The town of Kojetín
The picturesque town of Kojetín, typical of the Haná region, lies on the right riverbank of Morava in the altitude of 201m. It has an area of 3103 ha with a population of 6500 inhabitants. It was founded alongside the route connecting Olomouc and Kroměříž. It is situated on an important traffic crossroads, the railway track Přerov - Brno has existed for more than 130 years now, whereas the one between Kojetín and Ostrava is more than 110 years old.
The historical sources are silent about the origins of Kojetín. According to the legends, it dates back to the period of Samo’s Empire and it is no one else but his son Kojata who is considered to be its founder. The first written mention of the town comes from the year 1233 as the local urban area was referred to in the document of Moravian prince Přemysl.
By the end of 12th or at the beginning of 13th century, Kojetín together with other neighbour villages fell in the possession of Prague bishopric, which didn’t change until the times of the Hussite movement. Afterwards, the whole estate was pawned to George of Šternberk and by the 18th century it had already passed through a long history of several prominent Moravian and even foreign dynasties passing its ownership. A significant prosperity was achieved under the rule of noblemen of Pernštejn who cared for the development of handicrafts, commerce and servile granges. December 20, 1720 meant the return under control of Prague bishopric. This period is reminded on the sign of the town.
In 1829 was initiated the building of a new town hall and in 1830 of a new clergyman’s house which has persisted as an excellent demonstration of second rococo interior till nowadays. The most remarkable monument reminding of the late feudalism is the Church of Heaven adoption of the Virgin. It creates the main silhouette of the town which is why it enthrals to such an extent. The original gothic ground plan serves as the base for the spectacular baroque building, with the roots from the 17th century. The entire composition is completed with two towers and gable, modified in the second half of the 18th century. The integral arrangement of the interior, in the style following the patterns of the Vienna classicism, occurred around the half of the 18th century. There is a one-floor clergyman’s house from the same period in front of the church. Its ground floor is vaulted in the form of crosses and fornices and the main hall is decorated with rococo paintings and genre motives. The western part of an immense square is enclosed with a town hall from the second half of the 18th century, even though it was later adjusted in the Art nouveau style. However, the exterior underwent also certain modifications due to the recent reparations of the facade. The contemporary aspect was gained after the reconstruction as a consequence of a destructive fire in august, 1995. The centre of the square is dominated by the Marian column, a symbol which is typical of the baroque period. It was built on the order of the local citizen Johannes Kulhan from 1704 to 1705. A significant chapter in the town history represents the Jewish community. Its existence is recalled up to the present day thanks to the synagogue, perhaps the oldest one of its kind in the Czech Republic. Nowadays, it serves as a ceremony place for The Czechoslovak Hussite Church, albeit in a modified form. Another commemoration of this culture is the Jewish cemetery, used for the funerals until the beginning of the 1940s. The sad end of Jews reminds today a memorial tablet on the synagogue which mentions all the victims of holocaust.
There is another place of interest on the square, represented by the former coaching inn At Golden Crosslet where Josef Mánes painted the girls of Haná in February 1849. A building, known as The District House was erected in the Art nouveau style by an architect František Skopalík in 1911. Since the reconstruction in 2001 it has been officially called and referred to as The Regional educational and information centre. There is an information centre, gallery and museum located in the ground floor while the first one is the seat of a town library.
The recreational position of the town is of a big importance. There is a Moravian cycle-way number 47 from Jeseník to Břeclav in the nearby as well as the cycling track number 5040 from Tovačov in the direction of Měrovice-Plumlov. It is also possible to perform the water tourism in the vicinity as the Morava river passes just alongside the borders of the town and is passable both towards Tovačov and Kroměříž. Another leisure time option which the inhabitants and tourists can choose is the swimming complex with three pools. There is a pond Na Hrázi (“On Dam”) rich in fauna and flora which extends in its close neighbourhood. Institutions such as policlinic, savings bank, post office and others form indispensable part of the town life, serving to the citizens and general public. Kojetín overflows with cultural and ethnical traditions. Among those showing great activity count the companies called Hanácká beseda, Hanácká scéna and a creative group The Signal 64, which local artists are engaged in. The Town cultural centre organizes expositions, concerts, shows and other events, whereas the most distinguished ones are The competition of amateur theatre companies taking place in March and the Kojetín Feast and Musical summer, both in august. In conclusion, it can’t be omitted the memory of notable natives, including painter Sebastini, lawyer Jan Strakonický, historian Béda Dudík, historian Josef Chytil, academic painter Marie Gardavská, academic painter Jan Sázel, academic painter Vojtěch Štolfa, academic sculptors Stanislav Hlobil and Zdeněk Krybus, composer Gustav Vožda, writers Bohumír Štéger and Vladimír Novotný. The town of Kojetín, the pearl of the Middle Haná, a beautiful town with rich history, is open for all visitors admiring the magic of nature and human arts.