Vyssi Brod Monastery
The Abbey Church, the Baroque Library with the Theological and Philosophical Halls. The Postal Museum Vyssi Brod.
Order Tour Code: C SS12
Come to see the ancient monastery with its church and baroque monastic library. The monastery dates back to the 13th century. The Cistercian Abbeys Vyssi Brod (Hohenfurth) in Bohemia is one of the last Cistercian monasteries that once existed in the historical lands of the present-day Czech Republic. Their cultural impact is inseparable from the history of these lands.
9 HOUR ROUND TRIP
•1st of May to 30th September: daily 9:30-17:00 (beginning of the last tour) except Mondays (closed all days) and Sunday morning (open from 12:30). Tours at special times are possible by arrangement in advance.
•1st of October to 30th April (beyond the season): tours by arrangement in advance only.
Tours of the monastery are only possible with guides from the monastery. They are conducted in Czech, English or German, or with the written guide texts in Dutch, French, Italian, Spanish, Polish and Russian. The maximum number of participants 50 persons and minimum number 5 persons. Individual sightseeing is not possible. A short version of the text of the guided tour is available at this website.
Tickets for the tour: 135,- CZK, 115,- CZK for students and pensioners (also in EUR according the current exchange rate). Children up to 6 years of age - for free.
Groups that make a reservation in advance will be given priority. To take part in a guided tour, it is necessary to be dressed in a way that is appropriate to the place. For small foreign language groups are available new digital personal Audioguides - now in German, English, Dutch und Czech languages (more languages are being prepared for the next year). These audioguides (NFC standard) will be lent - besides the currently guided language - to the individual visitors for the tour in the monastery.
9 HOUR ROUND TRIP
The town and the monastery Vyssi Brod are both situated on the upper right bank of the Vltava river in the foothills of the Bohemian Forest, in a romantic landscape amidst thick forests.
Cistercian Abbey in Vyssi Brod (Latin: „Altovadum“, German: „Hohenfurth“) was founded on June 1st,1259 by the nobleman Vok of Rosenberg. The legend holds that the nobleman founded the monastery out of gratitude for his miraculous rescue out of the stormy Vltava river as he had turned to the Blessed Virgin Mary for help while drowning. The Rosenberg dynasty died out in 1611 but Cistercians have been praying for the repose of their souls until the present time. The monastery was returned to the Order after 40 years of communist rule and the monks currently strive to restore it to become once again the region’s spiritual and cultural center. After the Rosenbergs, the aegis over the monastery passed on to the Eggenbergs, and in 1719 to the Schwarzenbergs. From 1941-45, the monastery was confiscated on behalf of the Nazi „SS“ needs, and between 1950 and 1990, it was run by the Czechoslovak communist government merely as a museum. The core of the monastery was returned to the Cistercians in 1991.
Visiting a Cistercian monastery only makes sense if combined with understanding the monastery’s spiritual basis. The architecture and art can be understood if the visitor is acquainted with the spirituality expressed in them. It was just this climate that gave birth not only to this and other monasteries, but to all of European culture.
The Cistercians are reformed Benedictine monks: they strive to live the Christian way of life within the Catholic Church according to the Rule of St. Benedict, written for monks in the 6th Century. The Rule is a collection of wisdom and instructions, and is an extension of the ideas in the Gospel. The Cistercians live this Rule in a deeper way, striving toward solitude, silence, personal labor, and simplicity. They live their whole life in one location within a community under the guidance of a communally elected abbot. The Cistercians emerged in the eve of the 11th Cent. as Europe’s first religious order. They spread vigorously thanks to the most influential personality of the 12th Century – the fascinating St. Bernard of Clairvaux. Their reform of the commonly employed Rule has proved the most successful. That’s why the Order has endured, though with numerous adaptations, until today, and continues to be forward for the Church. It is possible to describe briefly the sense of the monastic life thus: the monastery is “a school for the Lord’s service” or “a school of a progress in love”, or, to use a biblical parallel, it is “a prefiguration of the heavenly Jerusalem” (Revel. X:X).
THE ABBEY CHURCH has always been the undetachable part of the monastery. Its foundations followed closely the monastery’s foundation in the 13th Century, yet the construction was not finished until after approx. a hundred years, in the 1350s. The church’s groundplan shaping a cross is directed to the east. The two side naves are as high as the central one. In the transept, that is characteristically Cistercian, there are four inset chapels. Concerning the church’s dimensions, the height is 17.5 mts incl. vault, 52 mts long, and the transept is 29 mts wide.
