Krásná, Carlsbad Region, Czech Republic

The municipality Krásná with its some 549 inhabitants is located in the border region of the Czech Republic, Bavaria and Saxony within a hillocked landscape characterised by green spaces and forest. Since 1975, Krásná was a member of the small town Asch – only since 1990 it became an autonomous municipality again. The population has been growing over the last few years, as did the age average among the inhabitants. The unemployment rate is clearly under the regional and nationwide average.

Neither the colourful history, which is decisively characterised by the displacement of the previously mostly German-speaking population and the resettlement of Czech people, nor the four years of isolation due to the proximity to the Iron Curtain were able to stop the population from participating in a cross-border knowledge exchange right after the political overturn. In 2002, a development process was started that aimed to maintain traditions, strengthen the identity and improve the connections to neighbouring German municipalities as well as the creation of cross-border communication, education and transport infrastructure. In this context, the membership in the Association of Friends in the Heart of Europe is particularly noteworthy.

Krásná impresses with a lively, well connected club life, expressed in the fully booked event calendar. These events include traditional activities, sport events as well as cultural highlights. Also remarkable here are the close collaborations with German neighbouring clubs and associations, with whom things such as language courses, festivals and common fire brigade practices are organized. Several participations and awards in village competitions positively affected the village community and strengthened the solidarity.

A remarkable factor that is visible in daily life is the strong sense for environmental protection among the people of Krásná as a result of several successfully implemented measures in the field of renewable energy, energy efficiency and waste prevention with strong environmental pedagogic aspects that start with the youngestt in kindergarten. Also worth mentioning are activities to create and maintain a “green strip” along the former dead border that created a unique nature are. The consequent touristic chances were recognised as well.

In Krásná, the handling of elderly and people in need is exemplary: for example, the former frontier building was remodelled into senior-friendly apartments. The former baracks were also put to new use as a day care center that fits perfectly in the high-quality infrastructure of the municipality. The construction of a new sports field in the center expresses the awareness of the importance of short distances and meeting places within the village core. New settlement areas are only created in small scale and under careful consideration of nature protection.

Krásná is a dynamically evolving municipality that offers a high quality of life for the youth as well as the elderly, is characterised by a great sense of community, and exhibits a togetherness among people of diverse generations and nationalities – thanks to the openness of its inhabitants.

Evaluated: 2016