Zlín - Shoes And Big Sport Talents
Baťa Town, made from bricks
To tell the truth, Baťa message remains everywhere. You can see it in countless number of brick-built houses. Baťa let it construct for his employers. So, all persons, who worked jointly at one belt in a factory, they lived together in one house, in order to fulfill one target - to make Baťa works famous.
All houses are similar to each other, you need to overcome a couple of steps, from one entrance to another one. In order to enter a house, you cross small courtyard. The blocks of houses of orange colour-shade are placed close to each other, and the complex acts as a labyrinth. The houses are situated along a hill, not far distant from the factories. Old bricks, in case of several houses, were replaced by new ones. Nevertheless, many houses remained in its original form.
Past and future, bright and better
Zlín has many faces, and it depends on everybody, who would prefer the right one. Gigantic factory halls, chimneys, as well as the houses of workers or well arranged and very modern city centre. Frankly speaking, the second view is more suitable for the life, but for tourists, this very coloured history of the town would be more attractive.
Thanks to immense enterprising spirit of shoemaker´s family, which operated in Zlín since 1894, the town got substantially different character. Many people come here, in order to get job there, not only from Moravia, they came also from distant Bohemia. So, thanks to new working possibilities, even Walachians´ transfer to Texas, USA, was stopped. Within short period of twenty years, population number increased ten times - from originally 3600 inhabitants up to nearly 38 000 of people.
Anyway, year 1926, became an important land-mark for Zlín. At that time period, Baťa invited to the town many respected architects of world-wide fame. So, except brick-built houses for workers, many skyscrapers and administrative buildings were constructed in city centre in the meantime. Skyscraper, well-known as „Twenty-one“ is 77 metres high building.
However, quite sad era came, at the same time with promisingly started economy in 1945, when Baťa Works were nationalized. Four years later, Zlín lost its name and was changed into Gottwaldov. Except construction of Jižní svahy (South slopes) dwelling houses quarter, many changes were not effected in town. Later, after revolution in 1989, Thomas Baťa younger (junior) visited Moravia, and bad Communist era was closed, at least from administrative point of view, Gottwaldow was re-named to Zlín again.
In 2001, Thomas Baťa University was established. Except so called „clever heads“, many famous sportsmen were born in Zlín, such as, for instance: Tomas Dvořík, athlete-decathlonist, Roman Hamrlík, Roman Čechmánek or Peter Čajánek, ice-hockey players. Zlín is a birthplace of famous lady-enterpreneur Ivana Trump, actor Joseph Abrham or architect Eva Jiřičná.
Text: Klára Svobodová
Translation: ing. Jan Jonáš
Photo/video: Klára Svobodová
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