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Vrchlabí (Czech Republic)
Trutnov okres, Hradec Králové region
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by Arnaud Leroy, 30 May 2004
adopted 7 Oct 2003
Vrchlabí municipality flag
Image based on Petr Exner's Vexilologický Lexikon prapory obcí ČR (2002)
- Vrchlabí, Trutnov district, Hradec Králové region - adopted (or rather
granted) 7 Oct 2003.
Vrchlabí occupies an area of 28 sq km at an elevation of 477 m above
sea level. It has 13, 550 inhabitants. Thanks to its position in the middle
of the mountain range Krkonose it is called the "entrance gateway".
First references about the settlement called Vrchlabí can be found
in old records from the 14th century. The Krkonose and adjacent areas have
always been rich in gems and ores. Therefore, the majority of its inhabitants
were miners and founders working on the ore mining and processing.
The Emperor Ferdinand I granted Vrchlabí the mining right at the beginning
of the 16th century when the estates belonged to Krystof Gendorf. In 1533
the settlement was promoted to a mining town with its own emblem and rights
(the original promotion letter-patent is placed in the district archives
in Trutnov; a copy in Vrchlabí town council). The town thrived thanks to
mining. Krystof Gendorf had a new stone church and vicarage built. He organised
Protestant church, set up a school and a poorhouse. Moreover, he summoned
German speaking miners and mining experts to the town and between 1546
- 1548 he promoted the construction of a renaissance castle.
Albrech from Valdstejn bought the castle with the estates in 1624.
During the short period of his administration Vrchlabí experienced unprecedented
bloom. After his death his property was confiscated. In 1635 the Emperor
Ferdinand II. gave it to Imperial Earl Rudolf Morzin in recognition of
his war services in the war against the Turks and Swedes. In 1882 the whole
estates devolved upon the Czemin - Morzins.
The arrival of Czechoslovak army and sports organisation Sokol to Vrchlabí
put paid to Germans' endeavour to separate it from the newly established
independent Czechoslovak Republic after the First World War. Nevertheless
in September 1938 the frontier regions including Vrchlabí had to be given
away to Hitler Germany as a result of Munich Dictate. The liberation on
8th May 1945 brought Vrchlabí's administration back to Czech hands. The
most significant places of interest are the renaissance castle and the
St. Augustin's monastery with church. Vrchlabí's dominant is the town hall.
Another interesting sights are St. Vavrinec's decanal church, Marian plague
column, St. Ann's group of sculptures from the 17th century, folk architecture
represented by the 17th century houses in the square of Peace, the bridge
over the river Elbe and many others. The Krkonose museum's collections,
archives and a library are also worth visiting.
The town's appearance has changed recently. Many new buildings were
built and old facades repaired mainly because the property was handed back
to private ownership. At the end of 1992 the work on the most demanding
and expensive project - building new sewerage network - has started. It
should be completed by the end of 2003. Business enterprises have been
developing at very fast pace, commercial network has expanded and the number
of new private restaurants has increased. The town is becoming a tourist
centre by means of providing various services such as transport and goods
supplying which are missing in the centre part of Krkonose. The Flying
School residing in Vrchlabí organises observation flights above picturesque
Krkonose region and its vicinity.
Vrchlabí made friends with two foreign towns: German Baunatal and French
Trouville-sur-Mer. Many mutual visits over the period of last five years
have consolidated relationships between inhabitants of these towns.
Information from this
Jarig Bakker, 30 May 2004
The French city of Trouville, in Normandy is twinned with the German
city of Baunata and the Czech city of Vrchlabí.
The admission of the Czech Republic into the European Union was celebrated
by a joint festival in Vrchlabí. The three municipal delegations were welcomed
by folkloric dancers and Krakouss, the benevolent giant from the Czech
mountains. Then each of the three mayors gave a speech related to the European
During the festival, the mayor of Vrchabli unveiled the new municipal
flag of its city. Motobikers carried the flags of the new countries incorporated
into the European Union and the flags were displayed along the sides of
the podium. The European anthem was performed. In the evening, the local
music school gave a concert to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the death
of the great Czech composer Antonin Dvorak (1841-1904). A delegation from
Vrchlabí shall visit Trouville on 18 June.
The new flag of Vrchlabí is horizontally divided green-white-red-white-green,
apparently 2:1:3:1:2, with the municipal coat of arms in th red stripe.
The municipal coat of arms of Vrchlabí is yellow with two tools crossed
in saltire (miner or carpenter's tools, I guess).
The full story can be read, in French, in "Ouest-France", 28 May
Ivan Sache, 29 May 2004
The German city is Baunatal ('l' at the end.). Considering the rich
mining tradition of the area, it's gotta be miner's tools, I'd bet.
Thorsten, 29 May 2004
They're miner's hammers. The proportions are 2:1:4:1:2. The flag is
also in the Exner's VexLex with white hammers; however the white color
is not specified in the description.
Jarig Bakker, 30 May 2004
Vrchlabí Coat of Arms
from this site.