The town of Vsetín in the heart of Wallachia is situated in the Hostýn-Vsetín Upland), 345 metres above sea level. It lies in the valley of the Vsetín Bečka river and in the surrounding hills and has the population of 28,500 people.

Its history is not very cheerful. The first records date back to 1308. Later, a gradual colonization began, similarly as in the other parts of the region. Where there is a castle today, a fortress used to be built in the middle of the 15th century to defend the trading path to the region along the Váh river. At the time of Arkleb of Víckov in the late 16th century, the fortress was changed into a Renaissance castle with a frontal tower. After his death in 1608, his wife Lucretia married Albrecht of Wallenstein who became an owner of the whole domain and kept it till 1623. He played a very harmful role in the Wallachian rebellion at the beginning of the 17th century. The uprising which also became the fight for religious freedom of the Protestants led by Jan Adam of Víckov spread all over Wallachia. The Vsetín castle witnessed the disgraceful end of the uprising in 1627. The fight, however, did not stop, and in 1644 another rebellion was crushed bloodily. Hundreds of rebels were executed in Vsetín, the town was plundered and burnt down and the Jesuits started a severe recatholization.

Later Vsetín was seized by the Turks and the Tatars. In 1708, the town was ravaged by the kurucs, soldiers of the Hungarian count Rákoczy. The town was also affected by the epidemics. Its miserable inhabitants had a lot of difficulties to get over all these disasters but better times did not come until the middle of the 18th century. The first industries began to appear in Vsetín in the 19th century when Thonet, a furniture company producing bent-wood furniture was established here, and textile, glass and woodprocessing industries started to develop. The industrial and cultural development of the town continued in the 20th century, too. But World War II brough heavy losses to Vsetín. Partisans, helped and supported by local people, were hiding round about. In 1944, Nazis shot dead Josef Sousedík, the town‘s mayor. Vsetín celebrated its 700th anniversary in 2008.

Interesting sights can be found in the Upper Square. Dominating the square, there is a Reneissance castle with its 55-metre-high tower, later rebuilt in a Classicist style and changed into a Museum of the Wallachian Region. The Roman Catholic Church of the Annunciation of the Virgin Mary is an early Baroque building while the Town Hall dates back to the year 1721.

Continuing the Wallachian folklore traditions, Vsetín lives a rich cultural life. Zdeněk Kašpar, a bandmaster of a dulcimer band, and Jarmila Šuláková, a famous singer, both have been given an honorary citizenship.

The history of the Protestant congregations in Vsetín is closely connected with the town‘s history. In 1777–1781 (after the issue of the false Toleration Patent), the Wallachian rebellion, in spite of being crushed by force, still continued. In 1780, the Vsetín Protestants handed over their petition requiring religious freedom directly to Joseph II who was staying in the town at that time. The Toleration Patent was issued a year later.

There are two Protestant congregations in Vsetín. “The Lower Congregation“ professed the Augsburg confession and their congregation was officially established in 1782. In the beginning, the Protestants met in a barn, later at a school. The foundation stone of their house of prayer was laid in June 1782 and it was consecrated a year later. At the same time, the rectory was built which was used till 1903 when the congregation built a new Neo-Renaissance one. Although the congregation was not eager to replace the house of prayer by a new church, in 1881–1882 the original house of prayer was rebuilt in a Neo-Romanesque style including the tower. Galleries were made but the inside equipment and the organ were provided later.

”The Upper Congregation“ was founded in 1785 based on the decision of those Protestants who preferred a Reformed religion. At first the Reformed Protestants used the “Lower“house of prayer but in 1827 the “Upper” Neo-Renaissance house of prayer was built following the toleration rules. Later it was rebuilt according to architect’s Dušan Jurkovič and Vsetín architect’s Quis architectural design. The house of prayer has a decorated front with a little tower. Its interior has been changed several times, too. The house of prayer was opened on the 6th of January, 1928. The new congregation house dates back to 1983.