Novy Jicin

A district center of 30,000 inhabitants on the road from Olomouc to Ostrava, Novy Jicin's main attraction is it's well preserved historical center. Founded in the latter half of the 13th century at the intersection of two trade routes, the first written mention of the town occurs in the year 1313, when King John of Luxembourg granted it town privileges. The town was under the Kravare family until 1434, after which it came into the ownership of a number of families, until it came under the rule of the Zerotins. Under them the town experienced great prosperity in the 16th century, and it was able to buy itsself free of the family and become a royal town in 1558. After siding against the Hapsburgs in the Battle of White Mountain, however, the town was awarded to the Jesuits of Olomouc. The town later became independant again in the 18th century. The town began to develop industrially from the beginning of the 19th century and benefitted from its location along road and rail lines.

The Historical preserve of the main town square is one of the finest of its kind in Central Europe, and features a number of buildings from the 16th century, such as the Renaissance Old Post Office built in 1563 at the height of the town's prosperity. There are also a number of Renaissance and Baroque houses with colorful arcades dating from the 16th to 18th centuries. In the center of the square, which can trace its almost perfectly square shape back to the town's founding, is a Baroque plague column erected in 1710.

One other local attraction that visitors should be sure to catch is the Hat Museum, which the town claims is the only one in the world. The museum has on display a number of exhibits documenting the variety of hats produced by the local firm Huckel. Novy Jicin has been known as a major producer of hats, if that can be said, since the end of the 18th century.

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