Česká Lípa town hall on T. G. Masaryk square
|• Mayor||Jitka Volfová|
|• Total||66.10 km2 (25.52 sq mi)|
|Elevation||258 m (846 ft)|
|• Density||570/km2 (1,500/sq mi)|
|Time zone||UTC+1 (CET)|
|• Summer (DST)||UTC+2 (CEST)|
470 01 - 470 06
Česká Lípa (Czech pronunciation: [tʃɛskaː liːpa] (listen); German: Böhmisch-Leipa) is a town in the Czech Republic. It is the district seat and the largest town of the Česká Lípa District in the Liberec Region, with a population of about 37,500. It is the most populated town of the Czech Republic without city status.
The Ploučnice River flows through the town, approximately 25 mi (40 km) from its source. Česká Lípa is divided into 14 municipal districts. Approximately 9 mi (15 km) south of Česká Lípa lies the summer resort of Lake Mácha (Czech: Máchovo jezero). Česká Lípa lies 23 mi (38 km) west of Liberec and 42 mi (67 km) north of Prague, counting distances between town borders.
The old town of Česká Lípa was built near a ford on the Ploučnice where a Slavonic colony existed from the 10th century. The line of the Ronovci and Henry of Lipá (Czech: Jindřich z Lipé) in particular contributed to the founding of the town between 1305 and 1319, and the line of the Berkové z Dubé promoted its development. A hundred years later the town was occupied by the Hussite army of Jan Roháč z Dubé and devastated by fires. Albert of Valdštejn, and later Kaunitzs, contributed to another boom of the town by founding a monastery and school. The modern urban development of the town was influenced by industrial production and uranium mining in the region. Residential neighbourhoods consisting of large amounts of prefab housing were built on the outskirts while the town center was preserved and declared as an urban heritage zone.
The current territory of the town was permanently settled around the 13th century. The first written reference of settlement comes from 1263 and is included in the Doksany Prior's purchase roll. The history of the town is associated with Chvala ze Žitavy of the Ronovci family,:7 who founded Lipý Castle, and his grandson Henry of Lipá (Jindřich z Lipé) (1270–1329), a significant royal aristocrat. As rolls have not been preserved, it is not clear who exactly founded the castle and surrounding settlement. Thus Lipý Castle became another fortified seat in North Bohemia on the contemporary trade routes. There was a Slavonic colony near the castle, later renamed as Stará Lípa (now a neighbourhood of the town). There is a reference to Arnold, said to come from Stará Lípa, who was a citizen of Kravaře in 1263. Historians have deduced from the reference to Stará Lípa that Lipý Castle and accompanying settlement were established around that time. Henry of Lipá moved to Moravia in 1319, after he had sold the castle with its surroundings to his cousin Hynek Berka. According to other sources, in 1327 Hynek Berka z Dobé, also a member of the Ronovci ancestry, was the lord of Lipá and its wider surroundings. When he died in 1348, his son of the same name took the title, and after his death his second son Jindřich succeeded him. Then his nephew Hynek Berka z Dubé reigned the area. The eldest town charter, which he issued on 23 March 1381, states that discretions were granted to the town of Lipá and that it was he who contributed the most to the boom of the town and the castle bearing the same name.
Town walls were constructed at the beginning of the 14th century as well as the parish church of St. Paul and Peter, which was destroyed by a fire in 1787. It was canonized by Peter of Aspelt, the Mayence archbishop, in 1312 in the presence of Jan Lucemburský, the Czech king. The Dean's Office of Děčín was delegated to him in 1341.:10
In the second half of the 14th century the Weitmile family was significantly involved in the development of the town. Members of this family used to hold positions of reeve and parsons. Petr z Weitmile was assigned as a witness on the granting of the urban discretions document by Hynek Berka z Dubé in 1381.:6 Development of the town and Bohemia was paused by a plague epidemic in 1389. At the end of the 14th century the castle was controlled by other members of lords of Lipá family, among whom a powerful and significant individual named Hynek Hlaváč was often mentioned, until the beginning of the Hussite wars, when in May 1426 it was conquered by Hussites led by Jan Roháč z Dubé, and became a stronghold until 1436. Between 1502 and 1553 a large part of the town and its surroundings belonged to the Vartenberks. Later, the lords of Dubá / Lipá regained the castle and kept it for over 100 years. The first evidence of Jewish settlement in the town dates back to 1562. Albrecht of Valdštejn reunited the town in 1622 to 1623. Large parts of the town were destroyed in 1787 and 1820.
