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Central Moravia during the Early and Late Middle Ages

Waves of Slavonic tribes kept coming to Haná region during 6th - 8th centuries. Sources describe Slavs as a healthy, tough, and very brave nation, bearing cold and pain very well.

The people are said to be tall, fit, strong, and very much skilled. During the first half of 9th century, a first state establishment is created in our region, Great Moravian Empire. After the arrival of Constantine and Method, the influence of Christianity grew, and number of churches increased. One of the most important basilicas used to be also in Olomouc, in today's Biskupské Square.

In the beginning of 10th century, upon the influence of nomadic nations' invasions, Great Moravian Empire fell apart and ceased, and the region becomes step by step a part of the Přemyslovci reign, alongside with the whole Moravia. In 1019, prince Oldřich entrusted Moravia to his son Břetislav's administration, who focused on army invasions to surrounding countries. Upon his death, Moravia was divided into three lots - Znojmo, Brno, and Olomouc, in which Břetislav's younger sons reigned, and their descendants respectively.

The first reference about Olomouc itself dates back to 1017, when a conversion of a small wooden fortress in a prince stronghold with a church and a merchant settlement began. In 1063, prince Vratislav restored Moravian episcopate in Olomouc.

The city of Olomouc grew further and it was fortified in 13th century, and a royal decree confirmed its official foundation. During this period, there are other important cities being founded in Central Moravia, such as Přerov, Prostějov, Uničov or Litovel. During 13th and 14th century, a colonization of vast areas is carried out; due to this colonization, property and power of many Moravian aristocratic houses grew, and they later on virtually took over the reign and decision-making.

In 1306, the last king of Přemyslovci, Václav III, when going with his army to Poland, was assassinated in the Bishop of Olomouc's seat. After the Přemyslovci monarchy became extinct, and after the following power battles, Luxembourg monarchy takes over the Czech throne and mainly royal cities experience great developments.

During the reign of Charles IV, his younger brother Jan Jindřich becomes a hereditary Moravian margrave. During his reign, Moravian municipal court was established, with its seat in Olomouc and Brno, also as a municipal parliament. After the death of Jan Jindřich in 1375, based on his will, the rule was taken over by his three sons - Jošt, Jan Soběslav and Prokop. All three of them were entitled to use the Margrave title, but the oldest son, Jošt, should have had the lead. Consequently, disputes arose between the brothers, and finally a war for power broke out, which, with some interruptions, was devastating also the area of today's Central Moravia region for nearly three decades.

During Middle Ages, Haná became an important economical and culture region, famous for its agriculture, trade, brews, and unique Loštice ceramics, which was, at the time, exported as far as to Scandinavia, and to France.


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