The town of Dačice is a natural centre of the easternmost part of South Bohemia. Thanks to its location there are also a number of services available in the town. As one of the oldest towns in the Czech-Moravian Uplands, it offers visitors a quiet atmosphere and fascinating historic structures. Dačice is surrounded by charming countryside that is ideal for walking or bike tours. Making the town even more attractive is its proximity to the border with Austria, the Bohemian Canada natural park, the Podyjí hiking area and other memorable places.
History and sights
Dačice is located near the borders of the former provinces of Bohemia, Moravia and Austria. The first written account of the town dates back to 1183. Originally a princely settlement situated at the crossroads of trade routes from Bohemia to Austria, it probably followed a previous settlement. The significance of the town grew with the advance of settlement in this part of Western Moravia. The old Slavonic estate at the ford over the Thaya River was transformed into a market village. In 1377, Dačice was already referred to as a town. In 1459, the tribe of Krajíři z Krajku from Korutany became the owners of the Dačice estate. The town of Dačice reached its climax during this period. Crafts and architecture flourished during the Renaissance period and the burghers of Dačice started building palatial houses. In the 16th century, the Krajíř tribe invited Italian builders who settled here and changed the austere Gothic face of the town with their work. The houses were given Renaissance gables, a new town-hall was built, as well as two chateaus, the tower of the St. Lawrence Church and a new town district around the chateau.
From a building point of view, Baroque was another significant period in the town of Dačice. But the town suffered disasters at the end of the 17 th century. First a pestilence struck the town and later a number of fires broke out, causing damage to its Renaissance and Baroque appearance. The most significant preserved Baroque monuments include the area of the Franciscan monastery with the church of St. Anthony of Padua, St. Mary’s statue in front of the new chateau, the St. Roch cemetery chapel and the church of St. Lawrence with the adjacent Renaissance tower, which is the dominant feature of the town.
In 1843 the town gained worldwide importance. The director of the local sugar refinery invented a way to manufacture sugar cubes that in its essence is still used today. This invention is displayed at the permanent exhibition in the Town Museum and in the Gallery. Even a small granite monument has been dedicated to the sugar cubes in Dačice; it is located near the centre and is one of the most attractive tourist sights.
The current time
Dačice today is a modern town. It contains shops, banks, small and large companies, elementary and secondary schools, a swimming pool, a modern sport hall, stadium and other cultural and sports facilities. The town takes care of its cultural heritage. In 1990, the town centre was declared an urban monument zone and efforts have been made to restore the sights. Cultural and sporting events are also an attraction for visitors. Musical and historical celebrations, a sculpture symposium, traditional fairs and theatre festivals take place here as well.