Cieszyn and Český Těšín are towns that are bound by an unusual fate. They lie
on two different banks of the Olza river. They are connected by a few bridges - but
many people still see them as one town. A town without a national border, a border
between the nations or citizens.
According to a legend Těšín was founded in 810 by three brothers: Lešek,
Bolek and Češek to commemorate their reunion after a long parting. Historians claim
that Těšín came into being at the end of 10th century. The first written mention of the
town dates back to 1155, but the town Charter was granted between 1217 and 1223.
At the end of 13th century Těšín became the capital of the duchy of Těšín, ruled by
the Piasts until the middle of the 17th century. Then the Habsburgs took over.
In 1920 the town was divided into two parts. The part on the left bank was
allocated to Czechoslovakia. This part became the town Český Těšín. During World
war II the towns were connected again, but in 1945 they returned to the pre-war status
quo. In 1960 Český Těšín lost its status of district town but is still a frequently used
border crossing town and an important communication point on the
Czech-Polish-Slovakian borders without any own significant industry.
Taking a walk in the centre of Český Těšín, we reach the railway station. A
building whose original form from 1889 has been extensively restored. On Nádražní
street there are two hotels - The Central Hotel and the Piast Hotel and lot of little
shops with various commodities. Approaching the border crossing can we see on the
right a neo-gothic Church “Na Nivách” and a little farther a place of strolls and
recreation - the Adam Sikora Park. One of the several monuments of the town is the
building of “Střelnice” Cultural and Social Centre. It was built in 1882 in a
In the Market Square there is a neo-renaissance Town Hall, behind which there
is a former Jewish Synagogue. At the park called Masarykovy Alleys stand the
neo-gothic Roman Catholic church, the Church of Jesus’ Heart and in front of statue
of Jan Nepomucký.
Although most of the historical monuments are on the polish side of the Olza, Český
Těšín has also some attractive places. They are; wooded parks, the Hrabina dam,
swimming pool or a riding club. The Theatre of Č.Těšín is situated beyond the centre
on small hill. The towns’ Library has its premises there, too. In the suburb called
Rozvoj there is a Czech Brotherhood Protestant Church. In the Frýdecká street there
is a complex of high schools with playing fields used by children, teenagers and
adults in their recreational activities. The building of the Czech gymnasium
(secondary school), a building by Jaroslav Frágner, is classified as a monument of culture.