THE MONASTIC CHOIR is located in the middle of the nave’s center. It was commissioned by Abbot Candidus Heindrich about 1725 and created by the monastery’s lay-brother Josef Raffer who also designed the confessionals in the church and the bookcases in the library. The choir is crafted of extensively inlaid and gilt wood while the sculptures of the famous Church personalities adorn its upper edge. The choir is indispensable for the monastic life and is used, besides meditation, for the full cycle of communal prayer: i.e. the singing and/or recitation of the canonical hours (i.e. at specific times of the day). Two oldest altars of all the eight ones in the church are noteworthy: the late gothic altars of St. Barbara (1525, left) and of St. Rochus (1524, right). The church is equipped with two organs. The larger is to be found above the entrance on the baroque gallery, while the small one is built into the choir’s left side.
HIGH ALTAR in the early baroque style fills the whole frontal area of the presbytary. It was created by two Cistercian lay-brothers: Linhart Wulliman, the woodcarver, and Georgius, the painter. The altar is made of extensively gilted wood, and its central picture changes four times a year according to the liturgy periods . The painting of the Assumption of the Virgin Mary, who is the patron-saint of both the monastery and the Cistercians, was been painted by Josef Houska (1654) according to the model by Josef Heinz. The Feast of the Assumption is celebrated on August 15th. On the altar sides, two larger-than-life statues are to be noted: Pope Eugen III, the first pope of Cistercian origin, and St. Bernard of Clairvaux, one of the primary Cistercian patron-saints. The side walls of the presbytery were originally decorated with gothic frescos that were largely destroyed in the 19th Century. Today, their fragments are covered by two canvas paintings from the 19th Century. The one on the right by Josef V. Hellich illustrates the miraculous rescue of Vok of Rosenberg, the founder of the monastery, out of the swollen Vltava River, while the painting on the left by Bart. Čurna depicts the arrival of the first monks in the monastery, and the dedication of the church to the Blessed Virgin Mary by Vok of Rosenberg and his wife Hedwig of Schaumburg.
ST. BENEDICT CHAPEL – There is in the floor set the tombstone of Count Jan Zrinský, who, as the heir of the Rosenberg domain after 1597, died without an heir. His mother was the last Rosenberg, Lady Eva of Rosenberg, and his father Nicolaus Zrinský, a famous warrior against Turks.
ST. BERNARD CHAPEL contains the figural tombstones of the 17th century abbots.
VIRGIN MARY CHAPEL presents on a neogothic altar the painting-on-wood of the graceful Virgin Mary, famous as the „Madonna of Vyšší Brod“. This panel painting is of immense artistic value, and was created soon after 1400. Concerning its style and the Bohemia’s patron-saints in the lower part of the frame, the painting is to be attributed to the Bohemian School. As usual in the Middle Ages, the painter remains unknown. The exposed painting is a copy from 1939 by Prof. Bohuslav Slánský. The monastery’s oldest part – currently the sacristy – lies next to the transept’s south side. Above the doorway to the sacristy, there is a beautifully sculpted portal (tympanum) showing the Foxes in the Wineyard, a motif from the Old Testament.
THE PAINTINGS´ GALLERY is situated in the 1st floor above the cloister’s western wing. The previous monastic cells were made into a neoclassical gallery bet. 1835-38 according to a design by K. Jambora from Český Krumlov. This three-naved hall implements the Bohemian vaults with the Tuscan pilling. Its highlights are the collections of baroque Bohemian paintings, particularly the works by Peter Brandl, Jan Kašpar Hirschelly, and Norbert Grund. The art collections, returned by the state, also include liturgical articles from 17th and 18th Centuries.
THE LIBRARY PASSAGE originated in the same time as the gallery
and contains predominantly later, specialized books. The medallion pictures of the abbots from the 16th to the 19th Centuries that are exposed above the book-cases are particularly noteworthy.
