THE TOWN OF KUNOVICE
The town of Kunovice is situated in south-eastern Moravia, in the south-western part of Zlínský District, about 3km to the south of Uherské Hradiště in the region called Slovácko. Located in the Dolnomoravský Vale on the Olšava River not far from its mouth into the Morava about 185 metres above the sea, the town covers the area of 2, 854.9 ha. In the south, Kunovice borders on the Hlucká Upland stretching from the Vizovické Heights, in the west on the Chřiby Hills. Kunovice has a rich history thanks to its significant military-strategic location on the crossroads of the ancient trade paths. Numbers of archaeological finds from the Old Stone Age prove this. In the times of Great Moravia, there were several settlements scattered i n the area of today’s Kunovice whose purpose was to control the accession to the centre of the Great Moravian Empire.
Great Moravia declined and Moravia annexed to Bohemia, Kunovice became the administrative and religious centre of he newly established frontier Hlucká Province. Allegedly, the name of Cunovitz comes from the Frankish Duke, Kuno, whose descendants were called Kunovici. The first written report of Kunovice dates back to 1196. The princely settlement of ”Grúň” along with the manor and the fortress functioned temporarily as the bishop’s residence. Kunovice was elevated to the status of a town before the year 1466. In 17th century, Kunovice got heavily plundered by foreign raiders, but later on, in the second half of 19th century, the town greatly developed due to its position suitable for growing fruit, vegetable and grapevine. Industries grew rapidly with the building of the railways. Kunovice became a major railway junction, the connection between Vlárská Railway and Břeclav – Přerov railroad track. The biggest local enterprises in the late-19th century were two brick-works, a mill with a power house, and food processing industry was set in motion. In the past, Kunovice became renowned for the production of aircraft, which commenced after the year 1936 in Avia aircraft factory.
In the 1950s, a new enterprise, LET Kunovice, was set up to specialize in the manufacture of small and light airbuses. The international aerodrome that is part of the factory offers flights to various destinations in Europe. Following the stagnation and decline of LET in the 1990s, the tradition of aircraft production is being renovated by the adjacent Evektor company. The rich tradition of aircraft industry is materialized in the unique Aircraft Museum lying close to Evektor.
An administrative-economical centre, Kunovice was and still is a notable place in terms of cultural events. Besides the most valuable historical memory, the Church of St. Petr and Pavel, Kunovice boasts about various other historical and art sights, such as sacral sculptures and roods the oldest coming from the year 1747. In 1995, the complex of late renaissance buildings in the centre, the former ”Kunovice manor”, later a mansion of Liechtenstein aristocracy, was listed on the cultural heritage.Education-wise, in the town there are two elementary schools, a folk arts school, a private high special school, a higher special school for lawyers and the first private university in the Czech Republic, European Polytechnic Institute.The bountiful cultural events coming out of local traditions – namely Shrovetide, Kings´Ride, and Village Festival have given the town its special character.
Village Festival ” Hody s právem”
The old cultural heritage provides themes for four children’s ensembles, two grown-ups’ ones and two cimbalom bands. Since 1994 the town has been the host of the International Children’s Folklore Festival called ”Kunovské léto”.
The fact that Kunovice is put down as the bastion of folklore life can be manifested by the Rudolf II Prize given in 2004 to the town by the Masaryk Academy of Arts for the support, development and promotion of culture,and particularly for the permanent conservation of the cultural heritage of our ancestors in the region.As far as sports are concerned, Kunovice became most famous for the women’s handball which has a long tradition here. The local football team has been for a few years a participant in the 2nd Division, the second highest competition in the country. Also a less traditional sport, softball, has found its place in our town.
Slovácký Aero Club uses the local aerodrome to offer scenic flights in small aircraft and gliders. Available is a special school for flying and parachuting, you can try ballooning and tandem parachute jumping.For both residents and visitors to the town there are many sports facilities ready for instant use – a sports hall, Sokol playing area, football pitch and an illuminated imitation grass pitch, tennis courts, softball pitch and a swimming pool.
Between 1971 and 1990 Kunovice was part of the conurbation, then separated from Uherské Hradiště and the new history of independent Kunovice culminated in 1997 when it was officially proclaimed town. Today there live over five thousand inhabitants ever ready to open their hearts and treat their guests to the best food the year has provided.
… well, why not come round…