History of Humpolec

Humpolec is an ancient town in the Czech- Moravian Highlands. The town was founded as a guard-place in the middle of frontier forests on a very important the important route from Prague to Moravia. The first known owner of Humpolec was the Order of German knights, then the Monastery in Želiv and later the Knights with a red star. Since 1325, it has been owned by secular authorities. During the Hussite wars the whole region became the region of chalice. At this time Jan Želivský- the most well-known native of medieval Humpolec and the leader of the Prague poor might have been actice there.

Since ancient times (the written documents come from 1544) Humpolec has been the town of cloth. At the beginning of the 20th century the cloth was made here by eight factories and by 150 cloth masters who employed about two thousand workers. At that time Humpolec used to be called “Czech Manchester”.

The gothic Church of St. Nicholas, the oldest sight in Humpolec, was first mentioned in the 13th century. From 1721 to 1722 it was rebuilt and it is also said that the famous architect Santini took part in the reconstruction.

The part of modern history of Humpolec is the beer brewing in the Family Brewery Bernard which was restarted in 1991 in the original brewery from the 16th century.

Also the reconstruction of the organ in the Church of St. Nicholas, which was made possible thanks to the gift of the native Stanislav Kotyza, belongs to important events in history of Humpolec.

Local great personalities

Local rough country became a cradle of many great personalities, often well-known in the world. One of them is an important anthropologist and a trustee of National Museum in the U.S.A. in Washington - Dr. Aleš Hrdlička. His whole-life credo was “All mankind is of one origin“ which is also written on his monument in the Lower Square. Also the museum, is named after Aleš Hrdlička. There are four expositions in the museum nowadays: ethnological, anthropological, Mahler´s exposition and Hrdlička´s exposition as well as a new exhibition about Indian life and research of Indian tribes.

Gustav Mahler, a world known conductor and composer, is a native inhabitant from the nearby village of Kaliště. His native house was changed into a musical and cultural centre. The musicians from all over the world come here to get to know the Highlands as a source of music.

Other important natives are Jindřich Honzl, a direktor of Liberation Theatre and later also a director of National Theatre, and MUDr. František Hamza, a founder of lung hospitals and a writer of native Zálesí. Important artists include Adolf Kosárek, a notable landscape painter of Czech romanticism, graphic artist Pavel Suchdolák, restorer Jaroslav Alt, portraitist Arnošt Mandler and sculptor Čeněk Vosmík. Other important natives are the author of „Good Soldier Švejk“, Jaroslav Hašek, who is buried in Lipnice, also, poet, writer, and translator Jan Zábrana and poet and underground musician Ivan Martin Jirous - Magor.

Humpolec today

At present, Humpolec belongs to many manufacturing and business corporations which were founded here due to the strategic town position. The town is also known for Bernard beer which has been brewed here since 1991 in the original brewery from the 16th century.

The current town of Humpolec is a dynamically growing town with people who built their houses in the beautiful and imposing countryside of the Highlands. Humpolec offers its visitors a bit of history as well as a developing present. It offers very good living conditions to its inhabitants.