Hotzenplotz, Silesia (Osoblaha, Moravia, CZ)

Hotzenplotz, Silesia (Osoblaha, Moravia, CZ)
(50° 17´ N; 17° 43´ E)

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Hotzenplotz was formerly in Bezirkshaupmannschaft Jägerdorf. Was Bezirksgericht, Ortsgemeinde, and Post. Now called Osoblaha or Osoblaga, in district Krnov, Moravia.  Some 1500 inhabitants.  A town with a castle and palace, rest of fortification wall. Populated by Germans until 1946.

A site discussing Hotzenplotz's genealogy from 1612 to 1745. *new*

Almost completely (80%) destroyed in 1945.

Around 25th of March, 1945, the frontline was at Hotzenplotz. The german 68th Division came there from the Tillowitz Forest, Oppeln, and then southward to Hotzenplotz. Tank battles between the German and Russian troops from May 17th to May 25th, 1945 devastated Hotzenplotz, and neighboring villages.

Here are some pictures of Osoblaha .

And here is a picture of Hotzenplotz

Following is the excerpt of OTTUV SLOVNIK NAUCNY (OTTO's Universal Encyclopaedia of Knowledge) that appeared in 1888 - 1908 in Prague.  Today a CD-ROM replica is being published

OSOBLAHA (Hotzenplotz), a town and moravian enclave in Silesia, on the osoblaha river and on the railway Tremesna - Osoblaha, in political district of Krnov (Jaegerndorf). 353 Houses, 2803 German inh., as township 410 Houses and 3395 German inh. (1890). Circuit Court, Comissariat of the Fiscal Patrol, Customs Office, postoffice, Telegraph, a wonderful deacon's church of St. Mary Magdalena, a  church of St. Niclaus at the graveyard, 5 grade primary school and 3 grade town's school Bürgerschule - for children between 11-14), School for Girls and Boys (?), Hospital, Drugstore (Apotheke), Saving Bank (Sparrkasse), Sugar Mill, Matches Works,Hossiery Mill, Production of candles, soap, alcohols, 5 grain mills and Yearly markets.In the region production of lace works and cottonware.

The region of Osoblaha belonged to Moravia (Duchy of Opava, Fürstentum von Troppau) even in the oldest times, as a proprietory of the Diecesis of Olomouc. When the Opavian Duchy was removed from Moravia and became a part of Silesia, the bishop's estates stayed with Moravia and were recorded in the Moravian Land Registers ( Land und Hof Tafel von Mähren). They formed a part of the Province of Olomouc or Prerov. (Olmützer oder Prerauer Kreis). In 1850 all Moravian enclaves in Silesia were subordinated in administration and jurisdiction to Opava,the capital of the Austrian Silesia. On the other side, the taxes and duties are turned over to Moravia and the inhabitants of the enclaves vote one representative to the Moravian Council (Parliament).

Osoblaha was a town allready in the 12th century, in 1389 the bishop Niclaus gave the inhabitants the right of extinction, i.e. the property of the deceased burghers can be inherited by his descendants. The bishop Vaclav Kralik in 1415 allowed all incoming tradesmen and craftsmen to become the bourghers of the town. A jewish community was established here in that time.

Provided by the courtesy of Karel Kysilka <>

Economic and Traffic Situation in the region of Osoblaha (Hotzenplotz) in the 19th Century

Author: Vladimír Nejez in: Vlastivìdné listy 2/1997, Opava 1997

Osoblaha was a Moravian enclave in Silesia. It played a very important role in trade between Moravia and Silesia, but after the misfortunate loss of the most of Silesia by Maria Theresia in 1742, the trading contacts were substantially limited either by import/export duties or by frequent closure of frontier crossings, since both countries, Austria and Prussia were in permanent hostility.

Osoblaha had linked two important towns - the neighboring Leobschütz (Glubczyce-Hlubèice) and Neustadt (today Prudnik), but this road lost its previous importance, because it crossed twice the new border and the customs barriers limited the traffic. A new "Kaiserstraße" was therefore built, connecting Troppau (Opava) - Jägerndorf (Krnov) - Olbersdorf (Albrechtice) - Röwersdorf (Tøeme?ná) - Bartelsdorf (Bartultovice) - Neustadt (Prudnik), but this road did not touch the region of Osoblaha, only on its western edge.

So it happened, that Osoblaha was not connected with the rest of the state and the technical progress did not support the development of the town.

Only three more or less industrial enterprises were established in Osoblaha: the town's slaughter works (from 1813), distillery (1816) and a sugar factory (est. 1859). Its equipment was up-to-date that time and Osoblaha's sugar works belonged to three best sugar factories in Austrian Silesia. The total employment was 250 people, mostly season workers. The sugar factory was dependent on deliveries of raw sugar beet from over the border - from Prussia, since in the region it was planted only sporadically. This fact together with a low efficiency led to the end of existence of the factory after the creation of Czechoslovakia in 1921/1922 . The distillery was connected with the sugar factory and produced rum and sweet liqueur "Rosoglio". Besides that, the industrial character at the beginning of the 20th century had only a match factory, where some 40 people were employed. The Match-stick factory was closed before 1918 as well. Other production activities were only of trade/artisan character: knitting, weaving, making of bobbin-lace, soap cooking and production of candles. There used to be mills on each creek.

