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Trip Planner Europe  /  Czech Republic  /  Moravia  /  Vysocina Region  /  Pelhrimov


Specialty Museums · Mountains · Children’s Museums
Pelhřimov is a town located approximately halfway between Prague and Brno. It is known as “the Gateway to the Highlands“ because of its location in the westernmost tip of the Bohemian-Moravian Highlands. The altitude is 498.63 meters above sea level at the foot of the tower of the Church of St. Bartholomew, and 509.7 meters at the railway station.HistoryEarly historyThe earliest settlement, in the first half of the 13th century, was probably near St Vitus church and in Hrnčiřská street. In 1289 it was raided by Vítek of Hluboká. In 1290 King Wenceslas II granted Bishop Tobias of Bechyně a concession to renovate the town and fortify it with ramparts. The town was first settled mainly by German colonists. Gradually Czechs established themselves as the majority. In the Hussite Wars, Pelhřimov sided with the Hussites and even provided one of their spiritual leaders, Mikuláš (Nicholas) Biskupec of Pelhřimov.The favourable position of the town, on the borderline of the domain of the Rožmberks and of the lords of Kunštát, was important after the upheavals ended and the reconciliation of the lords began. In 1446-1450 Pelhřimov was chosen as the venue of land diets (parliaments or deliberative councils), attended in person even by King Jiří of Poděbrady. Silver mining, in the vicinity of Křemešník, aided the expansion of Pelhřimov. Many crafts flourished in the town: drapers and clothiers, weavers, dyers, gingerbread makers and brewers. In 1434 the town passed into the hands of the Lords Trček of Lípa, who sold the estate in 1550 to Adam Říčanskký of Říčany, who built a castle in the immediate vicinity of the town ramparts.However, the lords of Říčany did not reside at the castle for long. Adam's son Karel systematically interfered with the rights of the burghers and was involved in endless disputes with them. Finally, in 1572, the town bought its freedom. In 1596 Emperor Rudolf II elevated Pelhřimov to a royal town. The repressions that followed the Uprising of the Estates interrupted the promising expansion of the town. The disaster was completed by a huge fire in 1646, which laid waste most of the town's buildings. Paradoxically, Pelhřimov should now be grateful for the fires, because they contributed to the town's present homogeneity. Another devastating fire ravaged the town in 1766; thanks to it, the town houses are uniformly Renaissance-Baroque.
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