An ancient townlet situated on both banks of Volyňka River. The same as hundreds of years ago also today all people travelling from Strakonice to Vimperk go through Volyně which is due to its location called a "Gate of the Šumava Mountains". It would be such a pity just to pass the town without stopping to see what is hidden inside. Even for a minute to have a look at the Renaissance Town Hall Building with arcades and tower. Or to spend here a beautiful and peaceful evening and see over the fortress, Municipal Museum, Jewish cemetery and other charming sights.
Those, who spend in Volyně more days, will certainly go on trips to surroundings. Not only the castle Helfenburk but also a village Zechovice and so on (surroundings). The visitors will not miss also cultural events.
From the history of the town is interesting a number of years long dispute concerning import of salt and payment of toll with a town of Písek which Volyně finally won. Success in this dispute gives evidence of economic importance of Volyně already in the past (you will find more in the chapter History)
The history of Volyně
The ancient history of the settlement on the left bank of the river Volyňka is veiled in mystery. A new centre of the whole region began to develop in the area of Volyně after the neighbouring fortress Němětice had collapsed. A small fortification arose then, later replaced by a stone building, which can be seen today. At the end of the century, in 1299, Volyně was mentioned for the first time in written records as Prague's Metropolitan Capitul of St. Vit's estate. Another significant evidence on the life of Volyně townsfolk is given in a charter from 5 March 1390, in which Probst Petr from Janovice restored and enlarged the town's privilegies. A change of ownership of the estate in the 15-th Century, when Volyně became the property of the Order the Knights of St. John of Jerusalem, did not disturb the peaceful life of local people, who continued to dwell in wooden houses around the square.
One of their worries was a long-lasting dispute with the town of Písek on the import of salt and toll payment. Settlement of the argument in Volyně's favour shows the economic importance of the town and citizens' s rights as a third estate in Czech lands. In the first half of 17 Century, when the town comes back to the pledge of the Metropolitan Capitul, the Thirty Year War did not avoid Volyně either. Taxes were collected by force and supplies for the military drained the town's treasury. There was great damage to property and records from 1656 show 119 inhabited, 30 damaged and 5 totally destroyed houses. In the following decades more foreign armies went through the town, which suffered from poor harvests and hunger, Black Death in 1713 and from floods in 1775, 1779 or 1782.
A very significant chater of Volyně history was written by the French army dwelling here in 1742. Many French soldiers died in this cruel winter and were buried in the church, cemetery and in the mas-grave in Podolí, near to the St. Mary the Virgin Chapel. Worse still, a military cook set up fire by his negligence, which swept through almost the whole town. In the 19 Century, the look of the town began to change. In the 1830-s there were red-tiled roofs only on the church, former fortress and two single-storey houses. Twenty years later, sewerage tunnels were set up and the square was paved, the town expanded over its ramparts, new houses were built. The second skin-processing factory was built in 1872, the Public Hospital was finished in 1885 and eight years later the railway from Strakonice to Vimperk was opened for traffic.
New buildings of the Civic school appeared in the early 1900 and since 1933 Volyně has been very proud of its Secondary Technical School.
The walk around city
Brief information on the town´s history cannot replace a walk, which we can set out on from the square in front of the Rennaissance Town Hall with sgrafito decorations from A.D. 1927 - A Marian Column from 1768 with St. Josef, Barbora, John the Nepomuk and St. Florián statues are in the middle. Strolling through a narrow lane we come to the Decanal All Saints Church, founded in early 1400. The fortress underwent many changes to achieve its current appearance, which dates to the 16-th Century. The fortress houses the Municipal Museum now. A former significant Jewish community is evident from the cemetery, founded in the beginning of 18-th Century on the outskirts of the town. The Church of the Transfiguration can be seen on the top of a wooded hill Malsička in the South-West of the town. Stop for a while at the grave of Father Václav Čeněk Bendl, a friend of the famous Czech writer Božena Němcová. Crossing the square to the opposite side of the town we reach Královice Hill, where a neo-Gothic Chapel of the Quardian Angel is set among trees. It was built according to the design of Volyně-born Josef Niklas. Enjoy a splendid view of the town spread before us.
Now let's return to the river Volyňka, jumping with trout and walk in the meadows, smelling of hay. Or set out to visit Bethan hill studded with rare plants or to wander through the forest, picking mushrooms, wild strawberries and billberries. One cannot fail to be enchanted by this place.
Surroundings of Volyně
The settlement was founded in 13 Century around the fortress, owned by the family Česticove. An early - Baroque palace from the second half of 17 Century, now used as a school, was restored in 18 Century and enlarged in 19 Century.
The village was declared a town in 1535. There is a palace from 19 Century, reconstructed in neo-Gothic style and a church of St. Mary Magdalena, built in early-Gothic style in late 13 Century and rebuilt in 1789 and a synagogue from 17 Century.
This settlement arose in 13 Century around the fortress of the family Koc from Dobrš. The family Kafka of Říčany held it from A.D. 1615 and the family Altham from 1690 til 1707. The Gothic fortress was destroyed in 1421 and reconstructed in 1561. Nowadays it ruins. The Church of Virgin Mary Announcement, formerly built in Romanesque style, dates to 13 Century. Its nave was made in 1561 by T. Červený (Rossi) of Mendrisia.
The village is situated in the North of Volyně and is known as a summer resort. Zdeněk Troška, the famous film director, was born here and he situated some of his stories to this place.
Famous for several houses and farms built in Rustic Baroque in 19 Century by Jakub Bursa of Vlachovo Březí.
The former Rennaissance castle was owned by the family Hodějovský of Hodějov until 1650. Josef Zítek, the architect and designer of the National Theatre and Rudolfinum in Prague, owned it in 19 Century. There is a park around the castle, founded in 1660.
Very rich fronts of country houses, built in Rustic Baroque by the mason and artist Jakub Bursa from Vlachovo Březí.
A church of St. Jakub, formerly built in early-Gothic style, rebuilt in 1884. Josef Zítek's grave is in the local cemetery.
The village with a fortress is first mentioned in 1348. A small Rennaissance castle was rebuilt in 1670-1675.
This village is first mentioned in 14 Centrury. Several country houses with fronts, decorated in Rustic Baroque by Jakub Bursa of Vlachovo Březí, have survived.
The village with several country houses with wonderfully decorated fronts in Rustic Baroque from 19 Century, built by masons Matěj Turek and František Křišťan.