THE PHILOSOPHICAL HALL is the smaller one of both the library’s halls, and contains literature from various fields of study, but mostly Philosophy. On the ceiling there is a fresco by the monastery’s lay-brother Lukáš Vávra (late 18th Century). It depicts a motif from the Old Testament: Salomon sits in judgement. The very detailed map of Bohemia by Müller (1720) is presented on the desk, covered with glass. The quotations by St. Bernard above the windows praise scholarship resulting in a service to others. Currently, the library contains slightly more than 70,000 volumes, 200 parchment and 1000 paper manuscripts, and 400 incunabula, i.e. books printed before the year 1500.
THE THEOLOGICAL HALL is the largest room in the monastery’s library. It encompasses theological literature, from which the collection of Bibles in more than 40 languages is notable. The white hogskin bindings were manufactured in the mid-18th Century thanks to Quirinus Mickl, a highly educated abbot of that time.
The Cistercian Abbeys Vyšší Brod (Hohenfurth) and Osek (Osegg) in Bohemia are the last of the numerous Cistercian monasteries that once existed in the historical lands of the present-day Czech Republic, i.e. Bohemia and Moravia. Their cultural impact is inseparable from the history of these lands.
Vyssi Brod, the southernmost settlement of the Czech Republic, which was endowed with town rights since 1870 and had a population of about 2,500 until the German population was expelled, lies just a few kilometres from the Austrian border. It is also the last parish on the border, while the parish and market town of Bad Leonfelden on the opposite side of the border has been in the care of the Cistercian order since historical records were kept. The town lies half concealed in a flat basin, surrounded by the mountains of the southern Bohemian Forest, reaching up to an altitude of 1000 meters in that area. Somewhat separated on a low rock ledge up the river, stands the monastery Vyšší Brod on the Vltava, which, having descended from the rocks and forests of the Bohemian Forest in the north-west, changes its course and continues northwards directly through the middle of Bohemia.
The monastery of Vyssi Brod was founded in 1259 by Petr Vok of Rozmberk, of the House of Vítek / Witigon, so powerful and famous in the early history of Bohemia. The castle and little town of Rožmberk are situated a few kilometres down the Vltava from Vyšší Brod. The real incentive for founding the monastery remains, as is common with many old monasteries, cloaked in the darkness of the past. An legend has it that Petr Vok, who was Marshal of the entire Kingdom of Bohemia, rode to Vyšší Brod, where he wanted to say his prayer at a chapel situated in the site of the present-day St. Ann’s Church (later the monastery cemetery). To reach it he had to cross the Vltava, for there was a ford nearby, as is obvious from the name Hohenfurth, which translates into English as "the high ford". Because the river was swollen, Petr Vok got into a quandary and promised that he would build a monastery in the place of the little church if he escaped death. There is, however, no historical evidence behind this legend. A later wall painting depicting this event stands on the epistle side of the presbytery in the Abbey Church, while a corresponding painting on the opposite side of the presbytery shows the foundation of Vyšší Brod and the founder transferring the new monastery to the first monks, who came from Wilhering Abbey on the Danube, near Linz. A very old, undated document reports that Petr Vok of Rožmberk wanted to found a monastery and give it to the Cistercian Order for the sake of his and his relatives’ spiritual welfare. Therefore he turned to the Abbot General of the Cistercian Order with the request to inhabit the newly established monastery with monks from Wilhering. Wilhering itself was populated by monks from the Abbey of Rein in 1146. This line of descent then goes from Rein to Ebrach to Morimond, which is the fourth daughter monastery of Citeaux.
According to a document dated 23rd May, 1259, Bishop John III of Prague confirmed the donation made by Vok of Rožmberk, together with his patronage right over the churches of Rosenthal / Rožmitál and Priethal / Přídolí. According to a document dated the 1st June of the same year, he granted the first church of the monastery the benediction while confirming all property, incomes and rights granted to the monastery by Vok of Rožmberk. Therefore, the 1st of June 1259 has long been accepted as the foundation day of the Monastery of Vyšší Brod. This document of the 1st of June 1259 also mentions Vyšší Brod as a settlement with its own church, which existed at that time probably as a border garrison on the route from Linz on the Danube through Haselgraben, across the pass of Vyšší Brod as far as the Vltava ford and into the interior of the country. The monastery obtained further donations from the noble family that founded it. It was the remote location in the vast border forests of Bohemia that protected and spared Vyšší Brod many a military battle whereas several other monasteries were destroyed, especially in the 15th century during the Hussite Wars. Whether and to what extent the Monastery of Vyšší Brod suffered because of the Hussite Wars remains unclear to this day. Contemporary documents are unclear or contradictory. According to Janauschek (a 19th century historian of the Order), the monastery was spared by the Hussites as the only Cistercian monastery in Bohemia. Nor does the monastery tradition know anything of a Hussite attack. However, Hussites seem to have advanced as far as the town of Vyšší Brod and burnt down the unfortified settlement. The monastery was protected by its fortification wall with towers, which are preserved as they were then to this day. The Hussites probably made an attempt to set the monastery on fire. However, they only managed to set fire to the roofs, in particular that of the monastery church. In times of grave danger, the monastic community found asylum behind the firm walls of the town of Český Krumlov. Serious damage was inflicted upon the monastery property and some patronage churches, some of which were destroyed and had to be reconstructed in the latter half of the 15th century.