The most important source of subsistence for most people was the mentioned lace-bobbing that developed in the 17th century already and the earning from it helped the people to overcome the crisis that followed the 30 years war. The lace- bobbing was in nearly each house, and employed more that 1000 people altogether - including the traders. The lace-work was exported to many countries of middle Europe. In 1906 a special school for the producers was opened in Osoblaha, lasting until the WW2. But already in 1920s this home-work was falling down due to cheap exports from the Far East, mainly Japan.

The main pre-condition to attract the local industry was the existence of traffic connection. As we mentioned already, this was the biggest disadvantage of the Osoblaha region in the 19th century. The only possibility for transport were either own horse/ox team or the post coach. And Osoblaha was connected with the rest of the country only by mud-drives. The post-expedition was established in 1836, the post office was arranged in 1860. Its seat was in Obergasse No. 7, there were 7 horses in the stable. After 1872 the connection with the railway station in Tøeme?na (Röwersdorf) on the main rail-road Jägerndorf - Neisse was twice a day. The second post line was organized once a day to Raclavice (Deutsch Rasselwitz, today Raclawice Slaskie) over the border in Prussia with rail connection to Upper Silesia and Breslau (Lower Silesia).

The local sugar factory in Osoblaha requested the direct rail connection with the beet areas in Prussia to build a local rail-road to Raclavice, but the Austrian Ministry of Railways refused it and instead recommended to built a local rail-way from Osoblaha, through Tøeme?na to Albrechtice. This rail-road was finished and opened in 1898. Two interesting things should be mentioned: The gauge of the rail-road to Osoblaha is only 105 cm, since the Ministry did not allow the normal gauge (1457 cm ? KK) . And second thing - Ministry in general allowed only such a rail-road, if the total length is at least 20 km (question of efficiency of the traffic). The air-distance between Osoblaha and adjacent point on the main rail-way was only 10 km. So the road was planned in so many curves, in order to reach those 20 km (total length is 20,2 km). Until now the ride is very slow (nearly one hour) but picturesque and romantic. Even after 1918 the town council requested to build a connection to Raclavice, but they never succeeded due to high costs and the unsafe political situation in 1930s.

The railway is still in operation, mainly with the passenger's traffic. The transportation of goods is organized mainly in the night. The re-loading of wagons is solved by changing of undercarriages in Tøeme?na. This way is in fact a technical sight-seeing ( another narrow gauge rail-way is in South Bohemia only), is kept in a very good stand and the railway stations and the countryside recall old rail-roads, known from American westerns.


Chronicle of Osoblaha. (Tom I - IV) Town Council Osoblaha.
Christ A.: Geschichte der Stadt Hotzenplotz. Osoblaha 1926.

Translated via the courtesy of Karel Kysilka <>

See also Osoblaha under Information about the municipalities: Bruntál district.

Hotzenplotz History

In the year 1037 would Moravia and part of Upper Silesia be conquered back by Bratislav, the Bohemian Duke (Herzog). To beat back the Polish raids he had forts built on the east border. It may have been at this time that Hotzenplotz, the Schlossberg by Neuwald (the hill by Belchenkoppe), further Jägerndorf, Lobenstein, Troppau, Grätz, Leobschiltz, Neisse, and Glatz had mountain castles, also called glass castles (burgen) or slaughter castles (Schlachtenburgen) "verfehen" were. (A desrciption of these castles was to be read in the Nordmarkkalendar of 1920.)

The first record, dated 1160, des Gaues (pagus) Uzablaz was the most northern point of the Bistum Olmütz. (That must be the Slavic name for Hotzenplotz, like now Osoblaha.) Brunno von Schaumberg became Bishop of Olmütz in 1245, by order of Pope Innocent IV. Being a northern Bishop originating in the Lübeck region, he started the reconstruction of the Hotzenplotz landship. He called out settlers from his northern region to populate the landship. Thus already in 1260 the city was rebuilt with walls surrounding it. By 1270 the gate towers were finished. Thus 1255 is given as the birth year of Hotzenplotz!


  1. Erinnerungsblätter herausgegeben anlässlich de 10. Jahrestages der Zerstörung und der Siebenhundertjahrfeier der Gründung der Stadt und Enklave Hotzenplotz, Franz Blaschke, Priest of Hotzenplotz, 1955.
  2. Geschichte der Entstehung und Entwicklung des Bezirkes Hotzenplotz (Mähr. Enklave), von Adolf Christ, Circuit School Inspector, (between 1920 and 1940).

Bilder Kreis Jägerndorf *new*

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