Blansko began as a settlement on the right bank of the River Svitava. The first written reference to it dates back to 1136, when its name appears in the Chronicle of the Canon of Vyšehrad as part of the Olomouc fief. Reports of a “New Blansko”, a settlement established on the opposite bank of the Svitava on the site where the Chateau now stands, come from the end of the 13th century. The two parts developed independently in administrative and economic respects up until 1526.
In 1580 Blansko was elevated to the status of market town. At the end of the 16th century it passed to
the Žalkovský family from Žalkovice. From the end of the 17th century the Blansko estate was held by
the Silesian Counts of Gellhorn, who established large-scale iron production here in 1698.
This tradition was then continued by the Salm-Reifferscheidt family which purchased the estate in 1766.
The first half of the 19th century was characterised by flourishing iron production and the production of artistic castings.
Construction of the important Česká Třebová – Prague railway line, built by the Italian company Tallachini from 1847 to 1850, was of huge importance to the further development of Blansko. Blansko become centre of a judicial district following the abolition of patrimonial administration at the end of the 1840s and land reform. An important date in Blansko’s history was its elevation to the status of town in 1905 under a decree by Emperor Franz Joseph I.
Blansko lies in the north of the South Moravian Region in the valley of the River Svitava on the boundary between the Drahany Highlands and the Highlands of Bohemia and Moravia around 30 km north of Brno. It currently has a population of around 21,000.
Extremely interesting exhibitions can be seen at Blansko Museum which is housed in Blansko Chateau.
The Chateau has recently been restored and has a deserved place among the highlights of the town. Other interesting monuments to be found in the town included a wooden church from Sub-Carpathian Ukraine and Saint Martin’s Church. The town boasts an excellent tourism infrastructure thanks, in part, to its close proximity to the Moravian Karst, which makes Blansko an attractive tourist destination.
Blansko is rightly known as a town of culture and sport. There are a number of sports clubs in the town and excellent facilities for all kinds of sport for amateurs and professionals alike. The recreation area with
the Palava reservoir serves visitors to the town and the local population, and offers mini golf, a sandy beach and a children’s playground. Blansko also has an ice stadium which changes into an artificial in-line skating centre in the summer months, an indoor swimming pool and a modern aquapark. The town also offers
a sauna, tennis and volleyball courts, a squash centre, a bowling hall, a skittle alley, a baseball ground and ski-tows in Hořice.
Those looking for culture will also find what they are after in Blansko. A number of interesting cultural and social events are held here during the course of the year. The town’s traditional events include a Historical Fair, Witch Burning, the series of concerts known as Music at Blansko Chateau, the Illumination of the Christmas Tree and New Year’s Fireworks. The most prestigious event in the town is November’s Welcoming of Saint Martin which attracts thousands of visitors every year. The doors of Blansko Town Gallery, which presents distinguished artists both famous in this country and internationally recognised throughout the year, are also open to you. You can also find private galleries in Blansko offering presentations of works of art that are no less distinguished.
The town is also home to a number of state institutions, while its industrial tradition continues to this day at
a number of concerns manufacturing a wide range of products from water turbines to motorcycles. The face of the town has been changing gradually in recent years and Blansko is becoming increasingly attractive to young families with children in particular. Several new children’s playgrounds have been created and the town is also seeing the regeneration of its housing estates, revitalised greenery in its parks, and the gradual repair of its schools, pavements and local roads.
In the future, Blansko can look forward to a fundamental transformation in connection with the study drawn up for the development of the centre of town.
Blansko is the ideal starting point for excursions into the surrounding area. You can find a tourist guide to the Blansko region and the Moravian Karst at www.blanensko.cz.