The Baptists

An entirely new section of the population joined the life of Mikulov and later the entire wine-growing area of South Moravia in 1526 – the Baptists or Anabaptists. Use of the word “Haban” for the Baptists only caught on later in Slovakia, but the Baptists themselves considered it extremely a busive as it had an evidently insulting subtext. 

The educational trail In the Footsteps of the Baptists

imgThe Moravia aristocracy accepted the Baptists as an economically active part of the population. It allowed them to settle on their lands and, most importantly, to live and conduct business according to their own ideas. The relationship between the Moravian authorities and the Baptists was not, however, always a positive one. The Baptists were not particularly popular with many, who merely tolerated them for their professionalism, reliability and industriousness, and the unbeatable quality and inexpensiveness of their work.
The Baptists were led by Balthazar Hubmaier (1480?–1528), a theologian from the times at which the Anabaptist movement began. They came to southern Moravia and Mikulov after being banished from Switzerland and the surrounding developed countries of Western Europe for their faith and their social demands. The reception given to the Baptists in Mikulov was not, however, merely an expression of religious freedom. The principal reason for it was the economic contribution made to the Mikulov estate by these representatives of a more developed western culture. Hubmaier soon had thousands of Baptists around him in Mikulov. Jakob Hutter, a Baptist preacher, became an important figure in the Baptist movement in Moravia following Hubmaier’s execution. Hutter asserted a new focus for their economic enterprise in around 1533. He was responsible for the longstanding dispute among the Baptists resulting in the establishment of an original religious and social community engaged in advanced economic enterprise – the Anabaptists.

Detail tlačené kůže habánské vazby Nikolčické obecní kroniky z r. 1583 - Foto: Václav Hortvík Rozevřená vazba Nikolčické obecní kroniky z r. 1583 - Foto: Václav Hortvík
Detail of the embossed leather Baptist binding of the Nikolčice village chronicle
Photo: Václav Hortvík
Open binding of the Nikolčice village  chronicle from 1583
Photo: Václav Hortvík
Tiskařský znak habánské tiskárny Simprechta Sorga zvaného "žabák" (německy Froschauer), který vydával v Mikulově filosofická díla Balthasara Hubmeiera - Foto: Václav Hortvík

Print mark of the Baptist printing house of Simprecht Sorg, known as “Frog” (Froschauer in German), who published the philosophical work of Balthazar Hubmaier in Mikulov
Photo: Václav Hortvík