Its history is closely associated with the development of the Cistercian monastery in Zdar and dates back to the second half of the 13th century. Cardinal Frantisek of Ditrichstejn promoted the small village of Zdar to a town in 1607. The former monastery developed the present form during large reconstructions in the time of Abbot Vaclav Vejmluva in the first half of the 18th century. The reconstructions were designed by architect Jan Blazej Santini-Aichel.
There was a steep rise in population, associated with construction of the ZDAS machinery works in the 1950s. The design of the town and of the whole landscape has changed a lot. A modern, administration and commercial centre and new neighbourhoods were built.
There is a bus station in the centre of town with links throughout the country.
See Idos for extensive details of transport connections.
There is a local bus service running through the town. Bus number 2 will take you out to Zelena Hora and the Pilgrimage Church.
- The main attraction of Zdar nad Sazavou is the Pilgrimage Church of St. John of Nepomuk at Zelena Hora (Green Hill) [formerly dead link] about 3 km outside the center of city. This is one of the most important works of the architect Jan Santini and as such has been included on the UNESCO World Heritage List. The church is on a hill which can be climbed by stairs. The church is surrounded by an exterior wall which forms an internal sort of cloister which contains a graveyard. The church sits proudly in the middle, every aspect of the ensemble is planned to be significant to the story of Jan of Nepomuk who was martyred in Prague for not revealing royal secrets. Inside the church an audioguide can be played in several different European languages.
- An impressive monastery at the base of the hill was also designed by Santini.