Litoměřice

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Coordinates: 50°32′3″N 14°7′58″E / 50.53417°N 14.13278°E / 50.53417; 14.13278
Litoměřice
Town
Litoměřice Sv Štěpán.jpg
Cathedral of St. Stephen with belfry.
Flag
Coat of arms
Country Czech Republic
Region Ústí nad Labem
District Litoměřice
Commune Ústí nad Labem
River Elbe, Ohře
Elevation 136 m (446 ft)
Coordinates 50°32′3″N 14°7′58″E / 50.53417°N 14.13278°E / 50.53417; 14.13278
Area 17.99 km2 (6.95 sq mi)
Population 25,517 (2006-10-02)
Density 1,418 / km2 (3,673 / sq mi)
Founded around 10th century
 - Royal status 1219
Mayor Ladislav Chlupáč
Timezone CET (UTC+1)
 - summer (DST) CEST (UTC+2)
Postal code 412 01
Location in the Czech Republic
Location in the Czech Republic
Wikimedia Commons: Litoměřice
Statistics: statnisprava.cz
Website: www.litomerice.cz/

Litoměřice (Czech pronunciation: [ˈlɪtomɲɛr̝ɪtsɛ]; German: Leitmeritz) is a town at the junction of the rivers Elbe (Czech: Labe) and Ohře (German: Eger) in the north part of the Czech Republic, approximately 64 km (40 mi) northwest of Prague.

The area within the Ústí nad Labem Region is called Garden of Bohemia thanks to mild weather conditions important for growing fruits and grapes. During the time of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, many pensionists chose it over more southern areas of the Empire.

The town is also seat of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Litoměřice (part of Archdiocese of Prague), the 4th oldest – and 3rd still existing – Catholic diocese on present Czech territory.

History[edit]

This Germanic city was called Nomisterium on the map of Ptolemaios in the 2nd Century. The Germanic tribes moved west during Migration Period and the remaining rest mingled with the incoming Slavs.

Litoměřice as seen from the Radobýl Hill

One of the oldest Czech towns, Litoměřice was established in the 10th century on the site of an early medieval Slavic fort.In the High Middle Ages German settlers were called in by Slavic rulers. A royal-town statute was granted in 1219. From the 12th to the 17th century it was a significant trading center in the Holy Roman Empire. The German population suffered during the 15th century Hussite Wars. After the Protestant insurrection that triggered the Thirty Years' War and the Protestants' defeat in the Battle of White Mountain, the population of the city had to accept Catholicism or leave the town, which became a bishop's residency in 1655. As a result, the Czech population shrank and the town became largely Germanized.[citation needed]

Occupation, 1938

In 1918, Bohemia, Moravia and Czech Silesia became constituent parts of newly created Czechoslovakia (which was confirmed by the Treaty of St. Germain), along with large border area, inhabited predominantly by the Germans. Local Germans tried to join German Austria (which in turn aimed to join post-war German Reich), but Czech (oslovak) troops prevented this. Known under informal name Sudetenland, the region became the subject of political controversy in the following years. Slavs settled there again, but remained a minority. In 1938, after the Munich Agreement, German troops occupied the Sudetenland (and all remnants of Czechia few months later). Czech population, which had grown to about 5,000 people, had to leave again.

In the final stages of World War II, German troops retreated to escape the advancing Red Army. Czech resistance took control of the castle on 27 April 1945, and after a few days they started negotiations with the German commander about the terms of his surrender. The Wehrmacht capitulated in the night after 8 May, but German troops fled on 9 May, just before Soviet troops entered the town on 10 May 1945. Most of the German population of the town was expelled by the so-called Beneš decrees in August 1945, along with about 2.5 million other former Czechoslovak citizens of German ethnicity.

The Holocaust in Leitmeritz. "In Early April 1945: The SS evacuates thousands of Jews--mostly on foot--as Allied and Soviet forces press in from the east and west. Evacuees are taken to camps at Bergen-Belsen, Germany; Dachau, Germany; Ebensee, Austria; Leitmeritz, Czechoslovakia; and Theresienstadt, Czechoslovakia. The operation is rife with daily beatings and murders as well as deaths from starvation and typhus. Thirteen hundred Jews are evacuated on foot from Vienna; only 700 will reach their destination, the Gusen, Austria, camp, alive." [1]

Sights[edit]

Main square
Main Square with the Town Hall

There are several main sights already visible when approaching Litoměřice. St. Stephen's cathedral at the Dome Square (Dómské náměstí) was built in 1664-1668 at the place of Roman basilica. The interior is almost completely authentic with main and six side altars and a lot of original paintings. Right next to the dome is a bishop's residence built in 1683-1701 by Giulio Broggio. On the main square there is All-Saints Church and within distance there is an Annunciation (Lady Day) Church, another masterpiece built by the son of Giulio Broggio, Octavio. The old town hall (now city museum) and Black Eagle House (Dům u černého orla) on the main square are also worthy a look. The symbol of the city is a chalice, since the watchout tower on the Town Hall has this shape.

There are numerous cellars connected by an extensive web of underground ways under the town. In some places the cellars were built in three floors. The ways are about three kilometers (1.9 miles) long and they belong to one of the longest in the Czech Republic. Unfortunately, only 336 metres (1,102 feet) of these underground ways are open to the public. You can notice the ancient town wall when entering the town. The original town wall was built in the Gothic style. Northern Bohemian Gallery of Creative Arts (SGVU) is based close the main square. Extensive collection spans from 13th century to contemporary art with numerous other exhibitions during the year.

Population[edit]

  • 1 December 1930 : 18,498
  • 17 May 1939: 17,267
  • 22 May 1947: 14,402
  • 2 June 2004: 25,517

Notable residents[edit]

There are several successful sportsmen who were born, lived or are living in Litoměřice, among other olympic medalists, world champions or Stanley Cup winners:

International relations[edit]

Twin towns — Sister cities[edit]

Litoměřice is twinned with:

References[edit]

  1. ^ "The Holocaust Chronicle PROLOGUE: Roots of the Holocaust, page 599". Holocaustchronicle.org. Retrieved 2013-03-26. 

External links[edit]