Nýrsko is set approximately 18 km south-east from Klatovy. The town lies on the banks of Úhlava river in the foothills of Královský Hvozd under the Šumava range. It is well renowned for its production of traditional optical frames for all kinds of glasses. The location near the Šumava Protected Landscape Area and the border on Germany makes it a popular tourist destination.
History of Nýrsko
The first settlement was probably founded in the 12th century near the ford across the Úhlava river on the trade route to the neighbouring Bavaria. The first written record about Nýrsko dates back to 1327.
The town is dominated by a hill with the parish church of St Thomas. Originally a fortified church was built in the 13th century and along with the adjacent cemetery formed a shelter for the surrounding area during wartime. Another noteworthy site - the Pajrek Castle whose ruins still guard the Nýrsko valley dates back to the 14th century.
One of the owners of this castle, Racek of Janovice, played an important role during the Hussite wars, a series of religious conflicts between the Hussites and Roman Catholic Curch that swept the country in the 15th century. With the help of Domažlice and Klatovy residents he defeated a large army of crussaders coming to Bohemia from Germany. However, Nýrsko itself was severely plundered.
Towards the end of the 19th century, Mr W. Eckstein's optical factory moved into Nýrsko. The production lasts to this day, the factory now succeeded by Okula Nýrsko.
A few decades ago, the historical architecture on the square in the lower part of Nýrsko was largely replaced with panel houses. One of the few exceptions is the Baroque multi-storey gabled townhall from 1684. Despite the extensive communist devastation, there are still many interesting places well worth visiting.