Situated in a picturesque valley of the river Desna, Sumperk is protected the north by the mountainous ranges of Jeseniky. At the moment the town's population is more than 30,000 and it is an important centre of northwest Moravia. Sumperk's centre is a protected town zone of historic interest. Preservation of original architecture is the town council's long term task. Thanks to its position on the slopes of the Jeseniky it is likely to become sought after as a tourism centre.
Sumperk was founded in the 13th
century on the monarch's estates. It was forfeited to the foremost Czech and Moravian noblemen. In 1391 the town was granted important rights by Moravian markgrave Jost
. At the beginning of the 16th
century it became the seat of the Zerotin family who bought it and made extensive reconstructions after the fire in 1513. However, as early as 1562 the town redeemed itself from the Zerotins and became the part of the king's estates. On this occasion Emperor Ferdinand I. improved the town's emblem. Sumperk lost all its liberties as a result of its participation in the Czech estates' uprising. In 1622 it became the possession of the Lichtenstejn family. The short time of the town's prosperity after the thirty-year war was disrupted by a big fire (1669) and ten years later by the Inquisition
- witch trials. The death toll of these insane and absurd trials was fifty people the linen-draper trade's bloom and especially the monopoly on semi velvet (called trip) production contributed to the town's welfare in the 18th
century. This trade tradition presaged great development of the
textile industry in the second half of the 19th
century and was the source of the town's unprecedented prosperity. The town was nicknamed little 'Vienna' for its imposing architecture. Its German character changed after the Second World War when the majority of Germans were transferred back to Germany. The arrival of new settlers caused a short period of stagnation, however the town's further development can be seen from the demographic data: since 1939 the number of its inhabitants has doubled (from 15.611 to 30.422). Sumperk is the seat of a district council which has been administering the former district region of Zabreh since 1960 and district Jesenik till 1995. The most significant cultural facilities in the town are the professional North Moravian Theatre Sumperk, a Cultural House offering a wide range of cultural and social programmes and the District Geographical Museum with a 100-year tradition.
The town of Sumperk is known as the "Gateway to the Jeseniky Mountains"
. There are also the spas of Bludov and Velke Losiny, where health treatment is based on the use of local springs with a high sulphur content. For those who like history, Velke Losiny also has its own Renaissance chateau, famous for the witch trials carried out here, as well as a mill where paper is still made by hand.