How to get here
The journey by car from Prague takes 3 hours, from Brno 1.5 hours, from Bratislava less than 3 hours. Vienna is 3 hours away, Berlin 6 hours, Katowice 2,5 hours, and Dresden 4 hours away. Fast and frequent is also the train connection through Zábřeh na Moravě. The train station is a 5-minute walk from the House of Culture.
The town of Šumperk blossomed in the 19th century thanks to the textile industry and at the turn of the 20th and 21st century it took on a new look thanks to funding from EU subsidy programmes in connection with the designation of a town conservation area. Šumperk is rightly referred to as the “gateway to the Jeseníky Mountains” because it is located at the crossroads of roads leading to the most important mountain starting points – Skřítek, Červenohorské sedlo, Ramzová and also to the range of Králický Sněžník.
Šumperk was founded in the second half of the 13th century. In the 16th century, the Žerotín family had their family seat here, during whose reign the town flourished, but the 17th century was a century of horror for the town. First the town was occupied and sacked by Swedish troops, in 1669 it was destroyed by fire and in 1678 another tragedy struck the town in the form of the witch trials.
It was not until the 18th and 19th centuries that Šumperk again experienced an era of prosperity thanks to a strong tradition of textile production. The leading businessmen of Šumperk invited prominent Viennese architects to build their luxurious villas, which gave the town its exquisite character and earned Šumperk the flattering nickname “Little Vienna”. The most important monuments of the town include the monastery church of the Annunciation of the Virgin Mary, Geschader’s House, St. John the Baptist Church, St. Barbara’s Church and the former Žerotín Chateau. The theatre building is also a pride of the town.
Visitors to the Blues Alive festival can learn more about the history of the town in the Exposition of Witch Trials in the Geschader House or in the permanent exhibition of the Regional Museum in Šumperk which also houses a permanent exhibition of the Blues Alive Hall of Fame. Also worth mentioning is the newly reconstructed town hall building, whose gallery offers a unique view of the town and the Jeseníky Mountains.