In 1918, Česká Lípa became a part of independent Czechoslovakia. The town was ceded to Nazi Germany with the rest of the Sudetenland in October 1938 under the terms of the Munich Agreement and placed under the administration of the Regierungsbezirk Aussig of Reichsgau Sudetenland. It returned under Czechoslovak administration in May 1945, after the liberation of Czechoslovakia.
The emblem of the town originates in the urban seal from 1389. Above the town wall there is a coat of arms of the lords of Lipá with crossed fighting rods. The flag was designed by the Heraldic Committee, the State District Archives of Česká Lípa, in 1992 and adjusted according to a historical artwork from 1937. The emblem proposal was discussed in the town government in June 1992, reviewed by Subcommittee for Heraldics of the Chamber of Deputies in December and 15 July 1993 the Speaker of the Chamber of Deputies granted the emblem to the town.
The town is divided into 14 cadastral territories and 14 parts:
- Česká Lípa
- Dolní Libchava, joined on July 14, 1964
- Dubice; also comprising Robeč until 2007, which was canceled administratively.
- Lada, joined on June 30, 1960
- Okřešice, joined on November 27, 1971
- Stará Lípa, joined on June 30, 1960
- Vlčí Důl
There are several large automotive companies in the southwest part of the town, mainly in Dubice industrial zone, where about 5,000 workers are employed in offices including those of Johnson Controls, VARTA and Bombardier.
- Augustinian Monastery on Náměstí svobody, founded by Albrecht of Valdštejn in 1627, it took 150 years to complete. There used to be a school and printhouse. Today, among other things, the Homeland Museum and Gallery of the town of Česká Lípa is located here.
- Loretan Chapel, built in 1698 in the monastery cloisters
- All Saints Church, after construction of the monastery, completed in 1710
- Mary the Virgin's Birth Church on Palackého náměstí, originally a gothic church from the 14th century, reconstructed in baroque style between 1706 and 1710 by Josef Abondius.
- St. Maria Magdalene Church was built in gothic style in the middle of the 13th century but later damaged by Hussite and Lusatian armies. Jindřich Berka, brother-in-law of George of Poděbrady, had it repaired and reconstructed around 1460, and 30 years later it became a part of the provost seat. It was reconstructed in Late Gothic style in the 16th century.
- Cistorian Provost, today Deanery—Roman Catholic Parish, is adjacent to the church and was completed in 1756,
- St. Cross Promotion Church, built in the second half of the 14th century, later reconstructed in Late Gothic style and even later in 1897 adjusted to neo-Gothic style by Josef Mocker.
- The Evangelic Church was built in 1927 and 1928 by local Protestants and taken over by the Czechoslovak Hussite Church in 1945.
- Mary the Virgin and Holy Trinity Column at T. G. Masaryk Square. Part by part built in 1683 after the plague pandemic which hit the town and surroundings in 1680.
- The place where a synagogue had stood until it was destroyed in 1938 by Nazis is marked with the historical memorial stone installed ceremonially in 2008.
- Nearby the Střelnice train stop and Střelnice bar and disco area there is an enclosed Jewish Cemetery.
