Grulich (Kraliky in Czech) – a city located 4 km away from the Polish-Czech car border crossing in Boboszów. The city presently has about 5000 inhabitants. The oldest trustworthy record about this place dates back to 1367. The proper town came to being as late as in the 16th century and the first record about it dates back to 1568. In 1577 the town and ten neighbouring villages were bought by Zdeněk of Valdštejn. Zdeněk z Valdštejna chose the town of Králíky as the residence of his new manor and began to develop it. Except the manor house, vicarage and protestant oratory (today’s church of St. Michael Archangel), he had the square built into today’s shape and to his request emperor Rudolf II granted the town a privilege to hold three annual fairs. In the surroundings iron ore was probably mined and perhaps silver, too, and at that time the town was supposed to get two crossed mining hammers with a sword into its heraldry.
Near the curative springs over the town bishop Tobias Jan Becker, a native of Grulich, had in the years of 1696-1710 a monumental pilgrimage complex built. A lot of visitors came to this pilgrimage place and poor inhabitants of the Grulich region made living on these pilgrimages. Production and sale of souvenirs boomed. Woodcarving began to develop, and Christmas cribs and wooden characters that can be seen up to today all over the world are reminders of this. The Christmas cribs were even sold in America as “the genuine Wiener cribs”. Also other crafts were not left behind, especially organ building and weaving. Many cathedrals and churches all over the Czech Republic can be proud of their organs from organ masters of Grulich. One of the most considerable organ can be found in the Prague’s Loreta, many others will only wait for their recognition.
The photograph is a postcard from the 19th century which shows the city square and pilgrimage complex.