Horní Čermná

Horní Čermná

Horní Čermná can be found in the eastern part of the Pardubice Region, to the north of Lanškroun. It is situated in beautiful, wooded countryside in Podorlicko region at an altitude of 421 metres. It is a typical valley village: around 1,500 people live in the valley which is 7 kilometres long. The first mention of Čermná is from the 14th century when it was inhabited by the German colonists. At this time the domain belonged to the diocese in Litomyšl. In 1421 the Hussites conquered Litomyšl and since then the Czech population which professed the Hussite faith and later also the faith of the Unity of Brethren, has prevailed. In the land register of 1536 the records are mostly in the Czech language. The bell of today‘s Roman Catholic Church has got Czech inscription and inscribed the year 1536. The family of Kostkas of Postupice bought the domain in the 15th century and they also supported the Utraquist faith. However, things changed in 1620 after the Battle of the White Mountain. Charles of Lichtenstein became the new owner of the domain. He performed, with the help of Jesuits, hard counter-Reformation measures. Many Protestants from Čermná left to live abroad in the early 18th century. Some of them found their home in German Rixdorf (a part of Berlin), others learnt about the foundation of the Restored Unity of Brethren in Herrhut (Ochranov in Czech) in Saxony and moved there. Those who remained, became the witnesses of the Toleration Patent by Joseph II in 1781.

The history of Čermná is closely linked with the history of the local Protestants, however, there were differences: the upper part of the village was Protestant, the lower part was Catholic. Čermná was divided into the Upper and Lower Čermná in 1935. The Protestant Reformed congregation in Čermná was founded in 1784 together with a preaching station in Čenkovice where the German Protestants predominated. At first divine service was held in a barn and soon, as the number of believers was increasing, it was necessary to find another solution. The first house of prayer was built in 1786 and the rectory two years later.

In the thirties of the 19th century the original toleration house of prayer was not suitable anymore. After all the debates there was the only solution: to build a new house of prayer. The foundation stone was laid on the 18th of July, 1836. The construction of a one nave Neo-Classicist house of prayer was led by M. Artct. At that time it was still required to comply with the rules of the toleration period: the building was not allowed to have a tower.

A new house of prayer was opened with ceremonial worship on October 28th, 1838. The tower was built in 1884 and bells were added later. All that remained was to build a new rectory and this was completed in 1894. After the formation of the Evangelical Church of Czech Brethren, the congregation in Horní Čermná became a member of it and shared their common destiny.

The Second World War profoundly affected lives of the village and the congregation. After the German occupation in 1938, the Czech village of Horní Čermná became a part of the Greater German Empire. Preaching stations were cut off and the members of the congregation were separated. Liberation in 1945 brought new hope to all. It did not last very long...

Despite it, people in Čermná had the courage to overhaul the church in 1968. In later years, especially after November 1989, repairs continued. The result of these repairs is a beautifully decorated interior of the church, renewed decoration of the apse, pulpit and the installation of the precious organ which dates back to 1858. In the nineties of the last century there was a generous reconstruction of the rectory. Old Protestant families live in Horní Čermná almost from time immemorial. Their meetings are always a great event.