“Moravian Venice“ or “West-Moravian Athens“ are among numerous Telč nick names which best characterize the town, the centre of which was inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List in 1992. With its over 5,600 inhabitatnts, Telč lies in the southern part of the Czech-Moravian Highlands near the Jihlava Hills in 562 metres above sea level.
Telč was founded in the middle of the 13th century probably on the crossroad of two local trade routes in the basin of the Telč brook. A number of ponds which grew gradually on its winding stream created a unique urban water fortress, the area of which and its historical significance can still be seen today. Among the oldest monuments rank the late Romanesque tower, Gothic churches of St. Jacob and the Holy Ghost in the town centre, St. Mary’s Church in the Old Town, the remains of the rampart with the Romanesque tower and also the original castle. It was later rebuilt by its owners, the noblemen of Hradec, and turned into a magnificent chateau in the Italian Rennaisance style. The reconstruction was completed in the late 16th century by Zachariáš of Hradec, the most powerful member of the family. The arcade courtyard and rich interiors are still well-preserved and much-sought-after by visitors.
Along with the castle reconstruction the Telč square changed as well. Merchants together with Italian designers added arcades and thus gave it a unique Rennaisance character which was later combined with the Baroque facades. Baroque style in Telč is represented by a number of historical monuments, namely Church of the Name of Jesus, Jesuit College (today University Centre of Masaryk University in Brno) and Marian Column on the Square. At the turn of the 18th and 19th centuries Telč became also an industrial centre of the region (textile manufactory), however, still remained an important centre of culture and learning. In this respect it envisages its future even today.
Susceptible visitors go and see not only the town centre including the chateau park but visit also the Old Town with its unique character and view the town and its environs from Oslednice hill observation tower. From above they can see the Baroque Church of Jan Nepomucký nearby and the tower of much-visited Roštejn castle in the woods in the northwest. Not far from there, below the Javořice peak (837 m ) there is a holiday area with lakes Velký and Malý Pařezitý.
Immediately after the declaration of the Toleration Patent the Protestants from the nearby centre in Velká Lhota u Dačic could not get into the town which had been for decades influenced by Jesuit College. Despite that, at the end of the 19th century a great number of families which served as preaching houses of Lutheran and Reformed churches (since 1918 both under the Evangelical Church of Czech Brethren (ECCB) and prepared for the foundation of an independent congregation. Before that could happen, the Protestants acquired the Church of the Holy Ghost, which after its abolishment at the end of 18th century had served as a storehouse and later a theatre. After the purchase in 1922, the church was completely renovated in kind cooperation with the National Heritage Institute in Brno.
Beside this church, which houses also the Information Centre of the Reformation Heritage Project, the Telč ECCB congregation owns also a congregation house on the square where most regular congregation activities take place.
The Telč seat is not, however, the only place of the congregation activities. Its preaching stations can be found also in the towns of Dačice and Slavonice. Dačice, well-known, among others, for its beautiful Rennaisance tower, was in the 16th century a significant centre of the Unity of Brethren. Slavonice, which lies on the border with Austria, is a listed town with wonderfully preserved architectural monuments mainly in Gothic and Rennaisance styles.