The region with the first settlement dating back to the 5th century after Christ became a part of the Samo’s Empire in the 9th century. The fortified settlement above Znojmo, built on the vast headland, was amongst the most significant centres of the Great Moravia Empire and was withstanding Hungarian attacks even a half of a century after it came to the end.
Dyje have become a bordering river, fortified by the Premyslids by a line of strong castles, among which stood out the Znojmo Castle founded opposite the old settlement. Its founder Duke Břetislav divided Moravia into three princedoms and assigned them to his sons. In 1226 Znojmo was promoted by Premyslid Otakar I to be a royal town and so it is the oldest town in Moravia.
The oldest sacred building in the CR was built on the headland in the front of the Znojmo Castle and is called the Rotunda of St. Catherine. It dates back to the 1st half of the 12th century and its interior is decorated by original mural paintings depicting probably representatives of Moravian noble families.
THE PODYJÍ NATIONAL PARK (NPP)
The area of the NP is divided into 3 zones wit a special protection regime: 1st zone (strictly nature) – includes especially the central area of NP made up of the valley of the Dyje River and its tributaries. Nature is here practically virgin or only slightly influenced. Found there are especially natural forests on the valley slopes, including rock steppes, pine woods, scree forests and fragments of submontane primeval forests. Nature in this zone is left to its natural course, where all human activities are excluded. Entry and movement in this zone are possible only on the marked tourist routes.
2nd zone (controlled nature) – involves a large part of a forest complex and the most valuable forestless areas (heath and meadows). The objective of the care in this zone is to reach the nature-close state of forest societies. The unique natural forestless posts are necessary to be kept up in a desired state by the professional maintenance (pasture, cutting grass with scythe and other biotechnological actions). Rules for visitors’ movement in this zone are the same as in the 1st zone.
3rd zone (bordering) – it includes mainly the edge of the 2nd zone in the outer part of the National Park. It is the most affected area by a human activity. It involves agricultural areas especially around Čížov and Lukov as well as the edge parts of forest. It is allowed to use this zone reasonably for agriculture, forestry and tourism, with the respect to the objectives and interests of environment protection.
The visitors’ movement in the NP Podyjí and its protection zone is guided by the Visitors’ Code. It is essential to point out the following restrictions: On the entire area of the NP it is strictly forbidden: • camping, bivouac and making a fire • to drive in and stay with motor vehicles • to organize mass sporting and tourist events • water sports and tourism on the Dyje River • cycling off the roads and marked tourist routes. In the 1st and 2nd zone is further forbidden: • to entry and move off the tourist routes • swimming in the Dyje River and ponds • winter cross-country skiing off the marked routes.