Katzer Families

Grulich (Kraliky)

From all we know, Grulich appears to be the cradle of the Katzer families. Its Czech name "Kraliky" denotes a "place of heretics". Richard Neugebauer, who is involved in a broad study of the German settlers in the "Adlergebirge", has informed us, that the "History of the Grulich area" (published in Czech language) mentions Katzer families in the area as early as 1654. In those days eight Katzer-Families lived in the immediate Grulich area, four of them in the village of Rotenbach (today: Cerveny Potok)

The reference to the name of Katzer is obvious. It may have been settled by German speaking "Bohemian Brothers", whose Bible, the "Kralitzer Bibel", acquired great importance in the Czech linguistic area.

The easternmost town in Bohemia, situated between the montain ranges of the Adlergebirge and the Altvatergebirge, goes back to a miners' settlement. Its owners were the Lords of Pottenstein, Waldstein, Hohenlohe, Pappenheim and Althan. The parish church of St. Michael, originally a Protestant temple, was rebuilt twice after fires. The market square is dominated by ancient arbour houses. Since 1873 there has been a technical college of woodworking in Grulich. The school has produced a large number of sculptors and wood carvers. The famous crib carvings of Grulich have been described nicely in Otfried Preußler's short story "Der Gloria Engel". It has been published in: "Das Otfried Preußler Lesebuch", dtv Taschenbuchverlag, München (ISBN 3-423-10959-9). Unfortunately it is only available in German 

On top of Muttergottesberg (769 m) there is a pilgrimage church with seven altars and large stairs with seven times seven steps. Bishop Tobias Becker of Königgrätz encouraged the foundation of a Servite monastery (1710), which was handed over to the Redemptorists in 1883. They worked there until 1950. Then they were interned together with other priests and monks. Pilgrimage to Grulich has been possible again since 1968. 

Economy: Canvas-, silk- and cotton weaving, flax cultivation and trade, cottage industry, wood carving (source of many crib carvings and carved altars in northern Moravia and eastern Bohemia) 

Distinguished personalities: Tobias Joh. Becker (1649-1710), bishop of Königgrätz; the historian Joseph Leonhard Knoll (1775 -1841, born in nearby Nieder Heidisch); Wilhelm Öhl (1860-1936), writer and dialect poet of the Adlergebirge; Guido Franz Rotter (1860 -1940),developer of the Riesengebirge, who founded the "Deutsche Studenten- und Schülerherbergen", the world's first youth hostels, in 1884. Organ Builder František Katzer