The village of Krásná (formerly Šubmurg) lies on the gentle south-eastern slope of Mount Maršovický Vrch, along the old road leading from Železný Brod to Jablonec nad Nisou. The name of the road – Hamrštice – is the area's reminder of the region's on confluence of the rivers Jizera and Kamenice long-ago ironmonger history. The contemporary name of Krásná village has been created by translating of the former name – in the German literature about national history we can often find a notice, that the original name of the village, founded on the place with the nice view of the landscape, was Schönburk.
At the end of the 16th century, families, depending on the prosperity of nearby glassworks, came to the village, the former Czech name of which was Šubrtovice. These families came here with their glassworks master. Usually, glassworks masters were experienced craftsmen in their fields and had been working in traditional family glassworks before, although the names of their owners had changed– Shürers, Wanders, Ewalds, Preisslers or Horns. The tradition of transfer to the oldest son, which was typical for farms and small houses, did not work for glassworks. The deciding factor was brilliant knowledge of glassmaking, and the ability to support large families.
In the first half of the 17th century, the glassworks in Mšeno, Huť, Bedřichov, and Rejdice were connected in kinship. Perhaps the families, who had come from Schürer´s glassworks in Rejdice to the glassworks in the valley of the Žernovník named the part of Šubrtovice village after their home village – Šumburk u Rejdic. The last record of the names of villages Maršovice and Saubertowicze dates to 1648. In the tax document from 1654, the villages were renamed as Saumburg.
Krásná had a legendary doctor Jan Antonín Eleazar Kittel, whose healing abilities were known even in distant Vienna. His house, beautiful in those days, was named Burk and it was used to use as a sanatorium. In the house´s cellar, there were laboratories for making medical potions mostly from herbs kept in the garden by the house or in the greenhouse.
Šumburk previously belonged to the Parish of Bzí. Visiting Holy Mass regularly was not easy, especially in the long and cruel winters. This is why Dr. Kittel established a new shrine in Šumburk in the first years of the Seven Years´ War, on 12th July 1756.
The local St. Joseph´s church, consecrated on 19th March 1760, is unique for its “Holy Stairs” (Svaté schody) – twenty-eight steps with Holy relics.
The relics had been transported here from Rome, their authenticity was verified, and they had been blessed by authorized indulgences form the Pope Clement XIII. In 1762, they had been built into the steps by priest Wiesner. In those days, Dr. Kittel had the German work “Jakubův žebříček” (Jakub´s ladder) or “Příručka, jak se dostat ze země do nebe ...” (The manual, how to get from earth to heaven) printed in the printing office in the town of Příbram. The book contained 28 prayers, which had to be said by penitents, while climbing up the stairs on their knees, on every step.
In the sixth decade of the 18th century, the area of the unfenced cemetery was consecrated, and a new presbytery, a temporary residence of curates, was built. In 1772, the estate was bought by Christian Richter, Count Manielli´s secretary, and later Prague and Hradec Králové (cities) Benedictine monasteries´ housekeeper, for the school of Šumburk and according to Dr. Kittel´s wishes he had the Holy Trinity Plague Column built on the place between the church and the parish. The locality of Šumburk became, by the decree of 7th December 1782, a parish village, and other villages (for example: Dolní Černá Studnice, Jistebvsko, Čížkovice, Maršovice, Dalešice, Klíčnov, Kopanina, Pěnčín, and Huť) were assigned to the parish of Šumburk.
Anastas Kittel´s daughter (Anastas being Dr. Kittel´s nephew) married a teacher – Jiří
Karásek - who began teaching in the school in Šumburk. In 1790, the school had 154 pupils (80 boys and 74 girls). Sixty-six pupils were from poor families which did not pay the teacher for his work. The teacher´s fame grew in tandem with the number of pupils, especially the “Czech ones”. After 1810, the school had as many as 350 pupils, 60 of which were from outside the village. Aristocratic clerks felt honoured if their children were living in
the teacher´s house during the week.
Detail of the Holy Trinity Plague Column “Holy stairs” in St. Joseph´s church
Jiří Karásek could play all the known (in those days) musical instruments, and used to teach his pupils. He also used to play in the church, and prepared ceremonial Masses with local musicians. For his exemplary teaching, hard work, and dedication, Karásek received many honourable mentions, and, on 7th May 1821, a gold medal from the emperor Franz I. Karásek used to get tempting offers from neighbouring demesnes, but was never able to say goodbye to the region, to its beautiful view of the landscape, his first pupils´ families, and the musicians he had taught. With time, the school in Šumburk received more and more pupils from wealthy Czech families from the areas of Železný Brod, Semily, and Vysoká. They used to study German here, to prepare for their future studies. One of them was František Ladislav Rieger, the son of the Semily miller, and later a deputy in the Austrian Constitutional Assembly.
Even after Karásek´s death, the school in Šumburk continued to maintain its good reputation. Between 1918 and 1938, a Czech school was built here. During World War II, the school was attended by pupils from the occupied lands and from the areas of the Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia, the border of which lay 1 km (0,62 mile) away. Gradually, the locality gained its uniquely impressive and mysterious character.
Recently, Kittel house and the parish office are being reconstructed, and the hidden beauties of St. Joseph´s church as well. However, “Karásek´s” school does not stand here anymore. The former porcelain factory became a cosy and modest museum dedicated to Kittel, where visitors can get to know about the doctor´s life, details about the Neolithic deposits, and the lives of our ancestors.