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Hernych´s Villa

This really luxurious villa in art noveau style was built by Florian Hernych (1855 – 1923) in order to confirm his significant status among the enterpreneurs in the local textile industry. And the price he is said to have paid for this extraordinary object is exorbitant. 460 000 Austrian crowns.

The responsibility for the building documentation was taken by Matěj Blecha, the prominent Prague architect and builder. His otherwise very successful company had to cooperate with other significant architects in order to be able to handle so many commissions at a time. Numerous proposals were provided between the years 1904 – 1907, when the project of Hernychʼs villa was being created, by the architect Emil Králíček and the sculptor Celda Klouček. Although there is no clear evidence, we can infer that the designer of the villa was Emil Králíček. The actual construction was conducted by Florian Hernychʼs brother Josef.

The new building No. 72 was given planning permission on 15 March 1906 and the final building approval took place on 25 February 1907. In spite of considerable financial problems of the Hernych company, the villa was owned by the Hernychs until 1951. In the following decades, various subjects displayed their interest in this building, but eventually, it was rented to the School of Music, the District Peopleʼs Library, the House of Culture and the school canteen. In 1971, the Memorial of the Revolution Tradition was placed here.

After the 1989 revolution, the villa underwent restitution and was passed on the former owners. The only institution whose seat stayed there was the Jaroslav Kocian School of Arts, whose managment paid rent to the owners. However, in 2002, the school had to move, too. The building, actually empty, came after complicated negotiations into the townʼs property in 2003. However, it had to undergo an extensive reconstruction so that it could serve as the Cultural and Social Centre for the Czech-Polish Borderland and as the townʼs museum. This reconstruction began in 2006 and finished on 26 April 2008 when it was opened.

The gardens surrounding the villa have become an open-air gallery and host several modern plastics, of which the most significant is the Dead Abel by the local sculptor Quido Kocian.

Considering its architectural style, this building is absolutely unique in the town and it definitely overshadows the rest of the local architecture.




Town square

The town square with its nearly quadratic ground plan is a witness to the very beginnings of the townʼs history. Not in the contemporary form, though, as the most popular building material of the 13th century was wood. It was due to this material that two great fires destroyed the square. During the first one in 1498, the town hall burned to ashes and so did all the documentation.  

That is the reason why the oldest town records are missing. The second fire in 1706 damaged the town centre heavily. The burnt places all around the square became the basis for new brick buildings owned by craftsmen and merchants. The squareʼs look began to resemble that of the todayʼs one. Of utmost importance was the fact that the arcades on the northern and western side were renovated and have since represented the townʼs pride. In 1723, the new baroque town hall was built and opened. Its front side includes the coat of arms of the Lichtenstein dynasty and a memorial plaque commemorating the birth of the Czech revivalist and priest Matěj Josef Sychra. From 1929, the building was the seat of the district court and since 1932 it served as the town museum. During the protectorate in 1941, the municipal office was first seated there. In the course of the following years, it became evident that the building necessitated an extensive reconstruction, so that it could be provided with new workplaces and equipment appropriate to the modern age. The reconstruction took place between 1995 and 1998 and the object has been the seat of the Municipal Office since.

The Plague Column dating back to the Baroque period was built in the middle of the square. It was consecrated in 1739 as an act of gratefulness for the end of the plague epidemy.

The eastern side of the square is remarkable for the house No. 87 – Savings Bank. It was built according to the plans of the Prague architects Mařík and Pešina between 1906 and 1907. The two storey stone house on the left side is not noteworthy in itself, but it is worth mentioning that Magdalena Dobromila Rettigová lived and wrote there.

Similarly, the house No. 7 does not catch oneʼs eye because of its architectonic value, but rather because of its history, since it used to serve as a school building.


It is also interesting to observe the changes in the squareʼs names. The original one was "Na rynkuˮ, which changed to "Wilsonovo náměstíˮ (Wilson Square) during the first republic. During the Protectorate period, the square would be referred to as "Hauptplatzˮ (Main Square), in the post war years as "Náměstí dr. Edvarda Benešeˮ (Dr. Edvard Beneš Square). Later on, it was renamed as "Náměstí míruˮ and nowadays it is "Mírové náměstíˮ (the Peace Square).