Lomnice near Tišnov is a small town remarkable not only for its chateau and Baroque church but also for its Jewish monuments commemorating the Jewish settlement which existed here for more than 200 years. The town centre was rebuilt in the second half of the 17th century according to the plans of the Vienna architect C. P. Tencally.
The ancient and charming small town Lomnice has thirteen thousand inhabitants but it can be called without exaggeration the capital of the hilly region known as Sýkořská hornatina. This is the name of the rugged border country of the Bohemian-Moravian Highlands with the highest hill in the Tišnov region Sýkoř (704 m) which is situated only a few kilometres north of Lomnice. The most beautiful road to town leads from Tišnov upstream the „gold-bearing“ brook Besének via Lomnička and Šerkovice and then through a deep wooded valley that used to be the castle game park.
The parish Visitation church is a one-aisle building with chapels and two towers. It was built in the early Baroque style according to the project of the architect Tencallo by the building contractors Pavel Weinberger and Jan Křtitel Erna.
The town hall in Lomnice, the seat of the local council, is a one-floor building with tower. It dates back to the time of the reconstruction of the town centre according to Tencallo’s plans. The roof was covered with tin-plated sheets and painted in 1928 during repair works. The last bigger repair took place in 1994.
The small town Lomnice has more historic monuments and other sights than many other bigger towns. At the beginning the mighty dynasty of the Lords of Lomnice with an eagle’s wing in their coat of arms, then the Lords of Žerotín and since 1662 the originally Hungarian Lords of Serenyi shaped the form not only of their main seat – the Lomnice chateau, which was built on the place of the former Gothic castle, but also they also refined the character of the whole town. The distinctive culture of the Jewish village has also left indelible traces in the town. Not only the Renaissance chateau with park, Baroque church (the only one having two towers in the Tišnov region), town hall, the richly decorated sculptural group of the Plague Column, Jewish synagogue and graveyard, but also many other works of art make Lomnice an exceptional town. We shall name at least St. Anthony of Padua’s chapel built in the pure early Baroque style, the statue of the merry Beer King Gambrin in the niche of the former beer brewery from the sculptor J. Břenek dating from 1856 (this is perhaps the only statue of its kind in the beer loving Czech republic) and the picture frame showing the tombstone on the grave of the painter Bohumír Matal made by one of the foremost Czech sculptors Vladimír Preclík.
The originally Gothic castle from the 13th century was rebuilt later a few times before it was converted into today’s chateau. One of the oldest parts is the front with Gothic tower and the chateau chapel. The arcades on the ground floor in the first chateau courtyard were built in the Renaissance style as well as the portal in front of the main entrance; the Baroque reconstruction has left visible signs till today.
The late Baroque Jewish synagogue from 1780-1785 on the original Jewish square is linked to an older praying room. After the deportation of the Jewish people the synagogue was used for different purposes and started to fall down. It took several years to reconstruct the building which was inaugurated in 1997 and is used for various cultural events.
The old Jewish cemetery is an important historic monument in Lomnice which has almost one thousand tombstones with the oldest ones dating from the beginning of the 18th century.
Lomnice has a long tradition of an important centre of textile production which is carried on by a factory making furniture covers. And we cannot forget the writer Josef Uher who quite vividly depicted the poor life of the local weavers at the turn of the 20th century. The writer’s bust made by the sculptor J. Vrzal was unveiled in 1970 on the Jewish square.
The hiker can walk on the old roads used in the past by weavers who carried their work on wheelbarrows over hills and dales to agents in Lomnice. From there it is possible to continue to the hill called Veselský chlum, to the hillsides below the hill Synalov set with laburnum shrubs or to cherry orchards near the village Rašov. An interesting hiking route leads upstream the brook Besének with remains of many mill-races and pond dams giving evidence of the fact a few mills and sawmills set along the brook used the energy of this stream in the past. On the hillside near Osiky the Baroque pilgrimage St. Zdislava’s church draws the hiker’s attention standing close to the castle remains that was mistaken for the Levnov castle.
In the extensive woods near Sýkoř north of Lomnice there are many remains of the natural deciduous woods left with the prevailing oak out of which some areas have been declared protected nature reserves. One of them is the nature area called Míchovec above Křeptov; it is a rocky gneiss ridge with an old detrital forest with the mass population of the mountain herb lunary (Lunaria rediviva) that has an intoxicating smell.
In the woods that have been influenced by various industrial activities, some solitary ancient deciduous trees have been left standing alone as witnesses of past bygone times. One of the oldest of them is „Žižka’s oak“ above the Besének valley north of Šerkovice.
It is first of all the extensive woods near Sýkoř with many remains of old beeches and maples that are worth visiting. Many interesting rock groups and rocks made up of banks from the decaying local gneiss are hidden in these woods. Some of the rocks look like ruins of old castles – for example the rock group Hrádky over the brook Chlébský potok the valley of which is set with snowflakes in spring.
Not only from the top of the television tower on the hill Sýkoř, called the roof over Tišnov, but also from other hilltops that form a part of the Sýkoř highlands, it is possible to get a magnificent view of the whole Moravia: from the Pálava region with many vineyards in the south to the snow capped hills of the Ash Mountains (Hrubý Jeseník) and the hill Králický Sněžník in the north. The Tišnov region cannot be left out of such a wide-ranging view; it is a beautiful and tourist friendly countryside in the middle of Moravia that everybody is sure to like not depending on the time of the year.
The top mountain ridge on the Veselský chlum (578 m) over the village Veselí near Lomnice offers a nice show of the traditional land cultivation in poor stony land areas. The picturesque mosaic of fields, orchards, pastures and land not used for farming with flowering grasses and herbs is occasionally divided by walls piled up from the flat gneiss stones by past and present generations of people living in this charming countryside.