History and Economic Process

The beginnings of the Krásná town are associated with the Walachian colonization of the Beskydy Mountains. In many cases, the settlement of mountain valleys and sides expanded older settlements, but otherwhiles new settlements were being established by integration of scattered mountain glades. Sometime in the 1630’s, Krásná was established in a similar way. Jakub Brantal and Adam Knechtek stumped the forest with the authorities’ approval and settled in the new areas. This is stated in the records of the first “gruntovnice”, which was the land register, of Krásná town dated 1639, and this year can be considered the beginning of the independent existence of a new village.

According to a myth, the name Krásná was given to the town by a noblewoman from Frýdek castle, who gained an extremely beautiful view of the entire manor as far as to her castle establishment at Frýdek. When the people asked her where she left for so often, she replied: „I am going to “Krásnu”. “However, some local researchers rather inclined to the name having been derived from the „kroseň“ weaver’s loom. Linguists then came up with an explanation that the name originated in the old Slavonian krast = shaw.

Whoever gave the name to Krásná, the influence of the authorities on the town establishment cannot be impeached, as they substantially supported the settlement of empty farms and previously unsettled places. Colonizers were often relieved from labour, transferring them to the annual pays. This is why the number of settlers kept increasing. There were 24 of them in Krásná in 1664. One hundred years later, in 1770. Reginald Kneifel’s topography noted 473 citizens in 75 houses as of 1803.

Nevertheless, the living conditions were not easy in the mountains. Kneifel noted that the soil was only good for growing rye and oat. The majority of the town land was grassland, heathland, meadows and only a minor part comprised of arable land and gardens. But it was the grassland, meadows and heathland that gave the feed for cattle, which constituted the fundamental portion of livelihood of the local citizens. The Wallachians fully occupied the alps with their cows, and therefore, there were no stags ranging in the local Beskydy mountains at all. On the other hand, there were bears, lynxes, wolfs, wild boars, roe deer, foxes, martens, wood grouse, hazel grouse, partridges, pigeons, thrushes, hawks, sparrow hawks and other kinds of birds ranging there. Mountain farming switched to sheep and goat breeding. Besides the milk, the sheep were also bred for wool, which became a significant export article.

The forest offered another possibility of livelihood, where they knocked down the trees. The labour duties mostly included the work in the forest. The Wallachian customary law was installed, which relieved the Wallachians from compulsory work on agricultural land and only obliged them to payment in kind and monetary payment. Mountain farming stopped having the desirable economic effect in the second half of the 18th century and the authorities started to have stronger and stronger interest in iron production development, which required a huge amount of wood. The local ore also exploited in the cadastre of Krásná, which was not of a high quality, was processed in Staré Hamry, Janovice or Morávka already at the turn of the 17th and 18th century. The iron production was the most successful in Baška, Ustroň of Těšín and in Moravian Frýdlant. These companies smelted the ore either directly using wood or wood coal, so the demand for these articles increased. The authorities tried to restrict mountain farming and re-plant the forests that had been almost deforested in the long era of mountain farming.

The Krásná citizens made their livelihood from their own resources. They grew spring rye, oats, and on the better pieces of land, perennial ryes and trefoil. The grain was processed into flour in two local mills. But the most successful among the crops were potatoes. Cabbage, flax, barley, wheat and scrub uncultivated fruit trees were also grown here. A simple plough or mountain hook were used for ploughing, harrows with iron jags for hauling and shovels, ploughshare, reaping hook, hoes, rake for other works and various trashing tools. Neither the yield nor the quality of grown products was high. Only the potatoes were valued as medium-quality.

Breeding of cattle and sheep played a significant role in the livelihood of the Krásná citizens, for which they also established barns. The sheep were in joint breeding, whereas the other cattle were bred individually. They bred cattle for milk and further breeding, horses for pulling, and pigs for meat, bacon and fat. The raising of poultry kept for eggs and feathers strongly declined.

There was a saw-mill in the town, which produced beams and boards for the local needs, however, the wood was more often floated to the saw-mills in Raškovice, Staré Město or elsewhere, for which they used the creeks of Mohelnice, Jestřábí, Zimný, Travenský and Sihlý

(Sihelský), and also the Morávka River from Raškovice on. The wood was used as a building material and fuel, for instance, in Skalice, Frýdek or in iron works in Lipin (Lískovec). The creeks were also used for insignificant fish breeding, mostly trout, but they were owned by the Frýdek authorities, which rented them out. The fish had already been bred here for the castle tables in the past.

The Krásná citizens' tables mostly carried potatoes and cabbage, and a bit of meat on Sundays, sometimes also meals made from flour, namely cereal gruel, very rarely rye bread, but the cake from oatmeal and potatoes was often baked, which was a kind of a potato pancake. They drank lots of various kinds of brandy, which obviously caused alcoholism to spread, but these spirits partially improved the citizens' health, either as a folk medicine, or more often as high-calorie consumable. The calories required for hard work were supplied by bacon, fat, grease and the mentioned brandy, which was easily available. Due to the weak yield of the fields, the Krásná citizens consumed all the crops themselves, and often even had to buy extra. They marketed mainly cattle and wool products. The city of Místek became the most significant marketing centre for the area, which the Krásná citizens also attended.

