Patriotic beneficent community of Baráčníks Vitoraz Český Krumlov

Magistrate :
Jan Leština
Plešivec 378
381 01 Č. Krumlov
tel.: +420 604 313 089


Vice magistrate :
Otakar Sloupenský
382 11 Větřní
tel.: +420 380 732 682


Syndic :
Milada Leštinová
Plešivec 378
381 01 Č. Krumlov
tel.: +420 604 313 089

Patriotic beneficent community of Baráčníks Vitoraz Český Krumlov, celebration of deliberation of town Č. Krumlov by the American army, Křížová hill, Mya 2000

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In year 1990 the Czech Interior ministry had again confirmed according to a law No. 83/1990 about association of inhabitants, that the national association the Great community of joint communities of Baráčníks with seat in Prague 1 - Malá Strana still exists and it is authorized as a central association in Czech Republic. By this registration was ensured the connection to the tradition of popular Patriotic beneficent communities in Czech Republic, in its towns, villages and areas in present time shape of worthwhile interest organization. Today join the communities of Baráčníks about 20 thousand members and their activities serve for municipalities as pattern for its selflessness and spontaneity.

Idea to create such as community originated in the 70´ of the last Century in Kolín, where a minor association was founded and its members worked on the idea to connect to the best traditions of Czech nation, which were not replaced even during period of oppression and humiliation under the Habsburgs´ rule. This association of small Czech people, craftsmen, farmers etc. has been meeting in small pub located at former Kolín´s suburb Kouřim. This pub was called "U Šlejtrů", later for its small area renamed to "Baráček" (small house). The selection of this name was affected by one more event. The association had been fighting from its origin for purity of Czech language for disengagement of German terms. The fact was, that in poor, wooden houses covered with straw and shingles, has been maintained Czech language and national consciousness even in time, when the towns were Germanized and Czech nation was treated as dying out one. From these small, poor houses (baráček) came the Enlightenment awakeners, national revivalists, as we know their names from history of Czech nation´s Enlightenment. And that is why the members of the minor association in Kolín started calling themselves "Baráčníci" (Baráčníks) and this name signalized their patriotic feeling and activities. Following the spirit of selfless and devoted work of these men and women, who without any ambition for glory, remuneration or favour from the power politicians brought unwaveringly and patiently national knowledge into the wide civic classes, was on November 7th 1873 established in Kolín the first group of baráčníks, under leadership of V. J. Janke, P. Fischer and V. Velebovský. In the next year 1874 received the group a permission for community activities.

Patriotic beneficent community of Baráčníks Vitoraz Český Krumlov,  celebration of 70 years from community foundation, Lomnice nad Lužnicí, June 2000

The patriotic association has reached in short time the great popularity among wide civic classes, as opposite to various then existing townsmen clubs and ladies rings, which exposed their financial charity. In 1880 is declared the origin of the first Baráčníks´ community in Prague-Dejvice followed in 1882 by Hradčany, next Bubeneč and finally in year 1880 the Old Town. Community was dispersing successfully further and furher: to the regions Mladá Boleslav, Kladno, Benešov, České Budějovice, Plzeň, Cheb and their vicinity. With breakpoint of Century came news about founding the Baráčníks´ communities in Vienna and USA.

The next main mission - besides realizing of the Czech national feeling and love towards maternal language - became the freshening of good old traditions, habits and customs, which were disappearing from life with a modernization of period; popularization of folk working and festive costumes, songs and dances, organizing various humanitarian and entertaining events. First of all very famous, popular and sought-after were traditionally organized balls of costumed dancers, where could never miss old Bohemian dance "Česká beseda" (Czech meeting). Famous was also welcoming the Spring with and old Bohemian custom of the banshee take out, celebrations of building and cutting the maypoles, demonstrations of an old Bohemian marriage, maintaining the old Bohemian rituals during meeting of communities, districts and the Great community (headquarters).

To remember the civic establishment from period of oppression, which came after the battle at Bílá Hora (White hill), when the Czech magistrates and aldermen were defeating the interests of their own nation against noblemen, the Baráčníks kept names of their functionaries: magistrate, vice magistrate, communitiy´s dad and mom, syndic, fiscal, account sleuthing, mentor, bailiff, fun master, guard. The members call themselves "neighbour" and "auntie" and keep community´s system, which accents a common reverence, love, neighbourly fellowship and solidarity, discipline. Members are meeting at their assembly to confer and under community flags and maypoles are taking part at own events, jubilee celebrations and conventions. During these events dress Baráčníks the old Czech costumes or the costume of community. The community costume is known as "česká Mařenka" (Czech Marry), what is costume couched according to a scenic one from Smetana´s opera Prodaná nevěsta. Another costume is the working one, so called "quirkiness", what means embroidered blouses and shirts.

Patriotic beneficent community of Baráčníks Vitoraz Český Krumlov, the celebration of the 75th anniversary of community foundation, May 2000

The first evaluation to Baráčníks came from Czech public during the famous All Slavic exhibition in Prague in year 1895, where Baráčníks built the model of their own Prague assembly, in which old Bohemian customs were shown. This assembly (at the first page) became a symbol of Baráčníks´ life and it is a topic of beautiful embroidery on flag of the Great community. Ethnographic exhibition in Prague 1895 became an impulse for unification of all local Baráčník communities in Prague and its vicinity as well and so was created center named "The great community of Baráčníks for Czech lands". It happened in August 15th 1896 under leadership of magistrate Petr Vavřinec Guth from Smíchov, who became the first magistrate of the Great community. To his memory was in 1909 built monument at Malvazinky. During his leadership were created the organizational connect links, so called župy (districts). Since 1897 own magazine "Czech Baráčník" has been published, its name has been several times changed; today the name is "The Great community of Baráčníks´ Newsletter".

Among the greatest deeds of Baráčníks belong the building of the minority school in Věžovaté Pláně v Pošumaví, renovation of today´s seat of the Great community, own assembly building with two society halls and saloon in Prague 1 - Malá Strana, Tržiště 23, financial support to national purposes in years 1948 - 49: 2 891 411 crowns, gift to republic 300 000 crowns for renovation of the Old town square town hall in 1948.

Patriotic beneficent community of Baráčníks Vitoraz Český Krumlov, celebration of deliberation of town Č. Krumlov by the American army, Křížová hill, May 2000

Besides thousands of common members stood in Baráčníks´ ranks number of important men and Members of Parliament too; during the first Czechoslovakian Republic joined the community for example the ethnographic explorer prof. Čeněk Zíbrt or Prague Lord Mayors dr. Baxa, dr. Vacek and others.

Today remain the activities of communities versatile: the ethnographic celebrations, shows of costumes in celebration in Strážnice, old Bohemian customs and traditions, costumed balls, folk song and dance ensembles, organization of exhibitions (for example traditional Easter customs and painted eggs at assembly of Baráčníks from Malá Strana near Charles bridge) and also managing the own recreational after-care mall in Černovice u Tábora. Mentioned activities develop all communities and districts all around Czech Republic.

And that is how Czech Baráčníks have lived and still live for 120 years; never endowed by anyone, they established today standard just by an honest work for homeland. And its members can be proud of it.

Further information :
Culture and Society in the Český Krumlov Region
Cultural and Social Events in Český Krumlov since 1993
Festivals in Český Krumlov
Theater in Český Krumlov
Sporting Events in the Český Krumlov Region
Sporting Events in Český Krumlov


© Sdružení Oficiálního informačního systému Český Krumlov, 2001
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