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View from Smrčné
|• Mayor||Vladimir Blaha|
|• Total||81.74 km2 (31.56 sq mi)|
|Elevation||588 m (1,929 ft)|
|• Density||41/km2 (110/sq mi)|
|Time zone||UTC+1 (CET)|
|• Summer (DST)||UTC+2 (CEST)|
Municipality with Commissioned Local Authority
|Little District||Jindřichův Hradec|
|Municipalities||Číměř, Nová Bystřice, Staré Město pod Landštejnem|
|• Total||196.64 km2 (75.92 sq mi)|
|• Density||23/km2 (61/sq mi)|
The town lies on the border between Czech Republic and Austria (WGS-84 coordinates N49°01'11", E15°06'02"), close to Austria's northernmost point near Haugschlag. A road border crossing leads to the village of Grametten. Nová Bystřice has about 3,400 inhabitants.
The villages and hamlets of Albeř, Artolec, Blato, Hradiště, Hůrky, Klášter, Klenová, Nový Vojířov, Ovčárna, Senotín, Skalka and Smrčná are administrative parts of Nová Bystřice.
The first written mention of Nová Bystřice was in 1175 when the area was colonized by Knights Hospitaller of the Mailberg commandry, at the behest of the Nuremberg burgrave Conrad II of Raabs. The first settlers came from the adjacent Duchy of Austria; before that, there was a Slavic population (as evidenced by a Slavic burial ground). With Konrad's death in 1191, the Raabs dynasty became extinct and in 1260 the estates were finally enfeoffed to the Rosenberg family by Margaret of Babenberg, consort of King Ottokar II of Bohemia.
When Ottokar was disseized by King Rudolf I of Germany in 1276, the estates became the personal dominion of Rudolf's daughter Judith of Habsburg (Jitka), who later became Bohemian Queen. In 1341 Bystřice was promoted to city status. During the reign of John the Blind it became a market town. Around the same time it suffered from great famine. The town was burned down by Jan Žižka in 1420. It was rebuilt and since then it has been called Nová ("New") Bystřice. In July 1533 a group of religious reformers killed 40 Catholic monks, along with other Catholics, and destroyed the monastery. About one-third of the population emigrated to America after 1870.In 1945 the German population was expelled according to the Beneš decrets
The nature park informally called Bohemian Canada is attractive and the number of inhabitants, as well as seasonal visitors, is growing. Major accommodation development projects are under way.
The presence of a border checkpoint is another important feature of the town, although heavy traffic is usually routed through other major checkpoints in Southern Bohemia.
Textile industry is the traditional business activity, however the recent years saw a drop in the demand. Alma Nová Bystřice and Otavan factory finished its operations.
A substantial number of residents work in the agricultural industry. People working in technical and administrative sector usually commute to Jindřichův Hradec. Increasing tourism is leading to the expansion of services (hotels, restaurants) in the town and is an important source of income, especially during summer months.
Nová Bystřice is the endpoint of a privately operated narrow gauge railroad to Jindřichův Hradec. During the tourist season, the trains are powered by historic steam engines and offer various entertainment.
The Monachus golf resort, situated on the town's southwestern edge, is a major attraction for golfers. It consists of 18-hole championship course and nine-hole public golf academy. The characteristic landscape of Bohemian Canada — hilly with many forests and meadows — is regarded as almost perfect for this game. The golf resort of Haugschlag (located in the neighbouring Austrian region of Waldviertel) is a few hundreds meters away, over the national border.
Nová Bystřice is a frequent destination of cyclists; many biking routes pass through the town, offering almost all degrees of difficulty.