Joseph II was the eldest son of Maria Theresa. His many siblings included the famous Marie Antoinette, the wife of king Louis XVI. In 1764, he was elected the emperor of the Holy Roman Empire in Frankfurt. His most important decrees include the discontinuation of censorship, the Patent of Tolerance and the abolishment of serfdom.
Joseph II was a frequent guest to northern Moravia and Silesia. In 1766 he visited Šance near Mosty u Jablunkova, in order to inspect the defense system of the Jablunkov pass (you may see a wooden carved model of the Šance in the Goral tourist information center).
Throughout 1779, the emperor travelled along the Silesian border. He was once offered some refreshing water from a spring across from today’s Kovárna bed & breakfast in Lázně Lipová. A stone obelisk with a commemorative plaque was erected near the spring. He has also honored Krnov with a visit and inspected the Prussian fort on Cvilín. In the evening, he visited the city, which had been destroyed by a fire.
In April of 1787, the emperor stopped in Nový Jičín on his way to Russia. He lodged in a tavern (today’s Masaryk Square number 10, with a memorial plaque on the façade). He then left the town heading towards Příbor crossing the river over an old stone bridge called the Imperial Bridge (today a bridge over the Jičínka river near the Tabačka mall).
The emperor visited Hradec nad Moravicí in 1789, accompanied by General Laudon, to oversee a military parade. One year later, the emperor passed away, likely due to the effects of overwork.