There are no showy buildings in Novy Jicin attracting visitors from far away countries to enjoy a stay within the town walls. This beautiful historical town with an unusual number of cultural landmarks is located near the ruins of Stary Jicin.
photo: Ota Nepilý
Once you step into the town, its atmosphere can be felt: everything is trimmed in a harmonious order…These are the words of an early 19th century visitor, and since his time nothing has changed.
The town really has an old, cosy atmosphere reflecting evident peace. One is ready to believe all of the town attributes have been present since its foundation. The town on the stream Jicinka was build on “green grass” which is obvious even today.
Most of the landmarks are situated in the centre of the town, which was declared a protected cultural area in 1967. In the middle of this area, there is a uniquely symmetrical square with many historical houses, arcades on all four sides of the square, and the Zerotin Castle nearby. The castle is a registered office of the town’s museum with a permanent exhibition of hats that are manufactured in the town.
An old legend says that the town was founded by a woman, a daughter of the owner of the nearby castle Stary Jicin. Poorly-founded linguistic ideas assumed that the proud noble seat was called Jitcin’s castle and belonged to Bretislav, Jitka’s husband and the first Moravian Knight.
The reality is significantly different: Jicin refers to the wildness, or rather to the Slovenian word for boars, and thick and inaccessible woods. That is why the nearby hill is called Svinec – Boars Place.
Its location in the landscape is another noticeable characteristic of the town. The picturesque basin in the south part of the Moravian Gate range verges into Podradhostska uplands.
After several minutes of walking, one feels to be in a totally different world. To smoothen the sudden change, the town citizens supported the creation of several parks. Woods grow through the parks right into the town.
Town and landscape – these two features belong to one another an a visitor will surely appreciate it.
Nový Jičín is a historical centre in the first place. Since its foundation at the end of the 13th century, the town went through many changes, but none of them has changed its unique and historical character. The Crave, the Cimburk – the first owners of the town are remembered for their effort in the town founding.
Novy Jicin had a bad luck with many destructive fires it suffered. That is why hardly any documents exist today. The Zerotin family, new owners of the town since 1500, made the town’s most meaningful history.
Novy Jicin was getting rich due to the weaving industry, until it was able to buy a chamber town title. An influx of German inhabitants occurred at the end of the 16th century influencing the balance of nationalities in the town. This also meant an adoption of Lutheran religion. In 1620, king Friedrich Falcky promoted Nový Jičín to the king’s town rank but after the White Mountain battle, a drastic downfall struck the town. The proud inhabitants of Novy Jicin had to live under detested Jesuit rule since 1624 for another 150 years…
Extensive fires in 1768 and 1773 almost burned the town to the ground. Nevertheless, Novy Jicin arised into its new shape. Businesses flourished once again, the emperor’s road connected the town with the surrounding world. Between 19th and 20th century, Novy Jicin enjoyed an industrial and cultural boom. The textile industry was very profitable, not only it made high chimneys appear, it also provided for many valuable mansions for the new town elite. We should not forget to remember that the hat industry developed successfully by the end of the 19th century. Today, the town is called “the town of hats”.
During the recent years, the town has been taking on a new look. The speed of change is amazing, taking the local conditions into account. The most significant improvements can be noticed in the historical centre. Novy Jicin is opening to the world: this ancient Moravian town is not just an industrial and administrative core of the district, but it also is an attractive tourist centre. These are the reasons to visit Novy Jicin. You will enjoy yourselves.