|Center||Přemysl Otakar II Square|
|- elevation||381 m (1,250 ft)|
|Area||55.56 km2 (21 sq mi)|
|Population||96,053 (As of 2009[update])|
|Density||1,729 / km2 (4,478 / sq mi)|
|- summer (DST)||CEST (UTC+2)|
|Postal code||370 01|
|Wikimedia Commons: České Budějovice|
České Budějovice (Czech pronunciation: [ˈtʃɛskɛː ˈbuɟɛjovɪtsɛ]; colloquially: Budějice or Budějce; German: Budweis or Böhmisch Budweis; sometimes referred to as Budweis in English) is a statutory city in the Czech Republic. It is the largest city in the South Bohemian Region as well as its political and commercial capital, the seat of the Roman Catholic Diocese of České Budějovice, the University of South Bohemia, and the Academy of Sciences. It is located in the center of a valley of the Vltava River, at the confluence with the Malše.
The city was founded by Hirzo, a knight of King Ottokar II of Bohemia and was granted its municipal charter in 1265. The royal city was created as a platform of the king's power in South Bohemia and to counterbalance the powerful noble House of Rosenberg, which finally became extinct in 1611.
In 1341 King John of Bohemia accorded permission to Jewish families to reside within the Budweis walls and a first synagogue was erected in 1380, however several pogroms occurred in the late 15th and early 16th century. Since the Hussite Wars, the city was traditionally a bulwark of the Catholic Church during the long-lasting religious conflicts in the Kingdom of Bohemia. A part of the Habsburg Monarchy from 1526, Budweis remained a loyal supporter of Emperor Ferdinand II in the Thirty Years' War. In 1762 the Piarists established a gymnasium here and Emperor Joseph II founded the Budweis diocese in 1785. In 1847 the production of Koh-i-Noor Hardtmuth pencils was relocated from Vienna to Budweis.
The city remained a German-speaking enclave until 1880, when during the industrialization of the city, Czechs became the ethnic majority. Until the expulsions after World War II, the city contained a significant German minority (about 15.5% in 1930). Some population figures: 1828: 6,800; 1832: 8,100; 1851: 15,200; 1880 (the first to report nationality): 11,829 Germans and 11,812 Czechs; 1890: 11,642 and 16,585; 1900: 15,400 and 23,400; 1910: 16,900 and 27,300; 1921 (the first held under Czech rule): 7,415 and 35,800.
Budějovice has long been well known for the beer brewed there since the 13th century. For a time the town was the imperial brewery for the Holy Roman Emperor, and Budweiser Bier (i.e. beer from Budweis) became, along with Pilsner from Plzeň, one of the best-known lagers. Brewing remains a major industry.
The largest brewery, founded in 1895, is "Pivovar Budějovický Budvar" (Budweiser Budvar Brewery) which has legal rights to market its beer under the "Budweiser" brand name in much of Europe. The same product is also sold elsewhere under the names "Budvar" and "Czechvar" due to legal disagreements with Anheuser-Busch over the Budweiser brand. The American lager was originally brewed as an imitation of the famous Bohemian original, but over time has developed its own identity and attained remarkable commercial success. Anheuser-Busch has made offers to buy out the Czech brewing company in order to secure global rights to the name "Budweiser", but the Czech government has refused all such offers, regarding the Czech Budweiser name as a matter of national pride.
The oldest (founded in 1795) and second largest brewery was renamed to "Pivovar Samson", replacing its original German name "Budweiser Bürgerbräu" during the communist period. It also exported, mostly under the "Samson" and "Crystal" labels. Recently, they reacquired naming rights for Budweiser for Europe while offering "B. B. Bürgerbräu" in the US since 2005.
