The town of Ždánice lies at the foot of the Ždánický les in South Moravia, in the north-west of the district of Hodonín. It has been an important industrial, administrative and cultural centre for a long time. On 31 December 2007 its population was 2,650.
The town and castle of Ždánice were first mentioned in writing in 1349, when Bohuš of Ždánice´s property in Ždánice was transferred to his brother Vítek, the archdean of Olomouc, which was recorded in Moravian Olomouc provincial tables.
On the hill above the town there used to be the castle of Palánek, which burnt down in 1538 and became desolated. There are practically no remains at present.
In Ždánice there also used to be a fortified stronghold, which was rebuilt into a Renaissance castle by Oldřich of Kounice. The reconstruction was finished in 1569. The castle became property of the family of Lichtenstein after the battle of Bílá hora. In adaptations in 1739, 1762 and 1789 the castle was given a Baroque frontage. In 1931 the castle was bought from the Liechtensteins by an enterpreneur, Dr. Ervín Seidl. In 1945, according to Beneš´s decrets, it fell to the state and was administered by the Ždánice local authority. Since 1992 it has been in private ownership.
For over 60 years the ground floor of the castle has been the seat of the Vrbas museum, established by the headmaster and local historian, Jakub Vrbas. The museum, which was reconstructed in the half of the 1990s, displays a wide collection of valuable, interesting as well as curious historical objects.
The castle is adjoined by a park with rare trees and a one-hundred-year-old dog´s cemetery. Next to the park there is Seidl´s nice villa with elements of historicism and modernism, built by a Czech architect from Vienna, Leopold Bauer, from 1907-1908.
In the town there is a Baroque church of the Assumption of the Virgin, built on the base of a former Marian chapel in the early 1800s.
The centre of town is dominated by the building of a primary school built by a Ždánice native, Dr. Ing. Arch. Antonín Mendl, in 1928-1930. There is also the information centre and local library in the building. Other educational facilities are the nursery school, art school and youth centre, which runs a children´s summer camp in Haluzice.
In 1932 the Tyrš svimming pool was opened in Ždánice, which has been reconstructed into one of the most modern swimming pools in the region.
In 1965 the community centre was opened in Ždánice and tradition of holding October feast festivals was restored. At present there are a lot of folklore groups: the Male Choir from Ždánice, a female choir called Ženičky, a folklore group called Ždáničan, children´s folklore group called Ždáničánek, Hradisko the dulcimer group, Young Dulcimer Group and Children´s Dulcimer Group. Popular folklore events are Songs in Grass, traditional October feast festival with folk costumes, Catherine dance, singing at the Christmas tree and St. Stephan concert in the church.
In 1965, thanks to Ing. Oldřich Kotík, an observatory was opened in Ždánice. During the next 15 years it was enlarged with a cellar, hostel, sauna and planetarium. However, in 2002 the bulding was sold to a private individual and since then it has not been open to the public.
One of the first companies here was a sugar refinery, built in 1862-1864. It was closed after the land reform in 1925.
At the turn of the 20th century a steam sawmill was founded by two brothers, Ludvík and Cyril Blatný, from which the present furniture company, BMB, has developed.
In 1938 an enterpreneur, Otakar Šmíd, started production of decorative works of art from non-ferrous metals. The production was gradually enlarged and reconstructed into a modern company, Narex, producing thread-cutting tools.
In 1948 a company producing fluorescent lamps and mine lights, Elektrosvit, was built on the site of the former sugar refinery. The production was soon moved to Nové Zámky in Slovakia and in its place a screw factory producing connecting materials was established in 1958. In 2002 its production was moved to Kyjov and now the buildings are used by many other companies (CVP Galvanika, Star Technik, Voss, Recyde).
Almost in the centre of town a company making products from plexiglass, A.Z. Plastik, was established in 2000. There are a few other prosperous companies, such as a bakery and conditioner´s, and also some small shops.
In the area of Ždánice the petroleum company, Moravské naftové doly, has been extracting quality oil and natural gas since the 1970s.
All other information about the town, local places of interest and current cultural events can be given by the information centre in Ždánice (tel. +420 518 633 412), e-mail email@example.com.