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The history of Bohumin

The history of Bohumin

Bohumín has been an important strategic location since its foundation and the town has kept this importance to the present. As early as in the 12th century Bohumín was the crossing of important trade ways. The Salt Trail led from Moravia to Krakow and the Amber Trail led from Hungary to Tesin and further to the Baltic Sea. The way from Prague to Krakow also used to lead through this place. The settlement was established at the busy location which was suitable for crossing over the river. This fact is supported by the construction of a bridge in the 15th century which was, unfortunately, many times swept away by the flooded river. Due to the increase of travelling, the number of settlers was rising as well and the settlement called Bogun was already a large village in the times of Premysl Otakar II. The village tenancy was worth and profitable both from the financial (toll collection from travellers) and strategic (border location) points of view.

The first written mention originates from the form files collection of the queen Kunhuta. The original probably doesn’t exist because there is a possibility that it originates from some kind of a written stylistic exercise. The geographical conditions are described very objectively and realistically that is why former Bogun can be identified with recent Bohumin, but any dating is missing in this document.

The most frequently mentioned years are 1256 and 1262. It is certain that the permanent settlement was there much earlier. According to its name “Bogun” can be presumed that it was a Slavonic settlement.

The year 1292 is remembered by the parish church of Virgin Mary which was under the auspices of a monastery in Orlova. At that time Bohumin belonged to Ratibor. This document is supposed to be the oldest writing of German origin for Bohumin – Oderberg, therefrom can be assumed that Bohumin was colonized by German settlers. In 1620 a brick church in Gothic style was built in place of a wooden church. After the fire in 1850 it was rebuilt into the recent form.

The first known noble family, owning the region of Bohumin, was the old clan of the Baruths (Barult).

Soon after the region of Bohumin passed to possession of the Rasic family. According to a document from 1373, Bohumin was already a liege town under the authority of suzerains. A castle of Bohumin was mentioned here as well. The masterdom of Bohumin became a subject of a law-suit between the duke Jan of Ratibor and and dukes of Tesin in 1407. All of them raised their claim upon Bohumin.

An agreement from 1407 acted on behalf of Jan of Ratibor. At the beginning of the 15th century the masterdom passed from the hands of provincial dukes to hands of different noble families.

In years 1407 - 1423 the masterdom was in hands of Lords of Tvrdkov. Afterwards the property was sold to Jan Belik of Kornice and his descendants. The Kornic family owned it for longer time and partly their property was found in the dukedom of Opole as well. Within this period the property of the Kornics was spread with Zabelkow, Odra, Lhota and Pudlov. In 1451 Jan Tovacovsky of Cimburk became the owner of Bohumin (Bohunyn) and later in 1473 he sold it to Jan of Vrbno. In 1482 the masterdom passes to the hands of Jan Burej of Klvov, who died in 1485.

The Austrian part was owned by the Gusnar family at the beginning of 19th century. Finally it was sold by them to a count of Rudnice and his wife sold a part of the masterdom with the view of the nothern railway construction. In 1886 a count Larish-Monnich bought the masterdom and this family remained its owner till 1945. Surrounding villages, mainly Sunychl and Pudlov, noted significant boom thanks to building of railway and ironworks and importance of recent Stary Bohumin started to decline.

Pudlov and Sunychl were liege villages of the Bohumin’s masterdom till 1848. Pudlov was connected to Vrbice, till then having only the status of a settlement, in 1850. Vrbice became an independent village in 1894. In 1906 Pudlov was connected to Bohumin and in 1924 the name Sunychl was abolished and was replaced by the name Novy Bohumin. At the same time the village was promoted to a town. The village Bohumin was split into two parts – villages Bohumin and Pudlov. In 1949 Bohumin was connected to Novy Bohumin, Pudlov, Skrecon, Vrbice and Zablati into one town Bohumin. In 1952 the part Vrbice separated and in 1954 Bohumin was divided into 5 town districts: Bohumin I. – town (later Stary Bohumin), Bohumin II – Novy Bohumin, Bohumin III. – Pudlov, Bohumn IV. – Skrecon, Bohumn V. – Zablati. In 1956 the town Bohumin accepted the name Stary Bohumin. In 1960 these parts became independent again as counties. In 1973 the name Bohumin was again established after connection to Novy Bohumin.

In years of 1850 and 1948 Bohumin was the residence of a district court, in years 1855 and 1868 even of district authorities. From 1910 to 1948 Bohumin belonged to the political district of Frystak and in years 1949 – 1957 Bohumin belonged to the administrative district of Ostrava, later to Ostrava – county, and since 1960 Bohumin has been a part of a district Karvina. During the Nazi occupation Bohumin was a part of the district Teschen.

Next disputations regarding the masterdom at the end of the 15th century and at the beginning of the 16th century, were solved again to the benefit of dukes of Ratibor. The last of them, Valentin, sold Bohumin to Jan Opolsky in 1521 and two years later he sold it to Jiri of Hohenzollern (Margrave of Branibors). In 1528 the margrave accepted the Lutheran religion and became enthusiastic in reformation movement (later he was given a nickname “religious”). By his uncompromising policy against the autochton aristocracy he became an obnoxious person in Silesia. Bohumin de facto became a key to the throne entrance by the Branibors reign in Upper Silesia. The situation changed when the Habsburgs lumped on the throne, where the hereditary contract to Bohumin was abolished by them in 1533. Therefore Jiri of Hohenzollern became only a pignorative master. After his death Albrecht was named the warden of infant Jiri Bedrich, and he mastered the Hohenzollen’s possession. Under his regency the property of Hohenzollen’s clan grew significantly and the German influence increased as well. In 1557 Jiri Bedrich, known mainly as a patron of renaissance art, diligent protestant and sympathizer of the germanization process, took up the regency upon the clan property.

In 1603 Jiri Bedrich died without any descendants and his property appeared in hands of Joachim Fridrich, a Branibors elector. In 1606 he handed over the possession to his second-born son Jan Jiri, who was a bishop of Strassbourg since 1592. Nevertheless the emperor Rudolf II. refused to confirm a contract regarding the change in possession of Krnov, Bytom and Bohumin.  The legal-property disputation took place till the Thirty Years’ War. Jan Jiri lost his property in 1622 and Bohumin fell onto a banker and miner entrepreneur from Vienna – Lazar Henckel von Donersmark. After his death the property passed hereditary to hands of his son who became an independent imperial master in 1636. Several years later in 1661 he is promoted to the Czech countship and he split his property between his two sons. Bohumin fell on Elias Ondrej and he moved to Oderberg in 1691. He died in Bohumin in 1700. His second son Jan Arnost died without descendants in 1743 and his property inherited Erdman Jindrich Vilem, whose son sold the Austrian part of Bohumin’s masterdom to Karel, prince of Lichnov. Soon after he died and with him the male oderberg’s stem of Heckel-Donnersmarkt family within whose reign Bohumin was elevated by the emperor Leopold to “status minor”, therefore to inferior corporative masterdom. Let’s mention that since 1742 Bohumin was divided into Austrian and Prussian masterdom.


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Published / updated: 2.11.2009
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