According to the land register of 1530, the domain of Vyšší Brod at that time included two market towns (Vyšší Brod and Hořice) and owned serfs in 108 villages. The number of serfs amounted to 900, most of whom lived in the vicinity of Vyšší Brod as far as Český Krumlov und the surroundings of České Budějovice. It had moderate property, especially in comparison with the royal monastery of Zlatá Koruna, which had, in its heyday, land amounting to over 800 square kilometres, i.e. more than many a miniature German principality. When Protestantism spread widely in Bohemia in the latter half of the 16th century, it found fairly few adherents among the Vyšší Brod's serfs. Nevertheless, the consequence of the decreasing religious life was a shortage of pastoral clergy, so that we hear for the first time in the late 16th century that a monk went out to serve as a parish priest. Prior to that time pastoral service had been provided by secular clergy. This shortage of priests became so common that in the course of time the exception became the rule and gradually, especially during the Thirty Years’ War, all patronage parishes had to be staffed permanently bz monk-priests, a development that was also common elsewhere.
Under Abbot Hermann Kurz (1767 – 1797) monasteries all over Bohemia and Moravia started to be abolished by Emperor Joseph II. The fate of the monastery of Vyšší Brod seemed to be sealed as well. In 1786, Abbot Hermann Kurz was removed from his position and sent to a fishing farmstead that belonged to the monastery. The monastery was supposed to last as long as the last monks were alive. At that time the monastic community numbered 65 members, then only 18 were allowed and new novices were prohibited. A secular priest from Třeboň was appointed to the monastery as a benefice abbot. The monastery property was partly divided and rented out. However, in 1789, the deposition of the abbot was cancelled by imperial edict and he was given back all his rights in 1790. Thus, though it suffered severe losses, the monastery escaped suppression. A remaining duty was to provide four, later five teachers, free of charge, for what was later to become a German grammar school in České Budějovice, or to pay 300 fl per teacher. The monastery at first preferred to pay. When the school was abolished in the monastery in 1815, the monastery still had to provide teachers for České Budějovice. Only after the First Republic of Czechoslovakia established (1921) were the monks freed from this obligation.
In 1822 the saintly Abbot Isidor Teutschmann (1801 -1827), the last abbot of Lusatian descent, succeeded in freeing the monastery and its property from the rule of the Duchy of Český Krumlov. It had belonged to this Duchy since the House of Rožmberk had died out, but the cooperation between the secular souvereign and the monastery had never been good. Now the monastery obtained an independent domain with its own patrimonial jurisdiction, which lasted up to the tumultuos events of 1848.
While the monastery got away mildly during the land reform in the first Czechoslovak Republic, not least all due to the negotiating skill of Abbot Tecelin Jaksch, the first disaster, the first abolishment of the monastery in its history, came after the occupation of the Sudetenland by Germany. This territory, the German part of South Bohemia, was gradually attached, in political terms, to what the Third Reich called the district of Upper Danube. The church administration attached the area to the diocese Linz and made it into the General Vicariate Vyšší Brod /Hohenfurth. The General Vicar was Father Dr. Dominik Kaindl, a former professor at the diocesan seminary in České Budějovice, who died at the Heiligenkreuz Monastery near Vienna in 1973.
