Domažlice (Taus)

Domažlice (Taus)

“Domažlice is a lovely little town,“ are the words of a song from the region of Chodsko. And the song is right. Domažlice (428 metres above sea level, almost 11,000 inhabitants), located only 16 kilometres from the German border is a traditional centre of the Chodsko region. Famous villages of Chodsko – Klenčí, Postřekov, Újezd, Trhanov or Draženov are situated at the foothill of Čerchov (1,041 metres) which is a part of the Bohemian Forest. It is not far from Domažlice.

The original settlement on the old country trail was mentioned already in the 10th century. In the 60s of the 13th century, under the reign of Přemysl Otakar II, the settlement became a town. At that time the fortification was built and it was partly preserved until the present.

During the Hussite period Domažlice was on the side of the Taborites. At the famous Battle of Domažlice in 1431 the crusaders were defeated – in fact they ran away before the battle. In the year 1618 the wing represented by the town of Domažlice joined the revolt of the Bohemian Estates. During the Thirty Years’ War Domažlice was badly damaged and declined. Only in the 19th century its development slowly started.

The Munich Agreement from 1938 had a very negative effect also on the region of Domažlice. The town itself remained under the Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia, many villages however became a part of the Great German Empire. The liberation was brought by the American army in May 1945. The joy of freedom however did not last long – in the year 1948 the borders were closed and the iron curtain was launched for a long period of forty years. Only November 1989 brought a desired release.

A round late-Gothic tower which was also a part of the defensive system, dominates the town. It is 56 metres high and has three bells in a belfry which is on the very top of the tower. In its vicinity there is a Gothic Dean’s Church of St. Mary, rebuilt in a Baroque style in the 18th century. The Lower Gate also dates back to the period of the original fortification. The main square is long and we can find here many merchants’ houses from the 14th–16th century as well as a pseudo-Renaissance town hall from the year 1891.From Chodský hrad Castle, established by Přemysl Otakar II there is only an original tower that remained. Later the castle was rebuilt in a Baroque style and now it serves as the -Chodsko regional museum. Worth mentioning is also the Augustinian monastery with a church which was originally Gothic, later rebuilt in a Baroque style.

The historical centre of Domažlice is a Historic Town Reserve. Each year in August the Festival of Chodsko region takes place in Domažlice.

The congregation of the Evangelical Church of Czech Brethren (ECCB) in Domažlice was established after World War I within a framework of so called conversion movement when many Catholics influenced by the mood of that time were leaving the Catholic church. Thanks to the tireless work of a minister Karel Machotka the preaching stations in Domažlice, Kdyně, Staňkov and in Kout were established. In the year 1923 these preaching stations formed a congregation with a seat in Domažlice. In the year 1924 a building was bought and rebuilt into a congregation house with a flat for the minister. This building served the congregation for many years. Its members spent here a hard time of World War II which also brought life losses in a revolt group. Miloš Bič, minister of a congregation in Domažlice was imprisoned in a concentration camp during the war.

After the war the congregation in Domažlice was strengthened by the Czech and Slovak Protestants. Minister Miloš Bič was called on to the Evangelical Theological Faculty in Prague where he worked as a senior lecturer and later as a significant professor.

The idea to built their own church in Domažlice appeared already before World War II. A lot above the town park was already purchased. Nevertheless, the construction was realized as late as in the years 2007–2008. The congregation members decided to realize the wish of their fathers and they built a new church in a Modernist style according to the architectural design of architect Schejbal and Z. Wolf. An impressive building was built, set in the green area of a park, with a big light house of prayer, with a flat for a preacher and with a small sweetshop for public. A bell from a deserted church in Rokytník in east Bohemia was placed on the tower of a new church. On the 29th of November 2008 the first ceremonial Divine service was served. In the same year this church was declared a “Building of the year in the Pilsen Region“.