This city on the confluence of the Ostravice and Morávka rivers actually consists of two separate cities - Moravian Místek and Silesian Frýdek. Místek is the older of the two, first mentioned in 1267, while Frýdek came about around 1333-34. In the 15th and 16th centuries both cities were part of the Těšín principality, with Místek at that time being dependent on the economically stronger Frýdek.
Not until the city broke away from Těšín and became part of the Hukvaldy domains of the Olomouc bishops in 1584 did Místek gain a measure of economic privileges and began to prosper. The flowering of both cities was interrupted by the Thirty Years War, then by plague and several fires. Both cities began to grow again in the 18th and 19th centuries, with Frýdek becoming a center of textile manufacturing and, thanks to its location, commerce. Craftsmanship started to prosper in Místek and the first factories were founded there. Cultural and national aspects had better prospects in Místek, where organizations like educational trust and fellowships were formed. The merger of the cities into one under the name of Frýdek occurred in 1943 as an administrative detail under the Nazi occupation. Discussions about the name of the twin cities led to the Ministry of the Interior declaring that on 1 January 1955 the official name was to be Frýdek-Místek. Another important date for Frýdek-Místek occurred on 1 June 2006 when the city was declared a district seat.
The squares of both Místek and Frýdek are among the landmark attractions of the city. Místek?s Freedom Square is among the most picturesque parts of the city, full of houses built in the late Renaissance style, rebuilt and modified to form its historic core. The ambulatory still remains on the southern and portions of the northern side of the square. In the middle stands a statue of the Virgin Mary.
Today the square in Frýdek is no longer the center of activity in the city, although quite the opposite was true in the past. Most of the buildings have a Renaissance core, with many of them having undergone empire and classical modifications. The oldest and most significant house is the late Renaissance home built by the Frýdek councilman and royal governor Samuel Wolf in 1660. The Frýdek Castle not only dominates the square but the entire city of Frýdek-Místek as well.
The Frýdek Castle was originally a Gothic castle built in the mid-14th century, modified during the years 1528-1545 and finally rebuilt in the Baroque style near the end of the 17th century. It was built on a protective knoll on a boundary overlooking the trade route running from Moravia to Poland. In 1688 the castle and the entire city was damaged by fire. Modern repairs at the turn of the 19th and 20th centuries are noticeable in the outer look of the castle. The oldest section we can find in the location of today?s entrance wing to the interior of the building. A Knights Hall was built on the first floor of the northern wing, in which a collection of 15 crests have been preserved belonging to the city of Těšín and the leading Silesian noblemen of that time. The castle also includes a landscaped nature park established in the 19th century. It contains a Baroque statue of St. Florian made in 1730 and one of St. Joseph Pěstoun in 1772. Since the 1960s the castle has been the home of the Museum of the Beskydy, where it oversees a natural science collection from the regions of the Moravian-Silesian Beskydy and the Beskydy foothills focusing on botany, mycology, zoology and geology. The permanent expositions on display offer interesting facts about life in the Beskydy, the history of Frýdek-Místek, a look at Frýdek as a pilgrimage point, and furthermore the life and work of poet and translator Óndra Lysohorský. Individual exhibitions and lectures on a variety of topics are held within the spaces of the museum.
The major landmarks of Frýdek include Hluboká Street, site of a single-story house in the classical style built in 1796, with the relief of St. Florian on the ground floor and one of the Madonna with child on the first floor. Until the 1980s houses half made out of wood built at the end of the 18th century were surviving examples of village architecture in the small town. The grandfather of Leoš Janáček lived in one of them. Other places of interest include the Basilica of the Visitation of the Virgin Mary on Marián Square with the characteristic twin towers in the front, built in the late Baroque style and completed in 1777. In 1901 a savings bank was built with a secession interior design by Viennese architect Hassmann. At present it houses the city magistrate and a stylistic coffee shop.
Even Místek has its own history and you will find lots of landmarks here. At the former post office on Old Post Office Street, postal clerk Vladimír Vašek, better known as the poet Petr Bezruč, worked here from 1891-93. A memorial plaque honoring his service was unveiled in 1933. One major building in Místek is National House, a representational structure with a distinctly adorned façade and retaining its original interior. Today National House hosts cultural and social events. The former National Savings Bank of Místek is directly connected to National House. Franta Úprka made the four figures in folk costumes that adorn the front of the building. City Hall and Savings Bank on Main Street were built according to a design by Viennese architect Josef Hudetz. Today it is the home of the Basic Arts School. Also worth mentioning is the parish church of St. John and Paul on Janáček Street, built between 1763-7. The premises of the church are surrounded by a wall with chapel alcoves of the cross of the way and pillared gates. Today only the right side with six chapels remains. Other sacral constructions of interest are the church of St. Jacob the Greater at the parish church and the church of All Saints on Frýdlant Street.
If you would like to know more about places of interest and the history of Frýdek-Místek, the Frýdek-Místek Beskydy Information Center has prepared Guided Days for you to take place twice a year, a good reason to check out our websitewww.beskydy.com time to time.
Frýdek-Místek is not just history and monuments, however. It offers a cycle of musical and cultural events throughout the summer called Beskydy Happy Summer, including the International Folk Festival, Western in Frýdek, Jazz in the City, Beskydy Records, Frýdek Festival, and many others.
The city also offers a wide range of sporting activities. For a bit of movement and relaxation head to the nearby aquapark in Olešná, which offers a host of indoor and outdoor attractions. If you are a cycling enthusiast, a marked circular trail around Frýdek-Místek and nearby surroundings is ready for you. For younger enthusiasts a skatepark has been built under the bridge near the sports hall. The city also provides opportunities for horseback riding and many other sporting activities, especially in fitness centers and sporting venues.
Those tourists who like to collect stamps can buy the following in the Beskydy Information Center in Frýdek and in Místek: Frýdek Castle no. 0653 and Kabátic lookout point no. 1472, a 23 m high iron observation tower on the edge of Frýdek-Místek. A new tourist stamp was recently issued, no. 1512, of the spring and chapel in Hájek, which is a popular pilgrimage destination with a well, located in the city district of Lískovec. Superstition has it that the water from the well has a miraculous quality and can restore health. The spring also fulfills strict hygienic norms. That?s why you should come and try this holy water and see for yourself if it really is miraculous stuff!