Nachód, Czechia

Náchod has been a border town for a very long time although the countries it shared its border with and that which it was in have changed.  Today it is on the Czech - Polish border, in the valley of the river Metuje, in an upland area between the mountain ranges of Krkonoše and Orlické hory.

The history of the town goes back in history a long way.  The castle was founded in the middle of the thirteen century in order to protect the route through the mountains between Prague and Wroclaw. although the settlement had been here earlier.  As with many towns in this part of Europe, prosperity was ended by the Thirty Years' War put an end to the prosperity of the town. 

Unlike most of the Czech border lands, it was not ceded to Nazi Germany following the Munich Accords, as no German speakers lived next to the border; on the contrary, eleven villages on the Silesian side of the border were populated by Czech speakers, who lived there till 1945 when eastern parts of Germany were ceded to Poland and former German citizens were expelled, ethnic Czechs included.  As Náchod had virtually no ethnic German population, it did not suffer from the massive deportations of 1945–46. It became a somewhat peripheral town during the Communist era (1948–89) as cross-border contacts in the Soviet-dominated bloc were not encouraged. The situation changed in the 1990s and especially when both Czech Republic and Poland became part of the Schengen area in 2007. The 1990s saw a rapid decay of local cotton industry, while some new manufacturing businesses were established. The opening of the border gave a new boost to the traditional tourist industry in the attractive hilly country, as outdoor activities now extend across to the Polish Góry Stolowe National Park.

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