Moraveč (Morawetsch)

Moraveč (Morawetsch)

A municipality Moraveč can be found in the western part of the Czech-Moravian Highlands in the area which is also sometimes called the Křemešník Highlands. Moraveč is located to the south of the road which connects Tábor and Pelhřimov, has 200 inhabitants and an altitude of 595 metres. For the prevailing unfavourable climatic conditions this area is called Czech Siberia. Even such an inaffable countryside was however inhabited in the past and is connected with an interesting history.

The region around Pelhřimov was owned by the princes of the Slavníkovec dynasty until the year 997 when they were exterminated by the Přemyslids. Želiv became a centre of the region. The owners of the domain were changing, similarly as it was also usual in other parts of Bohemia and Moravia. After the Battle of the White Mountain Emperor gave the whole area to the Prague archbishopric which owned it until the year 1848. The oldest record of Moraveč comes from the year 1379. The village developed gradually, the peasant houses arose around the village green. The damaging fires however occured here as well.

In the past the development of the municipality was depended on the religious matters. The region was Protestant but just the post-White-Mountain period brought a cruel change. Prague archbishopric started a recatholization process in which a priest Koniáš participated as well. The religious persecution took a long time but in Moraveč there were still many secret Protestants who chose the Reformed confession immediately after the declaration of the Toleration Patent.

In December 1783 the first minister Jan Szalatnay came to Moraveč from Hungary and a congregation could be established. Already on the 29th of February 1784 he had his first sermon in the barn of Jíra’s family. In the same year a wooden rectory was built, prepared a land for a cemetery and in the year 1785 a construction of a brick house of prayer according to valid toleration principles began. The house of prayer was consecrated on the 4th of November 1785. The inner equipment was in the line with usual way. In the year 1876 according to Pelhřimov builder Štěpán Walser’s plan a Neo-Gothic tower was additionally built. During further repairs the inscriptions with biblical verses from the year 1788 were restored. The rectory was being repeatedly rebuilt and today it is a part of the congregation life as well as the home for the preacher. In the local cemetery we can find the tombstones of his predecessors.

The life of Moraveč in the 19th century was influenced by a railway construction from Tábor to Horní Cerekev. The local people built their new houses for the money which they earned by building the railroad. During the period of the First Czechoslovak Republic various clubs and associations were being developed; such as the amateurish club and various important anniversaries were being commemorated thanks to the teachers of the Protestant school.

This favourable development was interrupted by World War II. The Jewish inhabitants of Moraveč did not come back home any more. The neighbouring village of Leskovice was burned down by the Germans at the end of the war. Among many victims there were as well members of the Moraveč congregation. Years were passing and after the year 1989 Moraveč became a modern and a prosperous municipality. Its congregation takes care of its predecessors’ heritage with respect and gratitude.