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PAST

The Municipal Museum in Česká Třebová was established in 1888 through the initiative of local teacher Jan Tykač (born: 1842 in Čelákovice; died: 1921 in Česká Třebová). Its founding authority was the Museum Association in Česká Třebová. The objective of the established institution was to document the history of the town and its inhabitants.

Difficulties with storing the museum collections recurred throughout the early years of its existence. The seat of the museum was located in the primary school building in the square and the space was insufficient. Nevertheless, the museum was active in both the collection and presentation of museum items. In 1891, some items from its collections were exhibited at the representative General Provincial Jubilee Exhibition in Prague, and four years later, at the equally prestigious Prague Ethnographic Exhibition. The problem with the lack of space was partially solved in 1916, when the museum moved some of its collections from the primary school building to a newly constructed “realschule”, where a new permanent exhibition was introduced to the general public one year later.

When the founder of the museum and his long-time administrator died in 1921, the teacher František Michalec took the helm. During his term, in 1935, the museum was relocated to three rooms in the New Town Hall located in the square. A year later, he was relieved of office and replaced by a teacher from the local grammar school, Karel Ransdorf. Ransdorf was then replaced in 1937 by the train driver Bohumil Blecha. In spring 1938, the museum, which was celebrating its 50th anniversary at the time, was allocated the entire second floor of the New Town Hall in the Old Town Square. These promising developments were thwarted by the political situation. After the occupation of Bohemia and Moravia, the museum was deprived of the spaces it had recently acquired and the collections were moved once again, this time to the Old Town Hall building.

 JAN TYKAČ
  *1842 Čelákovice / +1921
  Česká Třebová

At the end of 1944, Bohumil Blecha was replaced in his position as the museum administrator by the accountant Stanislav Guth, who managed the museum until the end of 1957. At the beginning of the following year, the teacher and popular science author Bohuslav Štangler became the administrator. Under his leadership, the museum organized a series of exhibitions with regional themes. He ended his work at the museum at the end of 1968. The museum administrator from the beginning of 1969 to 1985 was Emil Mikolecký. During his time in office, a number of successful exhibitions were organised

In 1972, a difficult period started for the museum. The collections were moved from the Old Town Hall building to absolutely unsuitable storage rooms, especially those in the former Horák printing works. The collections were stored there for 14 years, exposed to humidity, unsuitable temperatures, and insects and rodents. Many valuables were irreparably damaged.

From 1985, the Museum of Česká Třebová was administered by a design technologist of the Czechoslovak State Railways, Jiří Pištora, to whom fell the difficult task of saving the collections. In 1986, three rooms on the ground floor of the New Town Hall were designated for the purposes of the museum. In addition, at that time, there was the faint hope of obtaining a separate building for the museum, namely the Classicist building No. 11 in Klácelova Street in the very centre of the town. The construction works on the building adaptation started in 1987, but the nation-wide changes of 1989 complicated the situation. A restitution claim was made for the building, and works on its adaptation were interrupted as the courts started to deal with the case. They eventually closed the case in 2000; since then, the house has been owned by the municipality but it is closed and awaiting possible reconstruction.

In the meantime, during the legal dispute over house no. 11, it was necessary to move the collections from the unsuitable storage rooms. Spaces in the former command headquarters in the abandoned barracks in Semanínská Street were selected for these purposes in 1992. This building still serves as a museum depository today. It has been gradually equipped with safety devices and modern storage systems which were considerably funded by the Ministry of Culture of the Czech Republic and the Pardubice Region. The storage of the collections was therefore satisfactorily resolved but the creation of exhibitions remained an open issue. In 1995, the museum office moved from the ground floor of the New Town Hall to other temporary premises, this time to the “National House” building in Kozlovská Street 565. These, again unsuitable, premises were the seat of the museum until the autumn of 2006 when they were moved to other temporary, though not unsuitable, premises in house no. 80 in Klácelova Street. At present, the museum uses the exhibition hall in the Cultural Centre of Česká Třebová, which allows it to present visitors a view of the rich cultural heritage of the region gathered over the 120 years of its collecting activities, at least in the form of short-term exhibitions.

Since 2003, the museum director has been Jana Voleská, a graduate of history and museology at the Faculty of Philosophy and Science of the Silesian University in Opava.

In 2007, it secured the operation of the exposition in the listed Cottage of Max Švabinský in Kozlov; since the summer of 2008, it has also offered qualified commentaries on the Rotunda of St Catherine in Česká Třebová. In 2012, it participated in the preparation of an exhibition called Semanín Renaissance that took place in the Church of St Bartholomew in Semanín; since the summer of 2013, it has newly made accessible the Chapel of Our Lady of Perpetual Help in the Mountains near Česká Třebová.

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PRESENT

The new building of the Municipal Museum of Česká Třebová was ceremonially opened on Saturday, 29 September 2012. More than 120 years of efforts exerted by numerous administrators of the local museum to obtain its own suitable exhibitions spaces were finally achieved. Through the reconstruction of historical building no. 11 and the addition of a completely new building, the museum obtained spaces for temporary and permanent exhibitions as well as rooms for researchers and students. In the courtyard of the museum building, visitors will find a pleasant space to relax.

The museum exhibition bears the title “Traffic Intersections or Getting to Česká Třebová by Train, Velorex, Plane, or Boat”. The title combines, with some exaggeration, four means of transportation that are typical for Česká Třebová or somehow connected with its history: rail, road, water, and air transport. The exhibitions present the history of the Česká Třebová Railway Junction, the aeronautical efforts of local sculptor, František Formánek, the invention of the legendary Czech three-wheeler OS-KAR (later renamed Velorex) constructed by the Stránský brothers, and the history of the plans to interconnect three seas by the Danube-Oder-Elbe channel.

The reconstruction and extension of the Municipal Museum of Česká Třebová was supported in the amount of CZK 29 million from the ROP NUTS II Northeast programme.

The museum was equipped with a telemetry system monitoring the temperature and humidity levels through the financial support of the Czech Ministry of Culture and the Regional Authority of the Pardubice region.

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