Chrudim’s history of the 19th century

During the emperor Marie Terezie was ruling over the Habsburg monarchy in Central Europe Chrudim became the seat of a reorganized permanent regional office in 1751. A measure of economic revival resulted but the influx of German officialdom proved a drawback as it resulted in the gradual linguistic elimination of Czech, which then persisted into the 1860s. The first who started to revive Czech language was Josef Liboslav Ziegler, Doctor of Theology and a parish priest. He published and translate literary science works.

The first half of the 19th century finds Chrudim a quiet country town as yet unconnected by rail. Its main occupations were in textiles, tanning and agriculture. Chrudim had the first theatre building throughout the whole Czech countryside, which was opened in 1801. The significance of local theatre rose due to many famous musicians and theatre amateurs.

Revolutionary events of 1848 resulted in a new administrative reorganization, loss of the regional office and criminal court. Both were restored in 1855. There were two fires in Chrudim in 1850. The first one broke out on February when a tower of the church of the Assumption of Virgin Mary was struck by lightning which destroyed the roof. Church repairs were entrusted to architect Frantisek Schmoranz senior in 1857, who gave the church its present appearance. The second fire, the greatest disaster in modern history of the town, erupted on 6th August 1850. The conflagration damaged almost two entire suburbs.

Master builder Frantisek Schmoranz Sr. rebuilt and repaired many buildings in the town, especially Chrudim’s theatre which continued until 1929. In 1934 was opened the new theatre which bears Karel Pippich’s name. Dr. Pippich was a Chrudim lawyer whose other talents were playwright, musician, and dramatic art. He represented one of the most important personalities in the second half of 19th century in Chrudim’s culture, sport enlightenment and policy.

Continued growth of Chrudim occurred with the establishment of a railroad link in 1871, new town financial institutions, and numerous industrial enterprises. Chrudim did such improvement thanks to long-time town mayor Josef Klimes. At the end of Long-century Chrudim’s museum was built by Jan Vejrych in renaissance and baroque style. Another piece of art in architecture of historicism is situated on Masaryk’s square. The Wiesner’s villa is work by František Schmoranz Jr. who had more than Europe’s significance.

- by Michal K.