THE TOWN OF KRAVARE
The town of Kravare is situated in the alluvial plain of the river Opava, elevated 237 m above sea level. It is distanced 13km South from polish borders and 9km East from the town Opava. The historical region of the Upper Silesia where the Town of Kravare is situated, is now named Hlucinsko. This area has a distinct past, and includes almost 30 villages with individual and cherished characteristic dialect, folk costumes and customs.
Kravare first appears in historical documents in 1224. The village called Kouty, a town district of Kravare today, is first mentioned in 1238, and the third town district of Kravare called Dvorisko is mentioned in the 2nd half of the 18th century. Between 1224-1263 Kravare became the domain of the popular Benesovic dynasty (originally from Benesov u Prahy), whose aristocratic epithet was ‘the Messieurs of Kravare’. This family, who also owned Helfstyn, Fulnek, Stary Jicin, Plumlov and Straznici, were the wealthiest people in Moravia from the 13th to 15th Century. Their coat of arms forms the basis of the town symbol of Kravare - an infolded dart. The Benesovics built a keep in the 2nd half of the 13th Century. The last inhabitant from the powerful Benesovic dynasty was Petr Straznicky, who was sold the family property in line with his Hussite beliefs in 1420.
The next prominent owner of Kravare region was Polish aristocrat and doctor, Michal Sendivoje from Skorska, who obtained the domain as a result of the thirty year war in 1630 due to his close contacts with the imperial family, where he acted as an alchemist through the empire of Rudolf II. Sendivoje’s daughter Veronika married Mr Jakub Eichendorff after her father’s death in 1636 and with this marriage commenced another important period of Kravare’s history. In 1721-28 Jan Rudolf Eichendorff renovated the chateau (at the same site as the old mansion) in the high baroque style strongly influenced by Hildebrandt (an architect who was presumably one of many successful architects of the time originating from Vienna), which we can still admire today even after the wildfire, which befell the chateau in 1937. The Eichenforff dynasty owned Kravare chateau until 1782, when they sold it to repay their financial debts. They were the last prominent family to inhabit the château.
In 1742 the Austrian empress Marie Terezie lost the Silesia region (including Kravare and Kouty) to Prussia following the end of the war between the two Empires. This included the whole county of Hlucinsko which was ceded to Prussia. Dvorisko, which is situated ’across the river’ (Hlucinsko has it’s historical border at the river in Opava), remained part of Austria. The area of Hlucinsko was not merged back to what was then Czechoslovakia until1920, although in 1938 the area fell victim to the Nazi occupation and once more became part of the German Empire for a few short years. 1960 was another milestone in Kravare’s modern history, when neighbouring villages Kouty and Dvorisko merged together to form the town of Kravare. Since 2003 Kravare has gained authoritative responsibility for nine nearby villages - Bolatice, Chuchelne, Koberice, Kravare, Rohov, Strahovice, Sudice, Stepankovice a Trebomi.