In early October 1938 the German invasion of the southern Bohemian Forest began. As early as the 21st November 1938 Abbot Tecelin Jaksch was, owing to his loyal attitude to the Czechoslovak Republic, arrested and brought to prison in Linz, later in Český Krumlov. He was sentenced to imprisonment for half a year. He spent the war in the then Protectorate Bohemia and Moravia, in the women’s Cistercian Monastery Tišnov. During his absence, Father Dr. Dominik Kaindl, who was General Vicar at the same time of the German part of the Diocese of České Budějovice, was elected Abbot Coadjutor and confirmed by Rome.
As early as January 1939 the administration of the monastery was taken over by a government commissar appointed by the district Upper Danube, and thus the Abbot Coadjutor and the monastic community had no influence on economic life of the Monastery Vyšší Brod. In the course of the abolishment of monasteries in the district Upper Danube, the Monastery Vyšší Brod was abolished by the Gestapo on the 17th April 1941. This was carried out in a manner typical of totalitarian regimes, including body checks, cross-examinations etc. The few, mostly elderly, priests remaining in the monastery were allocated to particular monastery parishes. The only brothers allowed to stay in the monastery during the war were Father Vinzenz Pils as rent administrator to carry out the ongoing administration and accountancy, and Father Alois Martetschläger to continue services in the monastery church and later, when it was closed down, in the small St. Joseph’s Church.
According to the last catalogue of the Bohemian Province of the Order, issued in 1940, Vyšší Brod numbered fifty three order priests, seven order seminarians and nine lay brothers. Thus the monastic community had sixty nine members, which made it the strongest monastery in the Order in terms of numbers (at least, as far as individual monasteries are concerned), and it had the highest number of members in its almost 700-year-long history. The majority of the monastic community worked as pastors or chaplains in parishes. Twenty-one Fathers, seminarians and lay brothers were conscripted to the army in the course of the WWII. Ten of them fell on the battlefield (nine on the eastern front, one in Italy), of whom six were Fathers, three seminarians and one a lay brother. Father Engelbert Blochl died in Dachau of starvation and maltreatment (on the All Saints’ Day 1942). In comparison, the Monastery of Osek had thirty-one members, of whom thirty were priests and one a student.
After the total surrender in May 1945 Abbot Tecelin Jaksch made every effort to bring about a return of the Monastery of Vyšší Brod, as well as the restoration of the monastery and its property to the legal monastic community, which came about very soon, thanks to his contacts, especially to President Beneš, who had also come back. According to this, the continued existence seemed to be assured and everything to be able to go on again as before. But it turned out soon that hostility toward the monastery by the authorities, under strong communist influence from the very beginning, remained in no way behind the Nazi persecution. The expulsion of the German population living here had already started. Some of the order priests who were pastors in the incorporated parishes were expelled together with their parishioners. Others succeeded in escaping across the nearby Austrian border or resettling in Austrian monasteries through Abbot Tecelin’s negotiations with Czechoslovak authorities, and through the negotiations of Abbot Karl Braunstorfer of Heiligenkreuz (who should be gratefully remembered here) with the Austrian authorities. Among the Vyšší Brod community, connections to Austria, especially to Linz and Vienna, even family relationships, were much closer than those to České Budějovice or Prague. And the Cistercian Order in Austria, unlike that in Germany, had a number of old monasteries that were willing to accept and employ the brothers from Vyšší Brod. These monasteries were Heiligenkreuz, Rein, which had no abbot at that time and received, due to shortage of personnel, most of the brothers from Vyšší Brod, and further Lilienfeld, Zwettl and finally Wilhering, the mother monastery of Vyšší Brod.
The brothers remaining in the monastery were, besides Abbot Tecelin Jaksch, two Czech brothers and five elderly German brothers. Abbot Tecelin hoped to establish a new Czech community, with these and some newcomers, whom he strove to find everywhere. But the situation of the monastery and its small community was becoming more and more untenable. There were house searches, summons and threats. After the communist take-over in February 1948, the Monastery Vyšší Brod was abolished on the 4th May 1950, for the second time in nine years. The last German brothers had to leave Vyšší Brod for Austria. The last Abbot Tecelin Jaksch crossed the Czech-Austrian border on the 26th July 1948, first going to the monastery of Zwettl. The monastery of Vyšší Brod was finally inhabited by the two Czech brothers, three seminarians, one novice and one lay brother, who had to leave the monastery after it was abolished. The monastery housed, as far as is known, the barracks of the Czechoslovak Army, then for years, garrisons of frontier guards to man a border equipped with wire entanglements and guard towers. After their own barracks were built further inside the country, the monastery was left empty.
