The District of Zdar nad Sazavou spreads across 1,672 km2
at the highest altitudes of the Bohemian Moravian Uplands, including the highest peak of Devet skal (836 m.) Covered with spruce trees in the north, the district is cut apart by the European water shed between the North and Black Seas. Stribrna studanka (Silver Fountain) on the top of the Zakova hora (810 m) is one of the springs of the Svratka River, the district's longest water stream. Beside the Sazava which issues out of the Velke Darko lake (206 hectares) and the Oslava River, there are many tiny streams and brooks all over. The countryside is characteristic of many ponds - Sykovec, Medlov, Milovy, etc., which are used economically as well as for the recreation. The Bohemian-Moravian Uplands att racts tourists, skiers and artists. Many painters had ties to this part
of the country-Chitussi, Slavicek, Kremlicka, Kavan, Blazicek, Jambor, Lacina, Lukasek, Kopacek-and there are more among our contemporaries - Hanych, Zezula, Smazil. The country gave birth to outstanding sculptors, like Jan Stursa and Vincenc Makovsky, and the glazier's tradition founded by the Beranek family is also worth mentioning. Products of the glass work of Skrdlovice are renowned home and abroad.
Zdar's history dates back to the 13th
century and is closely linked with Zdar's Cistercian Monastery
. Cardinal Frantisek from Ditrichstejn promoted Zdar to a town in 1607. The original monastery gained today's appearance during large-scale reconstructions while the abbot Vaclav
Vejmluva was its superior in 18th
century. The reconstructions were carried out according to the design of the outstanding architect Jan Blazej Santini Aichl. St. Jan Nepomucky's Church at Zelena Hora is also one of the Santini's works and is considered to be the best one. This unique church was put down in the list of world culture heritage of UNESCO
in winter 1994.
At the beginning of this century Zdar underwent great changes. The railway line was built and many industrial enterprises were established there. In the 50's the number of inhabitants rose sharply as a result of establishing the Zdar's foundry and engineering plant. The character of the town is still changing a lot because of the extensive reconstruction which has begun recently. The new housing estates were built on the periphery of the town. The modern, administrative and economical centre was set up. Nowadays, Zdar has about 25 000 inhabitants.