About Nové Hrady
Nové Hrady is a small historical town in the Czech Republic (Central Europe) in the South Bohemia Region. The town is situated only two kilometers from the Czech-Austrian border and 170 km from the capital city of Prague. Thanks to many historical monuments, rich cultural program, quality accommodation services and pure nature of Novohradské mountains is the town popular destination for Czech and foreign tourists. In the town and surrounding villages live about 2600 inhabitants. The name Nové Hrady (New Casteles in English translation) refers to guarded castle built int the 13th century on the borders of the Czech kingdom. From the Czech name was later evolved also the German name Gratzen.
The first written remark of Nové Hrady dates from 1279, but the castle and the settlement is likely to be older, since four years later it is known as a town. In the Middle Ages, the main purpose of the town was guarding the frontiers and trade routes going from Austria to the Czech inland.
In 1359 the town bought the manor genus Rožmberkové (Rosenbergs), who were at that time till the end of 16th century the second most significant Czech family in the kingdom after the royal family. In the 15th century town and the castle were damaged during the Hussite wars and natural disasters.
Since 1620, the owners of the estate became Buquoy noble family, originating from northern France. After their permanent resettlement in Bohemia, Nové Hrady became their capital seat. During the period of their rule the town mostly prospered. Built new residence buildings, the monastery, the castle, but also nature parks and gardens.
The Golden Age of Nové Hrady experienced in the second half of the 18th and 1st 19th century, mainly due to Johann Nepomuk and George Franz Buquoy. Nové Hrady region has become one of the most industrialized areas of the Austrian Empire. Glass production was world-class especially for the invention hyalite (opaque type of glass which technology was lost). In this area also were invented and tested social and educational reforms, which were inspiration for Maria Theresa and Joseph II. Habsburg. George Franz Buquoy was an excellent scientist (mathematician, physicist, engineer, national economist) having friendly relations with the personalities of the current Arts and Sciences (J. W. Goethe, A. von Humboldt, J.C. F. Gauss, A. M. Ampere, P. S. Laplace).
At the end of the 19th century arose in town many groups, including firefighters, amateur theater, choirs and sports associations. Thanks to the state organization and societal moods occurred disagreements between the Czech-speaking minority and the German-speaking majority. After the First World War, Nové Hrady became a regular part of the newly established Czechoslovak Republic. National problem did not disappear and fully reflected in the Second World War, when most Czechs had to leave their homes in the border region.
After the war most of the German-speaking population, including families Buquoy had to leave the Czechoslovak Republic. The town for forty years found itself in isolation communist Czechoslovakia in sight of the impenetrable Iron Curtain.
After the Velvet Revolution in 1989 and re-opening of state borders, tourism, spiritual life and the desire to be a full part of a free Europe has returned to the town.
Nové Hrady has a pre-school (3-6 years) and a basic school, grade 1-9 (6-15 years).
Nové Hrady also hosts the Academy and University Center of Nové Hrady, a cooperation of the Czech Academy of Sciences and the University of South Bohemia, Faculty of Fisheries and Protection of Waters.
The Nové Hrady region supports several international companies and businesses that use the natural resources to create interesting products and provide significant local employment.
The Dobrá Voda brand (literally "Good Water") is part of the Poděbradka company; one of the largest producers of soft drinks in the Czech Republic.
Dobrá Voda has a modern factory south of Byňov, 5 km from Nové Hrady. It specializes in bottling natural and flavored mineral waters.
Rybářství Nové Hrady s.r.o. (Nové Hrady Fisheries Ltd)
The Nové Hrady Fisheries Ltd was established in 1993; its main activities are fish farming and geese breeding. In fish farming, it continues a tradition which dates back to the 13th century in the Nové Hrady region. Complementary activities include sport fishing, sale of ornamental fish species, earthworks, and transportation of fish.
Novohradský carp and Novohradská goose are popular flavored products. Farming continues on 330 lakes with a total area of 1,258 hectares. The company owns the only recognized breed of geese breeding in the Czech Republic.
Magna Cartech (MCT)
The international car and car parts maker Magna Cartech has a plant located in České Velenice (20 km from Nové Hrady). Magna International is one of the biggest suppliers of parts to automotive industry worldwide. Presently Magna International Inc. operates 229 production factories and 62 R&D centers with over 70,000 personnel in 23 countries worldwide.