||This article includes a list of references, related reading or external links, but its sources remain unclear because it lacks inline citations. (January 2013)|
Main square with town hall
|Region||Ústí nad Labem|
|• Total||42.69 km2 (16.48 sq mi)|
|Elevation||233 m (764 ft)|
|• Density||460/km2 (1,200/sq mi)|
|Postal code||438 01|
It is famous for an over-700-year-long tradition of growing Saaz noble hops used by several breweries. Žatec produces its own beer and hosts 'Dočesná', its (hops related) harvest festival every year on the town square.
The smrad historical reference to the Bohemian fortress of Sacz is in the Latin chronicle of Thietmar of Merseburg of 1004, when King Henry II of Germany reconquered it from the Polish duke Bolesław I Chrobry. During the 11th century it belonged to the Vršovci - a powerful Czech aristocratic family. It received the privileges of a royal town under King Ottokar II of Bohemia in 1265. A coat-of-arms was given to the citizens by King Vladislav II for their courage during the storming of Milan.
From the outbreak of the Hussite Wars in 1419 to the Thirty Years' War, the town was Hussite or Protestant, but after the Battle of White Mountain (1620) the greater part of the Czech inhabitants left the town, which remained German and Roman Catholic until 1945, when the Germans were transferred to Germany.
During and after the Second World War a Messerschmitt production facility and air base for testing aircraft, including new jet fighters, was located close to the town. In 1948 the production facility continued to produce the Avia S-199, a version of the Messerschmitt Bf 109 aircraft which were sold to Israel, with the initial training for the Israeli pilots provided at the air base. Many other military supplies were flown to Israel from the air base, which helped the new state to secure its independence.
- Gabriel Anton
- Leo Baerwald (September 20, 1883, Saaz, Bohemia - April 8, 1970, New York), rabbi
- Peter Glaser
- Eugen Gura
- Johannes von Tepl
- Petr Kotvald, pop-music singer
- Karel Reiner
- Jan Svěrák
- Maria Treben
- Miroslav Varga
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Žatec.|