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Plzen History, Czech Republic

The fourth biggest city in the Czech Republic, Plzen is a significant center for the culture, commerce, industry and administration. Before becoming this center, it has gone through many events as manifested in Plzen History. These events have formed what is known to be Plzen today.

Plzen History – Foundation of the City

The very first record which mentions Plzen dates back to 976 AD. Plzen became a name of the castle built within the vicinity of the present day city. The castle called Plzen was built during this time. A few years after, Bishop Vojtech established a small monastery and a church in honor of the Virgin Mary. In 1295, the New Plzen was founded through the command of King Wenceslas II. Plzen at the time was a stretch of a 20 hectare land.

Plzen History – 15th Century

In 1414, Vaclava Koranda, Sr., a priest, led the burghers to oust the Order of the German Knights members from Plzen. The bishop then brought a group of South-Bohemian Hussites to Plzen in 1419. After just a year, the Hussites left the town. Plzen had remained faithful to the Roman-Catholic religion. In 1466, the citizens of Plzen turned away from George, the Czech king. They supported Matyas of Hungary and considered him as the true Czech king.

Plzen History – 16th and 17th Century

A great fire, in 1507, annihilated two-thirds of Plzen that is why major reconstructions were done in the town. The death of Matous (a member of the Order of the German Knights) in 1546, paved the way for the town to have a patronage right over the parish church. The town remained faithful to Catholicism and all the appointed town burghers were Catholics.

During the 17th century a plague struck Plzen and had many casualties. In 1681, a plague column was erected at the town square in memory of the casualties.

Plzen History – 18th to 20th Century

The 18th century meant changes for Plzen. During the late 1700s, Elizabethan property reforms were made. The serfs were finally given the right to rent and use shares of the lordly yards. Then in 1788, a municipal government was instituted in Plzen. By 1795, the knocking down of the Middle Ages walls started. Changes in Plzen continued up to the 19th century. Bridges were made accessible, industries were built, and technological advancements were done.

At the start of the 20th century, hardships rose in Plzen. People died during an explosion in an ammunition factory. Some 6 children lost their lives in a shooting at a hungry crowd of children on June 21, 1918. During the Second World War, 926 people died and 6,777 houses were destroyed by 11 air bombings.

Plzen regained from all the mishaps that happened during the early 1900s. The city made more infrastructures and industries that helped the government and its people to rise up as one of the most significant cities in the whole of Czech. Plzen History showed how unified the people of the city are. More facts on Europe are seen in Linz History and Dresden History.

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