The Town of Havlíčkův Brod
Havlíčkův Brod is the largest town in the Czech part of the Vysočina Region. The decisive moment that made the rural town an important industrial centre of Vysočina was the construction of the railway of the Austrian Northwest Railway and the train station in Brod. Německý Brod, today’s Havlíčkův Brod, thus became the transport centre of the region.
An extraordinary architectural achievement in the first half of the 20th century was the construction of the therapeutic area of the Mental Asylum. At the end of the 20th century, the buildings of the regional hospital were built nearby.
The remnants of the fortification walls give an idea of the oldest, medieval form of the town, and the location of the square and the adjacent streets – Horní and Dolní – also corresponds to this. Many houses in the Brod Square boast with spectacular gables. The famous composer Jan Václav Stamic was born in the house called Rejnovský on the eastern side of the square on 17 June 1717. In the northwest corner of the square stands a house, today called Havlíčkův, according to the family from which Karel Havlíček, the most important Czech political journalist of the 19th century, came.
Over time, the square of Brod has preserved its ancient character and surprises with its peculiar beauty. The baroque fountain with the statue of Triton, which, according to a legend, was built by the baker Koudela as an atonement for defrauding customers, also has a share in it. Furthermore, the Marian Column with the sculpture of Our Lady of Victory, statues of country and town patrons – st. Wenceslas, st. John of Nepomuk, st. Andrew, sv. Florian a small statue of st. Rosalia.
On the south side of the square, the old town hall attracts attention, in the niche of which stands Hnát, who allegedly betrayed Brod to help Jihlava. The landkark tower of the Dean’s Church of the Assumption of the Virgin Mary, which was founded in the 14th century by the Teutonic Order, dominates the town square. One of the oldest bells in Bohemia – Vilém, dating from 1335, is located in the tower. The church was built in the 17th century and the strange dome dates back to 1709. The richly carved early Baroque main altar dates back to the 17th century.
An excellent monument of the Baroque period is the monastery complex with the church of Holy Family. It was founded by the Order of Barefoot Augustinians in 1679 and completed in the first half of the 18th century. The decoration of the church, mostly from the workshop of Ignác Rohrbach with paintings by Siard Nosecký, is an example of the distinctiveness of the Czech Baroque.
Few towns can boast such proximity to the open countryside as Havlíčkův Brod. Town‘s park Budoucnost (The Future) begins directly in the historic town centre and continues through the cascade of ponds to the suburban forests. A continuous belt of medieval fortification walls has been preserved in the park and in the only preserved corner fortification tower, there is a memorial to Otakar Štáfl. The river Sázava flows through the town, it is a paradise for fishermen and paddlers.
Author: Zina Zborovská