Suchdol nad Odrou

Suchdol nad Odrou

Suchdol nad Odrou is a township, it lies in the district of Nový Jičín near the Moravian Gate and the Protected landscape area of Poodří and has around 2,500 inhabitants. The Kletenský brook flows through the village and pours into the river Odra. Although Suchdol is at an altitude of 272 metres there is quite a rough climate there because the country is opened towards the north. It lies on the once important amber route between Danube and Visla which led along the left bank of the Odra river. The Slavonic settlement from the 13th century was destroyed by the Tatars. Mostly German colonists began to arrive here in the 14th century. The lords of Kravaře owned the domain but the owners were frequently changed. The inhabitants of Suchdol and its surroundings underwent the biggest agony during the Thirty Years’ War. The imperial army, the Swedes and the Danish army were changing here. In 1624 a plague killed most of inhabitants. In 1653–1828 the Serenys family were the rulers of the domain. Another disasters came during the Napoleonic Wars.The soldiers were changing here again. After the unfortunate Battle of Slavkov (Austerlitz) they brought the typhoid into the region.

The post-White-Mountain period meant a religious persecution for the secret Protestants. Under the influence of Kristián David of Ženkláva the members of the Unity of Brethren in Suchdol and its surroundings decided to leave their homes and find a better place for living. They found such a place at Mikuláš Zinzendorf’s domain in the Upper Lusatia. He was a convinced Lutheran and he took care of these refugees. At his domain a town Ochranov (Herrnhut) was founded and a renewed Unity of Brethern was formed here on the 13th of August 1727. Thanks to their missionary activity they soon began to be widely known as the Moravian Brethren.

After the declaration of the Toleration Patent the secret Protestants who did not leave Suchdol confessed to their confession. In 1782 a congregation was established and a house of prayer was built soon.

In the later years the situation in the region calmed down slowly. Suchdol became an important railway station and a municipality was formed. After the foundation of Czechoslovakia there was a strong tendency to establish its own “Sudetenland“here. In the 1920s families of railwaymen and a few families from Zelow came here. After the Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia came into being, Suchdol became a part of the Great German Empire. Trains taking the prisoners to the concentration camps, were passing this railway station and after the war some of them were coming back in the same way. A memorial plaque at the railway station in Suchdol commemorates their suffering.

After the year 1945 new inhabitants began to come to the region, especially from the Wallachia region. The Germans had to leave the Republic. The congregation of the Evangelical Church of Czech Brethren was confirmed on the 20th of December 1946. The beginnings were hard. The later period connected with the collectivization of villages did not bring peace, either. The Protestants of Suchdol gathered in the rectory, in a congregation room. A big church which belonged to the German Lutheran Church before, was only lent to the congregation. There are two churches in Suchdol. The Lutheran church was built in the 1850s in a Neo-Classicist style by a significant Austrian architect Ludwig Förster. Only recently it was repossessed by the congregation. Today’s Roman Catholic St. Catherine’s Church from the 16th century was originally Protestant. There is even a memorial plaque saying that J. A. Komenský preached here between 1618–1621. Both churches as well as today’s Catholic parish from 1739 are rated among cultural monuments. The parish is however falling into disrepair. The railway station building belongs among the protected monuments, too. There are two museums in the town – Museum of Suchdol nad Odrou Municipality and Museum of the Moravian Brethren. This museum is managed carefully. The fate of the Unity of Brethren and its members is reflected here.

In 2008 the Protestants of Suchdol celebrated the 150th anniversary of their church. Thanks to the common effort from home and from abroad, today their church is a dignified place showing that “the time of churches is not over, yet.“