- Lipý Water Castle (also Lipá, Lipý) was built in the 13th century by members of the ancestry of Ronovci who later called themselves the Lords of Lipá. In the beginning the construction was made of wood and was built by the Ploučnice river. The river's flow was later deflected. A guard tower of stone was built in the 14th century. It was captured by Hussites and Swedes and ceased in time. There was a sugar refinery inside in the 19th and beginning of the 20th century and the castle was finally demolished after 1945. In 1990 the town began a gradual reconstruction and organizes cultural events in its grounds. The contributory organization Lipý, Česká Lípa has been established by the town for the castle's management and a neighboring recently renovated historical exhibition of Centrum textilního tisku (textile print center) was given in its charge in February 2011.
- The Red House is in vicinity with the Lipý Castle and was built as a hunters' chateau by Jetřich Jiří Berka z Dubé in 1583.:162 This building of Italian renaissance style is decorated outside with sgraffito and had been used for many purposes, such as a dye-house, a tavern, and a town museum branch in 1933. It is unused nowadays.
- The Neo-Renaissance Town Hall from 1823 was reconstructed in 1884 and is in use for its purpose at T. G. Masaryk Square downtown. Basements are built in Gothic style as the town hall had been standing here even in past times before several devastating fires. The building had partially served as a saving house, a court and by 1900 also as a museum branch.
- The fountain on T. G. Masaryk Square from 1837, fully functional in Summertime down to this day.
- Špičák Outlook Tower - Špičák hill at the north edge of the town has an elevation of 459 m above sea level, the highest point far and wide. A 14m outlook tower was built there in 1885 for a price of 5,000 guilders and two years later was partially burnt down. However, it was soon renovated and in 1906 only there were 2500 tourists written in its memorial book. It was used for anti-aircraft patrols in the Second World War and then began to cease. In 1997 it was renovated and converted into a radio and cellular phone networks transmitter, inaccessible to the general public. A blue hiking trail leads here from the town centre.:178
There was a parochial school in 1391 in the town, then records mention a doom of the school in 1515 during a big fire. The Latin school established in 1627 together with the Augustinian Monastery had been canceled by Empress Maria Theresa. The facility was restored in 1806 as their high school. Education had its boom in the 19th century. In 1824 an evening school for working children was established, then a trade apprentice school was opened in 1838, a business school in 1868, a practice school by the Monastery in 1869, a trade continuation school in 1879 and on 19 October the same year a high school of agriculture was opened. In 1882 the State High School was established and in 1895 girls' and 1900 a boys' public school.
There were 42 schools and kindergartens in 2003 in the town.
- The Crystal Culture Center contains a cinema, halls and a restaurant. An organization named Crystal Culture House was established by the town after 1990 to manage the center and organize summer events in Lipý Castle. The organization was renamed as Kultura Česká Lípa (Česká Lípa Culture) on 1 January 2011, and a new organization, Lipý Česká Lípa, was established, with responsibility for the castle and the nearby historic Textile Print Center, which opened on 16 February 2011. The center had also housed the Municipal Information Center before it was moved to the Town Hall.
- The Česká Lípa Art School was established in a building called the White House, which had housed the Communist Party District Committee until 1990. The large hall on the ground floor is the home of the Rainbow Dancing School, and the facility is also used for exhibitions and by other external music groups.
- The Homeland Museum and Gallery is located in the grounds of a former Augustinian Monastery. There is a permanent Animal World exhibition, and a Loretan courtyard which is used for temporary exhibitions. Other buildings, including a Loreta building, have art collections, and a chapel in the grounds is used for concerts. This museum has a regional character and features many objects related to the Česká Lípa District area. The museum also owns the Village Magistrate in the town of Kravaře, and the Karel Hynek Mácha Memorial in the town of Doksy including the Fisher and Pond Culture of Česká Lípa exhibition. It is also in charge of the Breda Summerhouse in the grounds of Lemberk Castle.
- There is a three-floor municipal library in T. G. Masaryk Square, which has three smaller branches in the Špičák, Lada, and Holy vrch districts of the town.
- The town organizes the Municipal Summer Festival at the beginning of every summer. This event first took place in the town park in 2000, to celebrate the park's 125th anniversary, moving to T. G. Masaryk Square the following year. After Lipý Castle was renovated in 2003 the festival moved to its grounds, where it has been held since. The festival includes an antique fair, concerts, fireworks, and theater performances, and the Town Awards are presented.
