Via the Witch Cycling Track through the Czech-Polish border areas - Guide
Głuchołazy - the city was founded by Bishop Lawrence between 1220 and 1232 as a fortified border settlement. Documents preserved Latin and German name of the city, Capraecolium and Cygenhals (1249), which was translated by people as Goat Neck. Founded on the Flemish Law, Głuchołazy, were repeatedly destroyed by fires and floods. The city is known for its gold mines. In 1683, the army of Hieronim Lubomirski, which was heading to Vienna, stopped here. In the nineteenth century, in Głuchołazy, a health-resort was founded, which used local water and therapeutic climate. There are many monuments preserved in the city, among others: Baroque Church of St. Lawrence with early Gothic gantry decorated with masks of monks, or fragments city walls with the tower of Upper (Górna) Gate built in the fourteenth century. However, Głuchołazy are mainly associated with gold mining. To this day we can find here relics of exploitation of this ore: mineshafts, claims, heaps of overburden deads and flushed winning. Relics of fluids and mining adits. An important element of the landscape of Głuchołazy are the Opawskie Mountains, inseparably connected with gold. Here, in 1988, "Opawskie Mountains" Landscape Park was created. Particularly noteworthy are the picturesque gorges of Biała Głuchołaska, Złoty and Bystry Potok, and encouraging to long hikes are not too high mountains. While hiking the tourist or nature and educational trails one can admire numerous natural monuments, adits after gold exploitation, interesting groups of rock outcrops or quarries after slates exploitation.
During the period of witch trails, Głuchołazy became famous for the fact that the accused were not burnt at the stake but hung outside the town. Today the hill is called Gallows Mountain. Remains of the victims, who were interrogated earlier in the basement of non-existent today Town Hall of Głuchołazy, were also buried on the hill. With witch trails is also associated the name of a rock cliff, called Devil's Rock, which is located several dozen metres from Gallows Mountain.
Zlaté Hory – foundation of the town is associated with local gold mining, what proves its former name "Edelstadt". The most interesting monuments include the Old Post Office from 1698 – currently the seat of the City Museum with an exhibition presenting the witch trails in the region of Jesenik and exhibition concerning the history of gold mining, Classicistic Town Hall, Baroque Chapel of the Holy Cross, Zlatorudné mlýny (mining heritage park), Edelštejn Castle ruins, a known pilgrimage place to Our Lady of Perpetual Help.
Trials of alleged witches in Zlaté Hory began during the Thirty Year's War, after the Black Death, in the 30s of the thirteenth century, when some of inhabitants were accused of causing the plague. As a result of witch trails in Zlaté Hory 85 people lost their lives. About those events reminds us the memorial plaque, which is placed on the building of the City Museum, and also a monument at the place of execution.
Rejvíz - mountain village, currently part of Zlaté Hory. There is National Nature Reserves with an area of 329.14 ha. It includes the largest complex of blanket bogs in Moravia, boggy spruce forests and meadows. The central area is covered by active bog with two, connected Moss Lakes – the Little and the Great one (Malé a Velké mechové jezírko).
Česká Ves – the owners of the village were the Schroth's and the Priessnitz's families, from which came the founders of the health resort in Dolní Lipové (Johann Schroth) and in Jeseník (Vincenz Priessnitz). The most important monuments include the Church of St. Joseph, the family home of Johann Schroth, the Auto-Moto Veteran Museum. As a result of witch trails in Česká Ves, 16 people were killed. To commemorate the victims, a special plaque was placed on the building of Municipal Office.
Jeseník – once the centre of episcopal property, today the economic and cultural centre of the region of Jeseník. The most important monuments of the city include the Renaissance fortress on water from the sixteenth century, with moat and stone bridge – currently, there is a museum, the Church of the Assumption of Blessed Virgin Mary from 1882, a Renaissance Town Hall, a Classicistic house from 1782 – so called torture chamber, a monument of Priessnitz from 1909, a family home of Priessnitz in Jeseník Zdroj. A popular trip destination is Křížový vrch with the Chapel of St. Anne.