Abbot Tecelin Jaksch was appointed Apostolic Administrator of Rein on November 20th, 1949. He died there on the May 24th, 1954, on his name-day, which was also the anniversary of his election as Abbot of Vyšší Brod in 1925. After his death, Father Nikolaus Lonsing, the last parson and deacon of Vyšší Brod, as the “prior regens” of the orphaned community, attempted a re-establishment in Germany, in the old Capuchin monastery of Schillingsfürst in the Archdiocese of Bamberg. Several brothers followed him there. However, there turned out to be no possibility of development there. For that reason, this re-establishment was dissolved in 1959 and the brothers returned to Rein. No matter how much easier a re-establishment might have been after the war, it was too late for several reasons. The General Chapter of the Cistercian Order suggested that the two communities of Rein and of Vyšší Brod / Hohenfurth be united. This would be beneficial to both groups. The two agreed and an agreement was carried out on the October 7th , 1959, 700 years after the foundation of the monastery of Vyšší Brod / Hohenfurth. Since that time the monastery of Rein has born the name Rein-Hohenfurth and has taken on the obligation to resettle the monastery of Vyšší Brod / Hohenfurth, if the possibility presents itself. Thus the two monasteries Rein and Vyšší Brod / Hohenfurth were connected to an extraordinary extent: from the very beginning, by the foundation of Vyšší Brod through Wilhering and Rein and by the fact that the last abbot of Vyšší Brod became Apostolic Administrator of Rein and the last monks of Vyšší Brod became united with Rein to the community of "Hohenfurth-Rein". In the meantime, death has taken its toll and reduced the number of the original Vyšší Brod community to nine, eight priests and one lay-brother in 1977.
Postal Museum Vyssi Brod
Our Vyssi Brod venue is located in the building of the 13th century Cistercian monastery in Vyssi Brod.
•Large exposition on postal history in the Czech, Moravian and Silesian lands from 1526 until today (approx. 1,800m2),
•The largest collection of 19th century cars and coaches in the Czech Republic,
•Historic postal uniforms, signs, cash boxes, letter boxes, maps,
•Samples of correspondence, old writing tools, franking and cancelling machines,
•Reconstructions of 18th and 20th century post offices,
•Telegraph, teleprinter and telephone machines,
•Late gothic, renaissance and baroque interiors.
The exposition is located about 200km far from Prague inside the former Cistercian monastery in Vyšší Brod, a small town in South Bohemia close to the Austrian borders. You can get there easily by car, bus or train. There are frequent bus and train services during the summer season.
History of the Czech Postal Service
The beginning of an organised and state-controlled transmission of messages in the Czech lands dates back to 1526 when the Arch-Duke Ferdinand was elected King of Bohemia. Soon after his election Ferdinand I ordered that a first regular postal route be set up between Prague and Vienna. He relied on the Taxis family already operating postal service in the Austrian lands. The service consisted in the establishing and operating of a network of routes connecting major political, administrative and business centres of the Habsburg empire. The routes linked stations, placed at regular intervals, offering fresh horses to postal couriers who could continue on their journey without delay.
In the early stage the network of relay stations served the exclusive purposes of the state administration. As such it was administered by the chief court postmaster who was controlled by the chief court chancellor. Clear evidence of the state authorities trying to secure the control over the developing postal business appeared at the turn of the 17th and 18th centuries. The key moment came in 1722 when the hereditary chief postmaster of the Paar family had to give up a part of the monopoly securing him the control over and administration of the Austrian postal service. The final step in the process of gaining complete control over the postal service was taken by Maria Theresa in 1743, at the very beginning of her rule.
This was a key milestone on the way to development of the postal service. As a state-controlled service, it was soon reorganised to improve its efficiency. The state postal monopoly, created by a number of decrees, covered also passenger transportation which had been facing competition from private operators. Further improvements came in the area of roads building, larger scope of services, and a higher density of postal routes and relay stations.
