exclaimed. "Even the United States did not exist at that time."
- The colonization of America started in 1495, three years after the official date of its discovery by Columbus in 1492. The United States of America has applied the constitutional power over 50 states since 1789.
- Starec, a village with present population of 200, situated 4 km off Kdyně in the foothills of Koutský forest, was founded as early as in 1397.
- It is just one more example of the fact that Kdyně and its surrounding area have deep roots in history.
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