Following serfdom, the abolition of allegiance and labour also followed closely (1848), as a result of which the old arrangement collapsed. The last reeve of Krásná was Martin Rusina. The reeve was a kind of authorities' attorney in the given location. The reeves of Krásná were neither hereditary nor elected at the authorities' discretion. They had to stand at Frýdek castle with a cutting weapon; they had to be present at labour to collect the mandatory payments.

Basically since its foundation, the population of Krásná continuously increased, although a very hard hunger crisis hit the entire Těšín region in the middle of the 19th century.

The poor crops caused famine with associated epidemics of diarrhoeal diseases – cholera, typhoid fever and dysentery. The local population reached its peak in 1880 (1882 citizens), but then it was affected by the migration to new industrial centres to find work in the textile factories in Frýdek, Místek, Raškovice, in the iron mills and rolling mills in Lískovec, Baška, and in the coal mining and metallurgical industry in the Ostrava region.

There were only 39 sheep bred in Krásná in 1900. The sheepcotes were subjected to greater and greater pressure from economics and the Frýdek authorities, the archbishop Albrecht, who was still their owner. The new area of the Krásná citizens' assertion was the tavern business and trades – saw mill, general merchandise, taverns and taprooms, shop keeping, miller's trade and tannery.

More extensive migration, tourism and new communication means improved connection with the world. The construction of the „Kommerzialstraße“ (a commercial route) to Hungary leading along the Mohelnice creek was started by the 40's. Apart from this road, Krásná had the connection via medium-drivable roads with the towns of Lubno, Janovice and Raškovice. All routes were used mostly for carrying trade. Town electrification was not completed until the socialist era and some parts of the town were not connected to the power supply until the 1960's. In the course of time, bus transportation developed on the route from Místek via Baška, Pržno, Lubno, Bystré as far as to Krásná, extended to Visalaje from May 1, 1929.

The carrier's vehicles were also used to carry mail, which was, however, distributed by a local errand boy around the town.

The state-paid mailman was introduced in Krásná in 1921. Anther two women were hired for the mail services due to the extent of the town. Telephone connection was first acquired by the forest administration in 1896.

All buildings in the town were wooden, low, cramped and covered with shingle in the 1840's. It most often consisted of a room (living room) and a closet for tool and food storage. The closet place was sometimes substituted with a cowshed, as there were simply no other rooms or even no other buildings. On average, there were 9 – 10 people crowding in one house, but it was a half as many around 1910, i.e. 4-5. Upon the fall of the domination, the situation in the matters of the new house building was relieved, because the settlers did not have to request a permit from the authorities anymore. In addition, a lot of young families utilized the possibility to move to the new industrial centres. The number of houses with a higher number of rooms increased, i.e. multi-generation houses, while the fertility of families went down. Over a half of the houses in the town were still made of wood (176), bricks (132) and 2 of stone in 1970. 10 houses did not have a power or water supply, 125 only had power, 176 had power and water supply, and one even had a gas supply.

The people usually cured themselves with herbs and various poultices, and when it was really bad, they sought a folk healer. In 1894, Krásná received a subvention of 100 gold for the establishment of an "epidemic hospital“, which actually became a sanctuary for old and poor fellow-citizens and changed its name to a "local poorhouse" in the course of time.

Till 1928, the nearest doctor lived as far away as Dobrá. Dr. Alfons Juroš started his medical service in Raškovice in the same year and his wife worked as a dentist.

World War I affected the life of the town through the recruitment of young men, but also by higher and higher taking of food. The total war losses were enumerated at 40 dead people. Several Krásná citizens joined the Czechoslovak legion in fighting on the Russian and Italian fronts.

Post-war economic development affected an increasing number of the town citizens.

The political activity of the citizens grew fast. Besides the members of social democratic party, people's party, agrarian party and communist party, the Krásná citizens also elected, though fewer, national democrats, tradesmen's party, national fascist party to the parliament in 1929 and 1935, and even Hlinka's people's party in 1929. The social democratic party always won, however, the support of the Czechoslovak Communist Party increased especially in 1935 after the economic crisis.

The Krásná citizens survived the World War II period in the relative quiet of a godforsaken mountain town in the protectorate. Any German efforts could not win recognition here in the majority of Czech citizens to any extent and the fanatic Germans did not appear here, either. The Krásná citizens experienced a chaotic withdrawal of the German soldiers from Pražmo towards Bystré at the end of the war, in the last days of May. The town was liberated on May 5, 1945. The social democrats significantly lost a support in favour of the communists in the new post-war political situation.

The town faced another wave of emigration after 1945. Krásná became a recreational region in the communist times and the recreational cottage settlement started to predominate mainly in the 1970's and 1980's. As of January 1, 1989, the town had 665 citizens, 339 registered houses, but 579 cottages, 12 of which were lived-in on a permanent basis.

The emigration was affected by a lack of work opportunities directly in the town. 339 persons commuted to work. The most of them were employed in industry, forest works, transportation and communication, collective farms, etc. The strongly agricultural town was obviously much affected by the collectivization at the turn of the 1950’s and 1960’s. They started to build a cow-shed in 1962, a threshing centre in 1965 and silo one year later. The farm built a shed for young cattle at the end of the 1960’s and asphalted the roads around the farm buildings. The integration of towns was approved as of January 1, 1980, and Krásná became a part of the town of Morávka as Morávka 5 - Krásná.

[inserted: 19. 09. 2007]

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