Český Brod was founded in the 12th century by Prague bishop John I. In 1286, it became a town. From that time till the beginning of the 14th century, the town's name was Biskupský Brod (Broda Episcopalis). In 1437, the Holy Roman Emperor Sigismund designated Český Brod a free royal town. Until 1918, the town was part of the Austrian monarchy (in the Austrian part of the empire after the compromise of 1867), head of the BÖHMISCH BROD - ČESKÝ BROD district, one of the 94 Bezirkshauptmannschaften in Bohemia. Český Brod is twinned with Southwell, Nottinghamshire UK.