Zvonková
A vanished village · Zvonková 141, Šumava National Park, 384 51 Horní Planá, Czech Republic
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The first church in the borderlands that was restored

Available in: English | Česky

Mrs. Emma Marx was born in a German family in Zvonková. In 1946, she and the other village residents had to leave their homes because the village was located in the border zone. Thus, the village gradually disappeared from the face of the earth. Marx had to wait for a long time to revisit her birthplace. When she could finally return in 1989, the former village was in a desolate state. The cemetery, as well as the Church, (whose tower had been used as an observation point by the border guard), was in a very poor condition. Marx recalls: “We stepped inside the church and it was a terrible sight. The roof of the church had collapsed, the walls were riddled by bullets and there was no inventory in the church at all.” The early 1990s saw the first attempts for a renewal of the pious places. The main organizer was Mr. Horst Vondráček from Linz, whose family originated in Zvonková as well. He was the first one to organize the restoration of the cemetery. The native village inhabitants who lived nearby on the Austrian and German side of the border got very actively involved in the work. They were helped by the pupils of a Czech school in Hořice and the employees of the administration of the military forests, (Vojenské lesy). The cemetery was cleared within a few months and the enthusiastic volunteers had to cut down over 300 trees. The restoration of the church followed suit. Marx stated that “Mr. Vondráček invested one hundred and sixty thousand shillings of his own money into the restoration of the church even though he didn't know if he’d ever get the money back. But the people were so happy that they could come back home that they readily contributed and thus the restoration of the church was done in 1992. It was the first church in the borderlands that was restored.”

Zvonková

Available in: English | Česky

The former German village of Zvonková was situated on the right bank of the Vltava River. In the interwar period, it counted a little over a thousand inhabitants living in three local parts of the village: Glöckelberg (Zvonková), Josefsthal (Josefův důl), and Hüttenhof (Huťský dvůr). After the end of WWII, the local German population was displaced. The location near the border became fateful for the village - most of the buildings were razed to the ground, (only the Church of Saint John of Nepomuk, a rectory and one house remained standing). A part of the former village was subsequently used as living quarters by the border guards.

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