Archaeologists find earliest traces of humans in this area around 10,000 BCE. Since 1200 - 600 BCE the place is inhabited permanently. The first written record comes from 1393. Ownership of the place has changed several times between king, monastery and local nobles. The Thirty Years' War followed by forced conversion to Catholicism depopulated the area but the tradition of Protestantism survived. The Railway Pardubice - Prague built in 1845 brought the village into the modern age. In 1981 Chvaletice obtained city rights.
Since ancient times iron ore was mined here, until the Thirty Years' War; then again since the end of 18th century. Mining of pyrite-manganium ore started in the 20th century. The mines got exhausted and were finally closed in 1975. In 1973 - 1979 a huge power station (4 x 200 MW) was built; with the coal being moved in from mines in northern Bohemia by ships on the Elbe river. To make such shipping possible large excavation works (Elbe Waterway project, Labská vodní cesta) on the riverbed were carried out. Use of ships stopped in 1996. The power station is desulphurized since 1997.