Founding of Zodel

The village of

The founding 


Old timbers framed houses Franconian style, as they are found in Zodel and surrounding villages, show us that the founders of the village Zodel came from Franconia.

The way farming was conducted in those days, the properties in the western parts of Germany were
already divided. A further division of the farms among the sons was impossible and the search for new ground forced many people to the relatively unpopulated east. Promises, like free ground, no taxes, freedom and independence were reason enough for the settlers to join the trek to the east.

The farmers in Germany were free and independent by Germen law. Their fields and buildings were their property, which they could pass on to their sons, which they could divide and even sell. The farmer had to pay a tribute to the aristocracy of his area; the new settlers were exempt from this tax for the first 10 years. The farmer himself and his family were free and only obliged to do military service.

The houses were small and consisted of only one room for humans and animals alike and the smoke of the fire left the house through openings in the gables.

The way the village was laid out originally, along the brook, concludes that today’s main road did not exist at the founding of Zodel.

The oldest construction pieces of the church date back to the early 1320 and before that a wooden Chappell, which dated back to the 13th century and leaves us with the conclusion that the village Zodel existed already in the mid 12th century as a proper settlement, because only settled villages could erect a church. The first mention of the church of Zodel is found in a book in the library of the Bishop of Meissen dated 1346.

There are two interpretations about the origin of the name Zodel .

Variant 1

Here it is said that it originates from the sorbian word CZODJEL -czo = behinddjel = the mountainmeaning = behind the mountain. Even though the village of Zodel cannot be seen from a far distance, there is no mountain close to Zodel. The chronicler finds this interpretation very daring and tends more to the 2nd variant.

Variant 2

Seen from the village of Lissa , which Zodel was a part of in the olden days, Zodel appeared to look like a small corner. The old Germanic word for corner was Zoil or Coil and the development of the word Coil to Codil and than Czodel to today’s Zodel is more likely.

Zodel was mentioned in a document dating back to 1362 as Czodil and some years later in 1397 as Czodel.
In fact, Zodel is a German settlement with settlers from Franconia, it is very doubtful that they would have chosen a name from a foreign.

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