- The first annual International Lípa Music Festival was held in 2000, primarily featuring classical music. By 2008 there were 10 locations in the Ústí nad Labem and Liberec regions organizing concerts. In Česká Lípa the opening and closing events of the festival are held in the All Saints Basilica, part of the Augustinian Monastery.
- The Reggae Ethnic Session music festival, featuring reggae, ska and world music, was established in 2000 in Žízníkov, an outer suburb of the town, and has since moved to a larger site in the nearby Heřmaňičky district.
After 1850 the Leipaer Zeitung was released in German for the Česká Lípa area, and its competitor Deutsche Leipaer Zeitung from 1884, both twice a week.
Today's local press includes the Českolipský deník (Česká Lípa Daily), established in 1993 and now part of Vltava Labe Media, and Městské noviny (Municipal Journal) issued by the municipal council.
Hitradio FM Crystal broadcasts to the Česká Lípa and Děčín districts.
Sport Česká Lípa, a contributory organization established by the town, manages local sports facilities including: the municipal stadium, which includes an open soccer pitch, tennis hall, outdoor tennis courts, hothouse and solarium; a sports hall (Lokomotiva); a sports complex featuring a reconstructed winter stadium and indoor pool with water slide, and a nearby skatepark; and the Sever Swimming Pool.
Other facilities include: the Olympia Relax Center; the TJ Lokomotiva soccer grounds; the Lada Airdrome; the Sosnová motor-racing circuit which hosts many motor sports competitions including the National Championship; several bowling alleys; and Boating Ploučnice on the river, used for canoes and kayaks from Stráž pod Ralskem.
The District Committee of the Czech Union of Physical Education was previously an original administrative association, and is now the Česká Lípa District Sports Union. The town is home to Arsenal Česká Lípa, a football team, and various other clubs for different sports.
Hiking and cycle trails
There are three cycle paths passing through the town, built partially on the subsoil of disused railroads.
- Cycling Path 3053 leads from Provodin and Sosnová in the south, through the town and northwards via Písečná, then to the towns of Nový Bor and Cvikov in the Lusatian Mountains.
- Cycling Path 3054 leads from Provodin, via Vlčí důl, through the town and northwards in the direction of Skalice and Nový Bor.
- Varhany cycling path is still under construction,[when?] a part of path 3054. Its first part from Českokamenická Street to Horní Libchava, 3.3 mi in length, was opened ceremonially on 23 June 2008. When completed, it will be 10.5 mi long, with the construction costing 17 million CZK.
- There is a network of hiking trails in the town and its surroundings, and a guide-post crossing at Bulharská St. leading to the main railway station. The nearest rambler destination is Peklo ("hell"), a part of the E10 international route, going north-south through the town. The blue trail leads from Bulharská St. to Lake Mácha, and the yellow from trail 6960 to Holany Ponds.
Česká Lípa hlavní nádraží (main railway station) is a junction between the Bakov nad Jizerou - Jedlová and Děčín - Rumburk lines. Three smaller train stops, Česká Lípa-Střelnice, Česká Lípa-Holý vrch and Vlčí důl-Dobranov are located in the suburbs of the town. The centrally located (Česká Lípa město railway station) was closed down in 1979 and the railway connecting it with the main station (at a length of three quarters of a mile) is not in use any more.
