The 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.
The Educational Trail In the Footsteps of the Baptists
This educational trail features five panels that will acquaint you with the short but fruitful period when the Baptists settled in Mikulov.
You can find the opening panel on the trail in the very centre of town in the vicinity of the Dietrichstein Crypt. The trail runs along the town streets which makes it easily accessible and undemanding. It is one and a half kilometres in length. Go northeast from the first panel and take the street Kamenný Řádek to the second panel on the street called 1. Května. The trail continues along this street to the third panel in the small park on the crossroads of the streets 1. Května and Bezručova where there is a rest area and a wooden sculpture of the Baptists. From here it is not far to the newly revitalised park by the old Janičův Vrch quarry where the final two panels on the trail are located.