Vitorazko

Vitorazko is the basin of the Upper Luznici River, comprising approximately 113 square kilometers. The historic territory was divided between Austria and the new Czechoslovakia in 1920, when eastern Europe settled into post World War I changes.

Slavic colonists came to the area (ca. 650 – early 700s) from the Danube, from southern Moravia, and from upstream of the Luznici. The river, the upper basin for which is near Weitra as it begins its flow to the north, served as the border between Bohemia and Austria until the Hapsburg monarchy made Bohemia part of Austria (Rakousko in Czech).  From the 12th century, the area was gradually colonized by a German population although Czechs remained into the 20th century.  Your ancestors who lived in Vitorazko might have been Slavic or German or a combination due to inter-marriage.  Most were bilingual and probably shared cultural traditions.

[map of Vitorazko Territory in 1339]

Prince Vitoraz was an Austrian royal in the 9th century (another source says that he got the territory in 1185).  The city that was the center of the area and built in the very early 1200s was named after the prince – Vitoraz which is Weitra in German, the language of Austria.  The city and the surrounding Vitorazko was in Bohemia until the year 1339, then in Lower Austria (Dolni Rakousky in Czech and Niederoesterreich in German) until the 1920 change when the northern part went to Czechoslovakia, and Austria retained what is now the district of Gmund.

[photo of the Rathaus (city hall) of Weitra, Austria (Vitoraz in Czech)]

The towns of Tust, Rapsach, Halamky, Kunsach, and Krabonos were in Austria until 1920, as Schwartzbach, Rottenschachen, Witschkoberg, Gundschachen, and Zuggers/Ziegers. Halamky and Kunsach were younger villages than their neighbors.  Nova Ves nad Luznici, Ceska Cejle, Velenice (merged in 1920 from Ceske Velenice, Dolni Velenice, Ceske Cejle, Josefsko, and colony Mexico), and Dvory nad Luznici were in Bohemia until 1339, then in Austria until 1920 as Erdweiss, Bohmzeil, Wielands, and Beinhofen/Nemecke.  Suchdol nad Luznici (aka Suchenthal), Hrdlorezy (Pernschall/Bernschall/Bohmschachel), and Nove Hrady (Gratzen) were always on the Bohemian side of the border although Bohemia was part of Austria-Hungary for centuries.  Vitoraz/Weitra was always in Austria as was Hohenberg where some of our south-of-Suchdol ancestors went to church before churches were built closer to their homes.

Should the record in Trebon Archive reveal that your ancestor’s bride was from Austria or from Vitorazko, she may only have been a short walk from Hrdlorezy at Dvory nad Luznici. Matriky from Rapsach, Krabonos, Dvory nad Luznici and other towns that were in Austria are housed in Trebon Archive and published on their website.  Some seigniorial registers from Austria are on FamilySearch.org  website including those from Vitorazko.

[two maps of part of Vitorazko]

Josef Bartuska (1898-1963) was an avant-garde artist, photographer, poet, musician and more, with Vitorazka his usual subject. He was a major presence in southern Bohemia.

Judy Nelson, April 2016