Railways and stations have been built by various companies. The first railway was built in 1867 leading to the town of Bakov nad Jizerou. Another railway was opened in 1872 to the town of Benešov nad Ploučnicí and later prolonged to the city of Děčín. Another company then built the Česká Lípa město station out of which the first train went to the town of Litoměřice and in 1903 the railway leading from Česká Lípa to Řetenice u Teplic and in opposite direction leading via the town of Zákupy to the city of Liberec. The railway from Česká Lípa to Česká Kamenice was completed and opened in 1903 and large railway workshops was constructed in the vicinity of the main station. The national corporation of ŽOS (Railway Repair and Engineering Workshops) had its headquarters here until 1980. The railway leading to Česká Kamenice was closed in 1979, and its subsoil was used for building of a part of the Varhany Cycling Path. Railways in the town and peripherals are connected. The Česká Lípa město station built in 1898 is out of service now and Czech Railways are offering it for sale. The railway from this station leading to the neighbourhood of Vlčí důl has been demolished and its subsoil used for construction of cycle path no. 3054. Three short sidings unused and blocked lead from the central station to several former factory and industrial buildings in the Svárov neighborhood.
There are four directions to which trains are dispatched from the central station.
- Route L4 - Railroad 080 Bakov – Česká Lípa – Rumburk, northwards bound
- Route L2 - Railroad 081 Česká Lípa – Děčín, westwards bound
- Route L2 - Railroad 086 Česká Lípa – Liberec, southeastwards bound then northeastwards bound
- Route U11 - Railroad 087 Česká Lípa – Lovosice, leads southwards
Railways 081 and 086 are joined by many trains. Ordinary passenger trains use them for routes from Liberec to Děčín and express ones from Liberec to Ústí nad Labem.
Regional and intercity transportation is mainly operated by ČSAD Česká Lípa, based at the town bus station from 1986, provides connection in directions to towns of Mimoň, Nový Bor and Prague, and with surrounding towns and villages.
Small transport companies (such as Mirobus for instance) provide transport for commuters of local large companies or offer an alternative transport for Czech Railways in case of lockouts etc. Nevertheless, Municipal transit company of BusLine Co. has taken over most of such services.
There is a wide network of bus routes in Česká Lípa Municipal Transit. Streets of the town are not hardwired with an electrical traction so one won't encounter trolley cars or light rail. The Muni transit runs exclusively within the town while further parts of the county are covered with regional bus service. One can get every 12 to 15 minutes to most inhabited neighborhoods on workdays while every 30 minutes to less inhabited. Main routes run every 30 minutes and there are always two for most neighborhoods while their departures are always interlaced. The service frequency is lower in less inhabited parts of the town and limited to a half on weekend operation.
All town buses are low-entry and equipped with an audio-visual information system. There is a flip ramp mostly by the middle doors handled by the operator who also assists with loading and securing. There's a commonplace system of announcing the stops from speakers as well as on a display on every bus while external announcement for vision impaired or blind passengers can be activated via a remote.
Municipal transit routes carry numbers up to 235 while higher numbers from 240 are assigned for local regional buses. Effective by the end of February 2015 all town buses have a new yellow blue logo of the town of Česká Lípa allocated below the windshield. Route designation is based on the regional government decree and outlined in the Project of IDOL Implementation.
Česká Lípa Municipal transit is a member of cross region integrated transportation called IDOL from July 2009. IDOL is based on the integrated tariff and the OpusCard contactless smartcard as a uniform fare carrier.
BusLine a.s. is the only transit carrier in Česká Lípa and this company is engaged in municipal transit in several other cities and towns as well.
There exists the Česká Lípa Transportation Club, an organizational constituent of Lípa 2 civic association, which monitors the transit development, negotiates with the town, other authorities as well as carriers, and brings complete information in its website.
The most important of this kind is the straight superlevel I/9 Road leading south to north from Prague to Nový Bor from 1987. From west to east there is the II/262 Road from Děčín to Zákupy. There are junctions and pedestrian crossing with streetlights and several roundabouts in the town.
- Hugo Salus (1866–1929), doctor, writer and poet.
- Leopold Moll (1877–1933), doctor, court counsellor
- Erwin Sembach (1879-1919), opera singer
- Rudolf de la Vigne (1920–2004), footballer
- Angela Jursitzka (born 1938), journalist and writer
- Petr Kellner (born 1964), businessman
- Luboš Bartoň (born 1980), retired basketball player
Twin towns – sister cities
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