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Jakubčovice – history

    Jakubčovice lies 503 m above sea level. Its name was derived ( by the suffix –ovice) from a domestic form of the personal name Jakub (James), which ran Jakubča. It might have been the name of the founder of the village. There is another village of the same name not far from there – Jakubčovice-upon-Oder. A relatively long name was often changed. A few examples: Jakubcowitz in 1377, Jacubczowitsch in 1435, Jakubczowicze in 1506, Jakuptschowitz in 1720,(Jakubczowice in Czech), Jakubčovice, (also Jakubšovice) in 1884.

    According to the village chronicle the oldest written record dates from 1377, when the village was owned by Kunát of Jakubčovice. The archeological findings, however, give evidence that the site must have been settled as early as in the Bronze Age. 

    In 1453 Prince Wenceslas of Opava renewed by a document the right to Jakubčovice, which was then owned by the Nedvídek family. As late as in 1506 a stronghold in the village is mentioned.

    In 1523 Jiří (George) Nedvídek sold the village to the town of Opava for 370 thalers. The inhabitants lived in bondage until 1848.They were obliged to do compulsory labour.

    The 1820s and 1830s meant a peaceful and successful period in the economic development of towns, but country people lived in poverty and suffered from frequent epidemics. In 1846 a famine burst out in Opava region as a result of potato infection. From the records it is not clear if it affected Jakubčovice. 
After the abolition of compulsory labour in 1848 the villagers were released from their obligations. Before WWI there were 80 houses in the village, mostly shingle-roofed or sometimes thatched-roofed.

    In the first half of the 20th century a number of folk customs were observed in Jakubčovice, either of pagan or Christian origin, such as walking with the bear at the end of carnival season, putting up and cutting down the maypole, May processions across the fields with singing and praying for a good harvest, frying eggs at Whitsuntide and, last but not least, feasts.

    On 22nd August 1944 local people were upset by the air crash of the American bomber B-24 Liberator. Five men of its ten-man crew were taken war prisoners, others got killed. Two of them were killed near fortifications on the north edge of Jakubčovice, another one met his death in the crown of a beech in a wood between Jakubčovice and Raduň. The event is also commemorated by the nature trail which was set up in 2006 and dedicated to the memory of American pilots.

    Jakubčovice was liberated on 28th April 1945, but the community suffered a lot. It was the most heavily struck part of today´s Hradec-upon-Moravice. 27 soldiers of Soviet Army and five local people were killed during the liberation fights. 23 houses were burnt by fire or destroyed by bombs, almost all the others were damaged. Consequently, 24 families moved away to settle the villages near the border, the German population of which had to leave for Germany.

    Telephone connection was installed in 1946, electricity on April 20th 1947. A kindergarten was opened in 1948. A cooperative farm was founded in 1957. In 1966 – 1967 a cooperative supermarket was built on a self-help basis. The community made an effort to set up its own cemetery and they succeeded in 1969; burials started in February 1970. A new fire station was built by voluntary firefighters in 1964, in 1973 – 1976 a new fire reservoir was built with the help of other citizens. The fire brigade ranked among the most significant socially active organizations in the village and also the most active fire brigades in the district; in 1985 it had 150 members, including 56 women.


The Chapel and Crosses

    The chapel was built in 1863 and consecrated to Visitation in 1869. The crosses date from 1869 and 1885, the cross on the southern edge of the village is from 1885 and that in the south is from 1913. It is not known when a chapel in the direction to Hlubočec was built; it was repaired in 2009.