The unprecedented economic boom of the early 19th century, caused by the industrial revolution in Europe, led to a massive building of new roads. The roads improved the speed of travelling with the subsequent gradual improvement in quality of transportation of both mail and passengers by the state post. A significant role in these changes was played by the chief postal administrator in Vienna, Maximilian Otto von Ottenfeld. He was the author of the new passenger transportation system (1823) and the main co-author of the Postal Act 1837. The act defined the legal relationship between the state administration and the postal service for a long time and laid the foundations of the modern postal service.
The new technical inventions were key for further improvement in the quality of postal services. Building of railways as well as the development of telegraph and telephone services increased the speed of communication. Transportation by railway had a major impact on mail services. In the 2nd half of the 1930s the Austrian state launched construction works on a large network of railways with a parallel telegraph network whose building started in 1847. The first travelling post cars appeared in 1850 on the Vienna-Bohumín route. Mail was sorted by the crew while travelling. The first Austrian postage stamps came out in the same year. They helped to spread the use of correspondence.
Telephone was the most important invention which marked the second stage of the industrial revolution in communications. It was first introduced in the Czech lands in 1881. In 1893 telephone service came under the state control.
The final stage of the 19th century industrial revolution brought radiotelegraphy, or the wireless transmission of messages by radio. It was first presented to the Czech public at the 1908 Jubilee Exhibition in Prague.
The formation of the Czechoslovak state in the late 1918 led to changes of not only political and legal but also economic and administration nature. The latter directly affected the way of organising and controlling of postal services. All communication services - postal, telegraph, telephone and radio - formerly making a part of the Austrian trade ministry were transferred under the Czechoslovak Ministry of Post and Telegraph Offices. The establishment of an independent ministry for communication services was intended to underline their growing social and economic importance and improve their quality.
The state-owned enterprise Czechoslovak Post, set up in the early 1925, followed similar economic rules to those used by private businesses. The efforts to reform the postal service soon made the enterprise profitable. It managed to survive the harsh global economic crisis in the 1930s. During the Nazi occupation the post was entirely dependant on the protectorate government and the German ministry of post.
In May 1945, after the end of the occupation, the ministry of post offices was reestablished, the postal act reenacted and the state-owned enterprise Czechoslovak Post was formed again. In the early 1950s, after the communist regime came to power, the Czechoslovak Post became a 'national enterprise' and the ministry of post offices became the 'ministry of communications' after the Soviet model. The change brought a large reorganisation of the ministry and its activities. Postal service was gradually moved aside and replaced by telecommunications and radio as an effective propaganda tool. Despite the negative development the post managed to introduce some new services and technologies securing at least its core operations.
The revolutionary changes, coming with the fall of the communist regime in the late 1989, led to the splitting of the combined ministry of postal and telecommunications services.
On January 1st, 1993 the Czech Post became a state-owned enterprise with independent financing.
S from Prague – 3 hours to drive
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13)Vyssi Brod Monastery CSS12 + Cesky Krumlov CSS1 + Hluboka castle CSS3 - 13hour round trip
14)Vyssi Brod Monastery CSS12 + Cesky Krumlov CSS1 + + Ceske Budejovice CSS5 - 13 hour round trip
15)Vyssi Brod Monastery CSS12 + Cesky Krumlov CSS1 + Konopiste castle CSE1 - 13hour round
16)Vyssi Brod Monastery CSS12 + Cesky Krumlov CSS1 + Jindrichuv Hradec CSS2 - 14hour round trip
17)Vyssi Brod Monastery CSS12 + Konopiste castle CSE1 + Cesky Krumlov CSS1 - 14hour round trip
18)Vyssi Brod Monastery CSS12 + Cesky Krumlov CSS1 + Trebon town and castle CSS4 - 14hour round trip
19)Vyssi Brod Monastery CSS12 + Cesky Krumlov CSS1 + Trebon town and castle CSS4 - 14hour round trip
20)Vyssi Brod Monastery CSS12 + Cesky Krumlov CSS1 + Jindrichuv Hradec CSS2 - 14hour round trip
21)Vyssi Brod Monastery CSS12 + Cesky Krumlov on the way to Wien - transfer to Wien + 30% of the price
22)Vyssi Brod Monastery CSS12 + Cesky Krumlov CSS1 on the way to Passau - transfer to Passau + 40% of the price
23)Vyssi Brod Monastery CSS12 + Cesky Krumlov CSS1 + Rozmberk castle CSS8 - 13 hour round trip
Our popular tours are outlined on our web sites:
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