The picturesque town of Nový Jičín at the southern edge of the Moravian Gate in the Beskyd Foothills, was probably founded around 1280 on the crossroads of major trade routes from Poland and Silesia to Bohemia and Hungary, which had a favourable effect on its development. The oldest written mention of the town dates from 1313 in a document issued by King John of Luxembourg, granting the town the right to collect a toll.
Nový Jičín can boast an unusually high number of monuments, which form the Town Monument Reservation declared in 1967. Cultural monuments worth seeing include the regular-sided town square, which is unique in the Czech Republic and is surrounded on all four sides by exceptional town houses edged with arcades.
The oldest monument in the town is the formerly Gothic Castle of the Lords of Kravař, built at the end of the 14th century. A comfortable Renaissance chateau was built on the site of this castle during the 15th and 16th centuries. This château conceals a small town citadel built during the period of the Turkish incursions. Today the building of the Žerotín Château houses the Museum of the Nový Jičín Region, which displays a permanent and unique exhibition of hats, which have been manufactured in the town since 1799. A unique exhibition devoted to the technological process of hat-making can bee seen at the Visitor’s Centre Nový Jičín – town of hats.
The town is the ideal starting point for shorter and longer trips throughout the surrounding area. The whole area is interspersed with signposted hiking routes, cycle routes and educational trails. Nature lovers can visit the Skalky wooded park at the edge of the town. The Čerťák water reservoir is used for recreational purposes and visitors can bathe and fish here. The Svinec ski complex is located only 3 km from the centre.