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Republic Náměstí Míru and Horní Náměstí from Slavonice, Czech Republic

Called Zlabings in German, and first mentioned in 1260, Slavonice lies one kilometre from the Austrian border. Its geographic position might be the reason its architecture has survived to this day. After expelling the German population in 1945, the town, now too close to the frontier, is deliberately left deserted by the new authorities, with no Socialist apartment building to be found. In later years, it was renovated and transformed into an art colony. Looking even further back in time, the local architecture was once again preserved when the flourishing town was removed from the trading route uniting Prague to Vienna, which made it so that the Renaissance architecture and the initial plan would remain in that particular development phase. The town’s plan is atypical, with two interconnected squares. One of them, called Peace Square, is triangular whereas the other, called Upper Square, is elongated and has the church as a central point, surrounded by houses. A large number of buildings from the late Gothic and Renaissance periods are practically intact, with many façades decorated with a special type of sgraffito.