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History of the Town Rokytnice v Orlických horách

Preserved archive records do not contain exact information on the genesis of Rokytnice. Its beginnings can be dated to the turn of the 13th and 14th centuries when the then owners of the estate, the Lords of Rychnov, started to colonise this area, which was rich in timber. The first record on the then settlement of charcoal-burners dates back to 1318. Having been separated from the estate of Rychnov, an independent manor came into being in 1487, a core of a prospective estate of Rokytnice. In 1548 the estate is purchased by the Liceks of Rýzmburk and later on, in 1567, it was possessed by Joachim Mauschwitz of Armeruh. Under their reign Czech language became less and less frequented in everyday life, nevertheless, the Mauschwitzs had merit in a rapid development of crafts on the whole territory of the estate. In 1627 Jan Mikuláš baron of Nostitz bought the estate. The Nostitzs stimulated further colonisation of the estate and founded many new settlements. The personality of Otto Nostitz deserves to be highlighted for he bestowed 13 important privileges on the town in 1651. Since 1712 also several Jewish families lived in the town, they had their own detached lane and a fragment of their cemetery has come down too. During the whole period of the Nostitzs´ rule over Rokytnice the influx of German-speaking inhabitants was growing in numbers, especially craftsmen from the region of Kladsko and Silesia were settling here. The railway connected Rokytnice with the inland in 1906. After the genesis of the Czechoslovak Republic the German-speaking population rejected the idea of their affiliation to the new state and therefore a Czech army had to intervene. After 1918 the coexistence between the Czechs and the Germans was developing relatively peacefully until Adolf Hitler assumed the power in Germany. With the strengthening influence of nazism the old unhealed wounds ached anew. This culminated with the Munich Agreement and an incorporation of this area in Germany in October 1938 and almost the whole Czech minority left the region then. Rokytnice was returned to Czechoslovakia only after the end of WW2 in context of which a transfer of German-speaking population was organised. After the communist coup d´état in February 1948 Rokytnice was administrated according to the principles of socialism, which brought about a total decline of crafts development in the area. Rokytnice was badly afflicted with events of August 1968 when the town was occupied by Polish troops, which were replaced by the Soviet Army later on. After 1989 quick negotiations on its transfer took place and the army retreat was accomplished in March 1991. Since 1991 Rokytnice has been striving namely for development of light industry and a great deal of effort has gone into the tourism promotion in the region. Numerous bus-lines operate in the region and guarantee the accessibility of even the remotest parts of the Orlické Mountains right from Rokytnice v Orlických horách.