Not in vain Šumperk is called “the Gate to the Jeseníky Mountains“. The town is located in a nice valley of the river Desná at an altitude of 330 metres and has almost 28,000 inhabitants. In the surroundings of Šumperk there is a nice and varied nature with hills, valleys of the rivers and ponds. The spa Bludov offers a rest and also a possibility of rehabilitation; in Velké Losiny there is a remarkably well-preserved Renaissance castle which belonged to the Žerotín family and a manufactory for hand made paper production. The castle as well as the manufactory which is unique in the whole Europe, rank among national cultural monuments.
Šumperk was founded in the 13th century and soon it started to grow also thanks to the colonization. Precious metals were mined in the surroundings and a production of linen and cloth trade started to develop. Šumperk was a royal town, in the 16th century belonged to the Žerotín family who built a Renaissance family residence from the original castle. But later they transferred their residence to Velké Losiny.
In the history of the town the 17th century stands out as one of the most difficult periods. Because of supporting the revolt of the Estates in 1618 a town property was confiscated, the family of the Lichtenštejns became the lords of the town and its surroundings. A hard counter- Reformation came, the town was plundered by the Swedes and it burned down in 1669. The region of Šumperk was the most horribly affected by so called “witch processes“ in the 2nd half of the 17th century. By the Inquisition court the innocent people were accused of black magic, they were tortured and killed. Then 25 people died in this horrible way. The mayor and a local priest Lautner were among the victims, too.
Šumperk began to develop again in the 19th century. Then a textile production started to increase, noticeably local fabric were demanded home and also abroad. The owners of the factories built their houses according to the designs which the important Vienna architects participated in. At that time Šumperk was called a “Small Vienna“. A former Dominican monastery with the early Baroque the Annunciation of Our Lady’s Church (one of the most popular monuments in the town), a town hall with a look-out tower and with nice Baroque and Empire houses together with other historical monuments- a central part of the town create a Historical Town Zone.
The Art-Nouveau St. Jan Evangelista’s Church from the early 20th century is on the list of the Cultural monuments and it belongs to the Old Catholic Church.
In Šumperk there was mostly German population. After 1945 they had to leave and new settlers came in. The historical part of Šumperk declined, prefabricated houses were built as the industry grew. After the years, the town is slowly returning to its former beauty.
The Evangelical Church of Czech Brethren gained a church and a rectory from the German Protestant Church. A congregation was established in 1946. It consisted of Polish reemigrants and other new inhabitants who came to Šumperk in the postwar years.
The original German Augsburg congregation was founded in Šumperk in 1899. Before it was a part of the Olomouc-Šumperk congregation. A Neo-Gothic church in a shape of a cross was built on today’s Square of Liberty. It was designed by the architect Wenzel Knapek. The construction work was led by a local builder Josef Bayer. The church was consecrated in 1874. Originally it did not have a tower; it was added in 1908. There is a gallery in its wider rectangular part. A nice large rectory house create a complex with the church. It is interconnected by a garden. The church was thoroughly repaired at the end of the last century.