In Jeseník, in the years 1622-1684, over 100 people were executed. In 1966, to commemorate the criminal trials, a stone monument in the form of large flame was placed in the place of previous executions. There is a memorial plaque on the so-called torture chamber, in which, according to statements, the last executioner of Jeseník and Vidnava, Michael Wachsmann, was to live.
In the basement of the fortress on water, there is a museum exhibition on the witch trials in the years 1622-1695 on the land of Jesenik. One element of the exhibition is a film about Barbara Schmied – the first woman accused of witchcraft, burnt at the stake in July 3, 1622, in Nysa. The film is shown in fog screen technology (the image is displayed on a translucent screen of dry fog, floating above the ground).
Vernířovice – a known holiday resort with numerous eating places and rich accommodation base. The most interesting monuments include the Baroque sculpture of St. John of Nepomuk from 1727, the late Baroque Church of St. Matthew – rebuilt in Classical style in the first half of the nineteenth century.
The origins of the witch trials in the lands of Losiny and in Šumperk are connected with Vernířovice. It is here, in August 7, 1679, a local beggar, Marina Schuchova, accused of stealing the host from the church in Sobotín village, was burnt alive. There is a monument to the victims of witch trials in the park in front of the Municipal Office.
Sobotín – late Renaissance Church of St. Lawrence from 1607, former nineteenth-century castle and the Klein Family Mausoleum from 1887. At the cemetery, next to the Church of St. Lawrence is a monument dedicated to the victims of witch trials.
Velké Losiny – the pearl of the North West Moravia with Renaissance castle from the late sixteenth century, with Baroque outbuildings and magnificent park, thermal spa, handmade paper mill, and late Renaissance Church of the St. John the Baptist from the early seventeenth century, with stone "witchcraft" altars of the late seventeenth century. There is a monument of the 36 victims of witch trials in the spa park, in front of the Šárka pavilion. There is a memorial plaque on the Žerotínsky Castle, in which in the years 1678-1686, 38 innocent victims of the witch trials were imprisoned, tortured and sentenced to death.
Rapotín – Baroque Chapel of St. Michael, Neo-Gothic Church of the Assumption of Blessed Virgin Mary from 1874, next to the church is a monument of the 7 victims of witch trials, who came from Rapotín, stone shrine of witches from the end of the seventeenth century. Shrines of the witches were probably built by relatives of the witches convicted during the trials.
Šumperk – the city founded in the thirteenth century in the crown lands, connected with the noble metals mining, today the most important economic and cultural centre of North West Moravia. The most interesting monuments: the former monastic Baroque Church of the Annunciation of Blessed Virgin Mary, the Baroque Church of St. Barbara with rich frescoes, the remains of city fortifications, shrines of witches, a monument, near the lake, commemorating the executions of 23 innocent victims of witch trials from Šumperk in the years 1682-1692, the memorial plaque placed in the former prison location, at Černohorska St., where in the years 1679-1696, 22 victims of witch trials were imprisoned, tortured and sentence to death, the memorial plaque dedicated to the dean and parson of Šumperk, Kryštof Alois Lautner, of the former presbytery (Kostelní nám.), who was burnt alive in Mohelnice in 1685. In the basement of Geshader House (1 Kladská St.), there is an exhibition presenting the history of witch trials in the region of Jesenik and Šumperk.
Mírov – Mírov was first mentioned as a castle in 1266, from 1465 it was a property of the Olomouc Bishopric. The most important monuments: the castle from the mid-thirteenth century, the Baroque Church of St. Magdalene, the complex of four shrines, sculptures and monuments dedicated to the memory of political prisoners and victims of fascism. There is a monument of the victims of witch trails in the park next to the castle.
Mohelnice – until the fourteenth century, the seat of the feudal province of Olomouc Bishopric and an important trade and craft centre. The city burnt and destroyed repeatedly during the Hussite wars and the Thirty Years' War. The most important monuments: the Gothic Church of St. Stanislaus from the end of the sixteenth century, the remains of the city fortifications with towers, the museum with a rich archeologic collection, and also the monument of at the place of Father Lautner burning, and memorial plaque on the house of witches.
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