Brandýs nad Labem-Stará Boleslav

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Coordinates: 50°11′22″N 14°40′2″E / 50.18944°N 14.66722°E / 50.18944; 14.66722
Brandýs nad Labem-Stará Boleslav
Town
Brandys nad labem.jpg
Aerial view
Coat of arms
Country Czech Republic
Region Central Bohemian
District Prague-East
Little District Brandýs nad Labem
-Stará Boleslav
River Elbe
Elevation 169 m (554 ft)
Coordinates 50°11′22″N 14°40′2″E / 50.18944°N 14.66722°E / 50.18944; 14.66722
Area 22.66 km2 (8.75 sq mi)
Population 16,314 (2006-07-03)
Density 720 / km2 (1,865 / sq mi)
First mentioned 935
 - Towns joined 1960
Mayor Ondřej Přenosil
Timezone CET (UTC+1)
 - summer (DST) CEST (UTC+2)
Postal code 250 01
Location in the Czech Republic
Location in the Czech Republic
Wikimedia Commons: Brandýs nad Labem-Stará Boleslav
Website: www.brandysko.cz/

Brandýs nad Labem-Stará Boleslav (Czech pronunciation: [ˈbrandiːs ˈnad labɛm ˈstaraː ˈbolɛslaf]; German: Brandeis-Altbunzlau) is a town in the Central Bohemian Region of the Czech Republic on the banks of the Elbe River, in the heart of an agricultural region about 25 km northeast of Prague. The town is part of the Prague metropolitan area. The town is the longest-named place in the Czech Republic.[1] Brandýs nad Labem dates its origin to the 13th century. Stará Boleslav was named by Boleslav I who built here his castle in the beginning of the 10th century. In 1960, the two towns joined to form the twin cities of Brandýs nad Labem-Stará Boleslav, having a population of about 15,500.

Stará Boleslav[edit]

Stará Boleslav is a historical Czech town and the oldest pilgrimage site in Central Bohemia. It was an early Přemyslid dynasty stronghold built in the late 9th and 10th century and surrounded by stone ramparts. Its fame came from a major historical event: the murder of Prince Wenceslas by his brother Boleslav at the gate of St Cosmas and Damian Church on September 28, 935 (or 929). After his death, Wenceslas was proclaimed a saint by the church and became the patron saint of the Czech nation as well as a symbol of moral reinforcement during hard times.

After the year 1039, Bretislaus I established a new Romanesque basilica dedicated to St Wenceslas (consecrated in 1046 by the Prague bishop) at the site of the murder and pilgrimage site. Moreover, Bretislaus I had the Collegiate Chapter of St Cosmas and Damian, the oldest in Bohemia, built next to the basilica. By the end of the 11th century, the adjoining Romanesque St Clement Chapel was built. It is valuable for its Romanesque frescos from the latter half of the 12th century depicting scenes from St Clement's life and martyrdom.

Holy Roman Emperor Charles IV used to visit the town in the 14th century, supported the Chapter and had new ramparts built.

The Hussite Wars starting in 1420 represented the beginning of the town's decline. Most of the buildings, including the Chapter house and the churches, were burned down, and the Chapter fled to Žitava.

In the late 16th and early 17th centuries, Boleslav regained its earlier fame through the cult of Madonna. In 1617-1625 the new baroque Church of the Assumption of Mary was built by Jacoppo de Vaccani, containing a relief of the Madonna called the Palladium of the Czech Lands.

In 2003, the St Wenceslas National Pilgrimage to Stará Boleslav was renewed and is now the largest official celebration of St Wenceslas Day (Czech Statehood Day, September 28). On this occasion Pope Benedict XVI visited the St Wenceslas basilica and held mass for over 50,000 people who had gathered in Stará Boleslav.

Legacy of the Communist regime[edit]

According to an article in Le Monde, the town is one of the least religious in all of the Czech Republic, and indeed of all of Europe and the world. Communists tried to repress the Catholic religion from the 1950s to the 1980s, something which continues to have profound effects on contemporary life in the town.[2]

Town twinnings[edit]

Montescudaio (Toscana) Italy from 2008

References[edit]

  1. ^ Asiedu, Dita (21 February 2007). "Brandys Chateau". Radio Prague. Retrieved 21 January 2014. 
  2. ^ "La République tchèque, marquée par l'athéisme, se prépare à la visite du pape". Le Monde (in French). 25 September 2009. Retrieved 21 January 2014. 

External links[edit]