Vranov nad Dyjí – history and monuments

If we wanted to go over all the details without leaving anything out, we would have quite a lot to read. To be able to find something very special in Vranov nad Dyjí and its surroundings, one should pay attention to the unique combination of the beautiful nature and the historical monuments. Many traces of history remain to be seen in the town, accompanying you wherever you set your foot – as does the wonderful nature. There are medieval castles on both banks of the river Thaya. Vranov nad Dyjí Chateau is perfectly complemented with the ruins of Nový Hrádek u Lukova. On the opposite bank of the Thaya stands the Austrian castle Hardegg, the ruin Kaja and the baroque chateau Riegersburg. Where the river Thaya gave way to the Vranov Dam eighty years ago, you can admire the castle Cornštejn and the majestic castle Bítov, high above the water. In the places where the dam filled with water, near Podhradí nad Dyjí, the ruin of Frejštejn awaits you; a few kilometres further, you can visit the castle of Uherčice, marked by recent events.

History of Frain an der Thaya

Vranov nad Dyjí

The town of Vranov nad Dyjí, the natural centre of the region, has a very long history. A wooden construction situated in the later location of the chateau in mentioned as far back as the year 1100, when it was noted by the chronicler Cosmas of Prague.

In the beginning of the 20th century, the name of the popular summer holiday resort was Frain an der Thaya.

After World War II, when the German inhabitants of the town were forced to leave, the town faded into obscurity. Before the war, 80 % of the town’s population were Germans. The popular holiday resort was turned into a border town not far for the Iron Curtain. After the borders of the former Czechoslovakia had been closed, a little tourist centre gradually developed by the Vranov dam, nicknamed Moravian Adriatic.

Even a quarter of a century after the fall of the Iron Curtain the contacts, severed by historical events, are not so easy to establish. We were happy to be able to speak with several people with roots in Vranov nad Dyjí. For example Ernst Czeloth, the son of the former mayor of Vranov nad Dyjí, who had to leave the town as a small boy, told us the story of his life. To read the whole interview, see this link.

Historical photos

Vranov nad Dyjí Chateau

Zámek Vranov nad Dyjí

The unique silhouette of Vranov nad Dyjí Chateau can be seen immediately on your arrival to Vranov. You can also admire the chateau from the garden of our guesthouse, as well as from the windows of some rooms. Vranov nad Dyjí Chateau is maintained by the state and is one of the most interesting secular Baroque buildings in Central Europe. Its present form was completed in the late 17th century, when the chateau became a dominant feature of the local landscape through the construction of the majestic “ancestral hall”. The Chapel of the Holy Trinity was built a little later. Both buildings are based on the plans of Austrian court architect Johann Bernhard Fischer von Erlach. During the 18th century, the Court of Honour was built. The chateau was inhabited by its previous owners until World War I, and was later used as a summer residence. That is why its interiors are particularly well preserved and can still be admired by today’s visitors. A visit to Vranov nad Dyjí Chateau should be high on your mind when visiting the area!

Historical photos

Stoneware from Vranov nad Dyjí

Vranovská kamenina

The current state of the abandoned building of the former stoneware factory in Vranov nad Dyjí is, in fact, very bad, but you can still feel its glorious past. Try to imagine, for a moment, that you entertaining company in the garden of our house about 180 years ago. The view from here to the factory buildings served as a motif for the imprinted decor of one of the stoneware plates from the factory. The decor can help you visualize the factory in Vranov nad Dyjí in the period of its greatest importance, from the 1820s to the 1840s. Many of its stoneware products, such as tea and coffee sets, plates, wash bowls and decorative vases, can be viewed during a tour of the rooms of Vranov nad Dyjí Chateau.

Parish Church of the Assumption of the Virgin Mary in Vranov nad Dyjí

Vranovský farní kostel Nanebevzetí Panny Marie

The originally Romanesque Parish Church of the Assumption of the Virgin Mary, built in the first half of the 13th century, can also be seen from our garden, or from the windows of your room at Pension JELEN ***. The significance it had at the time it was built is not very clear; today, it is hidden in a baroque “shell”, its true age confirmed only by the adjoining chapel of St. Andrew, a late Romanesque building from the 13th century with an underground ossarium. When you enter the church, you will notice the Romanesque-Gothic baptismal font in the restored interior, and, above all, the baroque organ, which has recently been extensively restored with the help of generous funding from Norwegian grants. To enjoy the sound of our organ, visit an organ concert during your stay.

Historical photos

The bridge in Vranov nad Dyjí with a statue of St. John of Nepomuk

Vranovský most - socha sv. Jana Nepomuckého

The Baroque sculpture on the banks of the river Thaya, which you cannot possibly miss when driving to the town centre, represents St. John of Nepomuk as the patron saint of protection against natural disasters. On closer inspection, you’ll see that instead of the usual cross, he holds his own tongue in his hand: a symbol of the inviolability of the secrecy of confession.

Historical photos

The plague column on Market Square

Vranovské náměstí - Morový sloup

If you go to the grocery store or the ATM, you cannot miss this massive column. It was erected to commemorate the plague, which had claimed many victims in Vranov nad Dyjí in 1680.

Historical photos

The landmarks of Vranov nad Dyjí – Mniszek Cross and Clary Cross

Vranovské dominanty - Mniszkův a Claryho kříž

Crosses erected high up on hillsides provide an opportunity to admire the surrounding landscape without too much climbing. From the first cross, Mniszek Cross, there is a magnificent view of Vranov nad Dyjí Chateau. Once you arrive at Clary Cross, you will be surprised by the view of the entire width of the Vranov Dam with its calm surface.

Historical photos

Vranov nad Dyjí and its surroundings – Felicitas spring and the chapel of Mary the Protector

Felicitina studánka

When walking through the forests surrounding Vranov nad Dyjí, you can easily run across a small building no one would expect in a forest. The best-known ones are the Felicitas spring in the valley below the chateau (about 20 minutes’ walk from the guesthouse) and the nearby chapel of Mary the Protector (10 minutes’ walk). Our statement in the introduction to this section is thus supported even more: Vranov nad Dyjí and its surroundings offer a special blend in which both nature and history play important roles.

Historical photos

We are looking forward to your visit!