The old town preserves interesting architecture from Gothic, Renaissance, Baroque and 19th century period. This includes buildings around the large town square, the old town hall with murals and bronze gargoyles, and the town tower "Černá věž" ("Black Tower"). In the new town the Belle Époque Austro-Hungarian train station is notable. The most valuable historic building in České Budějovice is the Dominican convent with the Gothic Presentation of the Virgin Mary church on Piaristic Square. The horse-drawn railroad line connecting České Budějovice to Linz was the second oldest public line in continental Europe (after the St.Etienne-Andrézieux line in France), constructed from 1824 to 1832; mere traces of the line can be seen south of the city center.
The ruins of the home castle of the Czech national hero Jan Žižka, Trocnov (now part of Borovany), are located some ten kilometres (6 miles) southeast of the town. A bit further away (approximately 30 km), the town of Český Krumlov is another popular tourist destination in South Bohemia. In 1992, it was added to UNESCO list of World Heritage Sites.
Local buses and trolleybuses take passengers to most areas of the city. The city can be reached from other locations by inter-city buses and by train. Internationally, a direct railroad built by the Austrian Empress Elisabeth Railway company in 1871, connecting the Czech capital Prague with Zurich, via Linz and Salzburg, also makes a stop in České Budějovice. The town will receive access to the planned D3 motorway running from Prague to Kaplice. A former military airport is located at the nearby village of Planá.
It was the birthplace of:
- Adalbert Gyrowetz (Czech: Vojtěch Jírovec) (1763–1850), composer
- Franz Schuselka (1811–1886), politician
- Otto Pilny (1866–1936), painter
- Otto Steinhäusl (1879–1940), police officer
- Jan Palouš (1888–1971), ice hockey player
- Rudolf Tomaschek (1895–1966), experimental physicist
- Norbert Frýd (1913–1976), writer
- Rolf Thiele (1918–1994), film director and producer
- Marta Kubišová (born 1942), singer
- Vladimír Remek (born 1948), cosmonaut (first non-USSR, non-US citizen in space aboard Soyuz 28 in 1978)
- Pavel Tobiáš (born 1955), football player and manager
- František Straka (born 1958), football player and manager
- Zdeněk Tůma (born 1960), economist
- Karel Roden (born 1962), actor
- Karel Vácha (born 1970), football player
- Jiří Lerch (born 1971), football player
- Jaroslav Modrý (born 1971), ice hockey player
- Radek Mynář (born 1974), football player
- Stanislav Neckář (born 1975), ice hockey player
- Václav "Vinny" Prospal (born 1975), ice hockey player
- Roman Lengyel (born 1978), football player
- Vladimíra Uhlířová (born 1978), tennis player
- Josef Melichar (born 1979), ice hockey player
- David Lafata (born 1981), football player
- Václav Nedorost (born 1982), ice hockey player
- Filip Novák (born 1982), ice hockey player
- Jiří Kladrubský (botn 1985), football player
- Tomáš Mertl (born 1986), ice hockey player
- Martin Hanzal (born 1987), ice hockey player
The city is also one of the major settings in the novel "The Good Soldier Švejk" by Jaroslav Hašek. Budějovice is the setting and was the working title for the play The Misunderstanding by Albert Camus
Twin towns – sister cities
České Budějovice is twinned with:
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to: České Budějovice|
|Wikisource has the text of the 1911 Encyclopædia Britannica article Budweis.|
- České Budějovice – official page
- Official page (Czech)
- Virtual Tourist tour of České Budějovice
- University of South Bohemia
- Region of České Budějovice
- České Budějovice – tourism, basic facts, hotels
- České Budějovice – tourism, basic facts, accommodation
- Text of European Court of Justice judgment in the "Budweiser" trademark case – Judgment of the Court (Grand Chamber) of 16 November 2004. Anheuser-Busch Inc. v Budĕjovický Budvar, národní podnik. Reference for a preliminary ruling: Korkein oikeus – Finland. Agreement establishing the World Trade Organisation – Articles 2(1), 16(1) and 70 of the TRIPs Agreement – Trade marks – Scope of the proprietor's exclusive right to the trade mark – Alleged use of the sign as a trade name. Case C-245/02.
- "Švejk Central": Web site devoted to the Hašek novel
- České Budějovice at the official website of the Czech republic
- Virtual show