Krnov lies in the northeastern part of the Czech Republic and it is actually behind the mountains as if separated from the rest of the country by Hrubý and Nízký Jeseník. On the confluence of the rivers Opava and Opavice, a few kilometres from the Polish border this town lies at an altitude of 316 metres and has 25,000 inhabitants.
Krnov has an old and rich history. The town is already mentioned in the 13th century. It is an important crossroad of trade routes, it got a privilege of having the town walls, the torso of which we can see until now. In the year 1377 the then Principality of Opava was divided and the Principality of Krnov was established. This was the time when a colonization, mostly German began. At the beginning of the 16th century during the reign of the Hohenzollern of Ansbach dynasty a late Gothic prince residence with the Renaissance elements was built in Krnov. A chateau became a significant building dominating the town. Later Jan Jiří Krnovský took a governance over the principality. He participated in the revolt of the Estates and therefore his property was confiscated after the Battle of the White Mountain. In the year 1631 Karel of Lichtenštejn who was already an owner of the Principality of Opava bought also the Principality of Krnov. The dynasty of Lichtenštejn hold this area until 1945 when it was taken away by the Czechoslovak state.
The 19th century was a positive period for Krnov. A textile industry was developed and since the 1870s Riegr brothers’ organ production became known and later even world-wide famous. Many nice public buildings and also factory villas arose here. They were built by significant architects from the Austro-Hungarian Monarchy and also from Germany. In the period of the Munich Treaty in 1938 a majority of the inhabitants reported to the German nationality and during the Second World War Krnov belonged to the Great German Empire with all post-war consequences. In the year 1945 the town was bombed.
Unfortunately the 1970s and the 1980s as well as the period of the communist regime deprived Krnov of many valuable historical monuments. We mention a parish Church of St. Martin. Originally it was Gothic, in the 1780s it was rebuilt in a Baroque style. There are valuable Renaissance tombstones. St. Benedict’s Church is the oldest preserved building of this type in the Moravian-Silesian Region. Its foundations come from the 1st half of the13th century, the archaeological research revealed valuable wall paintings. The church belongs among cultural monuments. In a church at the Minorite monastery we find beautiful frescoes by Joseph Stern from the year 1765. Above Krnov in the hill Cvilín there is an old pilgrimage place with Our Lady of Sorrows’ Church and with the Way of the Cross. On the top of the hill there is also a look-out tower with beautiful views of surroundings.
The Protestant Church on today’s Hus Square is a three-nave Neo-Gothic building from the beginning of the 20th century. A plan according to the architect Franz Blasch was realized by builder Ernst Latzel; an organ comes from the local organ company Rieger and Klos. The church served the German Protestant church till 1945. After a departure of the German inhabitants it was used for some time by the Czechoslovak Hussite Church (CHC). The Evangelical Church of Czech Brethren congregation that took over the church was founded on the 1st of January 1949. In the 1970s the church could be reconstructed thanks to a big help and it was solemnly reopened on the 9th of July 1978. The Protestant church with its 52 metres high tower dominates Krnov and it is a spiritual home for a small but live congregation.
It is worth noticing that between the years 2008–2009 Krnov was declared “The Town of the Trees“ for its excellent way of taking care of the urban greenery.