Historical background

According to the local legend, the foundation of Telč is connected with the victory of the Moravian Duke Otto II. over the Czech DukHistorical backgrounde Břetislav in 1099. It is said that in the memory of the battle the victor established first a chapel, later a church and then a community, which is the Old Town today. The only historical proof is the documentation of a seigniorial estate and watch tower with a little church, which was the residence of the royal administrator. This royal property, Telč was paid out by Charles IV, firstly it was redeemed (1335) and secondly it was exchanged with Jindřich of Hradec for the border castle Banov (1339). This family started founding a new Telč. Menhart of Hradec is supposed to have built the castle, church, water fortification and Gothic houses around the large marketplace. The town started to expand after 1354, and in spite of rapid development – it was granted the rigth to carry out capital sentences and the right to hold annual markets by Charles IV, it used to suffer from fires (in 1386 the whole western half of the square including the church and town hall were burnt out) and later still from the Hussites rebellions. According to the Town Chronicle established in 1359 (and later lost) the town of Telč was – except for the castle – conquered in 1423 by the Hussites´army led by Jan Hvězda of Vicemilice. The recovery ot the town required quite a long time, although it was awarded additional privileges in the fifteenth century (fairs, brewing, the sale of salt).

Zachariáš of Hradec takes over the Telč estate and both the town and castle enjoy the period of prosperity. This enlightened and rich magnate (also thanks to the mariage with Kateřina of Wallenstein) greatly renovates the Gothic castle and constructs joining it a chateau in the Renaissance style. Italian workmen invited to the castle help the burghers to rebuild the Gothic dwellings into the neat houses with attractive facades and arcades. At the same time the town water mains and new hospital were built, and new ponds, trades and new ways of management were established. Zachariáš as well as other men of the Hradec family die without male offspring, and thus Lucie Ottilie, sister of the last of them brings her husband, Vilém Slavata (a well-known governor who had played his role within the Prague Defenestration in 1618) to the Telč estate (as well as to Hradec), together with a new noble family.

The rule of the Slavatas was affected by the Thirty Years’ War. Telč as well as the whole region suffers under the Swedish (and also the Imperial) Armies. In 1645 for a short period the town was even occupied and plundered by the Swedish forces. The estate was managed by the men of the family (Vilém, Jáchym Oldřich, Ferdinand Vilém), the history of the town was, however, most influenced by Jáchym’s widow whose maiden name was Františka, the Countess of Meggau. She invited the Jesuits to Telč, she had their college built directly opposite the chateau (1655), also the Church of the Name of Jesus (1667) was built, and the former malting house below the parish church was reconstructed to the hostel of St. Angels (resembling a temple music school), in addition she founded a new cemetery at Podoli (1676). At the same time also the Jesuit Latin Grammar School, pharmacy and meteorological centre were founded. The Slavatas rule also ended without any male progeny and the last son of Františka, Jan Karel Jáchym, the general superior of the Carmelite Order, in spite of the Pope’s Dispensation refuses to return to the family estate.

Thus the Lichtenstein-Kastelkorn family succeed to Telč, but again the first of them – František Antonín (who built the church of St. Jan from Nepomuk and widened the chapel of St. Vojtěch) dies in 1761 without a heir. His relative on the distaff side, Alois the Count Podstatsky, unified the coast-of-arms of both the families in 1762. Then the Podstatsky-Lichtensteins managed the Telč estate until 1945 when the last members of the family were espelled to Austria.

The befinning of the 18th century was characterised by oppression from the holders of authority, but then it is possible to register the rise of the middle-class, and the wealthy townspeople help beautify their town with public fountains, the Marian Column, statues and chapels. In the second half of the century the town experiences the reforms of the Austrian Emperor Joseph II: in 1773 righs of the Jesuit Order were cancelled (the college is rebuilt into an army barracks) one year later the same happened to the Grammar School while the church of the Holy Spirit and other chapels were cancelled in 1785. This period seems to be the beginnings of germanisation at schools, in the public life and even in the families.

The beginning of the 19th century represents the rise of industrialisation. The Lang factory manufacturing cloths begins in the former Slavata’s yard, this factory had as many as 600 employees. The second half of the 19th century brings a reinforcement of national political maturity. An important role was played by the schools founded in 1852. Thanks to the teachers and professors as well as to all the others who were operating there (publisher Šolc and others) there rose a few associations (the Civic Beseda, Omladina (a youth association), Sokol, the National Unity) and Telč played an important role within the whole region of Southwest Moravia.

With regard to communications, the isolation of the town ended by the construction of the railway connecting Kostelec with Telč in 1898 and by its additional branch leading from Telč via Slavonice to Schwarzenau in Austria.

Also new cultural and economic life started to develop. No matter how much Telč vitalised, grew and spread, the inner town between the ponds and gates has kept the beautiful charm of the days of Zachariáš. And this is the main reason for which the historical heart of the town was registered in 1992 on the UNESCO's List of World Cultural Heritage sites.
VLOŽIL: Terezie Veselá (31.05.2012) , UPRAVIL: Petr Mach (08.04.2020)
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Město Telč podporuje

Podjavořičan
PS TELČísla
PS Smetana
Průvan - PS Santini
Mažoretky Telč
Kulturní spolek Oblast
Muzejní spolek
Společnost telčské místní dráhy
Český svaz chovatelů
Český svaz zahrádkářů
Mezi dvěma branami
Spolek Javořice
Divadelní spolek Za paravánem
Divadelní spolek Drdivadlo
Spolek Na větvi
Sdílení o.p.s.
PDT volnočasový z.s. (Panský dvůr Telč)
SK Telč
Sokol Telč.
Autoklub Tourservis Telč Automoto klub
Autoklub Tourservis Telč Kynologický klub
Autoklub Tourservis Telč Potápěčský klub
Autoklub Tourservis Telč Střelecký klub
Klub českých turistů Telč
Jednota Orel Telč
BK Žabaři Telč
Krasobruslařský klub Telč z.s.
Florbal Telč z.s.
Kickbox Klub Reborn, z.s., Klatovec
Spolek telčských velocipedistů
Croquet club Dynamo Telč