Janáček was born in the school in Hukvaldy on 3 July 1854. Although he left his home town at the age of 12 to live in Brno, from the 1890s he was a regular guest in Hukvaldy. In 1921 he bought a house there from the widow of his brother František, and from then on he would come for several weeks each year. Later he also bought a forest called Babí hůra. Until the end of his life, Hukvaldy was one of the composer's favourite places, where he would go to mainly for rest and relaxation. However, his visit to Hukvaldy in the summer of 1928 was to prove fatal. He was spending the summer with his friend, Kamila Stösslová, and her son Otto, when he caught a cold and shortly afterwards, on 12 August, died of pneumonia at the Klein sanatorium in Ostrava. Today, Janáček's house is a memorial which charts Janáček's relationship with his home town of Hukvaldy, while in the school where the composer was born there are various exhibitions with a Janáček theme. In summer Hukvaldy hosts concerts and performances that are part of the Leoš Janáček International Music Festival (formerly Janáček's Hukvaldy).

Hukvaldy, historical postcard © Moravian Museum
Hukvaldy, historical postcard © Moravian Museum

Born on 3 July in a school room with one window looking out to a church and the other to a brewery. The Hukvaldy school; a large room with old, chipped benches. One class on the left for the young ones, the second on the right for the older ones. Two blackboards, my dad and an assistant taught at the same time. How did they avoid getting in each other's way? A large stove in the corner, a bed next to it where the assistant spent the night. I also lay there when I was ill, when I scalded myself at the fireplace. A chicken has an enclosed life, and I did too as a child.

Leoš Janáček: A View of the Life and Work (1924)