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|Elevation||378 m (1,240 ft)|
|Area||63.22 km2 (24.41 sq mi)|
|Density||470 / km2 (1,217 / sq mi)|
|Mayor||Eva Vanžurová (Jihočeši 2012)|
|- summer (DST)||CEST (UTC+2)|
|Postal code||397 01|
|Wikimedia Commons: Písek|
|Website: Official tourist portal|
Písek (Czech pronunciation: [ˈpiːsɛk]; German: Pisek) is a middle-sized town in the South Bohemian Region of the Czech Republic. It has a population of 29,729 (est. 2011); with its semi-urban agglomeration populated by 36,791 people (est. 2011).
Písek is colloquially called "The Athens of the South", even though Athens is located much further south, because it has many high schools and schools of higher education, e.g. the Film School in Písek. Up to the last decades of 19th century Písek was a centre of the large autonomous Prácheň Region (also Prácheňský kraj) (today's Prachatice, Písek and Strakonice Districts and parts of Příbram, Klatovy, České Budějovice and Plzeň-South Districts).
Písek is easily accessible by the I/4 and I/20 roads from Prague (parts of the I/4 toward Prague form the R4 expressway), the I/20 road from České Budějovice, the I/29 from Tábor and the I/20 from Plzeň. The I/20 forms a west-south bypass of the city (from Prague to České Budějovice) and the I/29 forms an eastern bypass, joining the I/20 at the south.
Písek railway station lies on the Zdice–Protivín and Tábor–Ražice rail lines. It is connected to central and western Bohemia in one direction and southern Bohemia and Šumava in the other. The main Plzeň-České Budějovice line also passes a short distance south.
The climate in Písek is known to have a milder and drier microclimate because it is well protected from all sides against winds. Písek enjoys a cool inland version of temperate Oceanic climate (Cfb) with rather balanced temperatures year round and rare deep negative extremes. Lying in a rainhadow causes relatively low precipitations, vastly in form of rain (539 mm/annum). There are four distinctive seasons with cold and wet winter starting in late November and ending abruptly in the first half of March, changing into much sunnier and warmer spring which ends during May. Local summer, sunny, warm and wet, then continues up to its end in the first half of September. Autumn, rapidly cooling and much drier lasts into the end of November. Weather can be highly changeable with year round rotation of two main patterns - continental fronts, sunnier and more extreme-prone, and oceanic fronts, bringing in murkier, wetter yet equable conditions.
Average round the clock temperatures in July stays on 18.96 °C (66.13 °F) and February mean temperatures stays on −0.48 °C (31.14 °F). The whole year average is 8.77 °C (47.79 °F). The town is sunnier than its wind-prone high-grounded vicinity with some 1,750 hours of sunshine with the most sunlight occurring between March and September, and murky period between November–January. While last spring frost was recorded on May 18 and the first autumn frost was recorded on 18 September, i.e. 121 days without any frost [33.13% of the year], most years have frost-free period between early-April until mid of October [6+ months].
Extreme cold weather has reached -22.9 °C and extreme hot +42.0 °C. Písek falls into 7a zone according to USDA zoning with average year absolute minimal temperature at −16.1 °C (3.0 °F) and into AHS heat zone 4 with only 15 days annually with temperatures crossing 86 °F (30 °C) - normal year has maximal temperature of 34.83 °C (94.69 °F). Nevertheless, number of days with at least 25 °C (77 °F) is normally 56 per a year. Písek has typically great differences between daily minimal and maximal temperatures due to its position far inland.
Písek is shielded from the northeastern winds by the Písek Mountains (poetically called the Gem Mountains) whose highest peak 633 metres (2077 feet) high is located 5 kilometres to southeast from Pisek. Otava river, still bearing the ancient Celtic name, flows through the city and the lowest point is located on its shores (350 metres ASL, 1148 feet).
|Climate chart (explanation)|
|Climate data for Pisek|
|Record high °C (°F)||15.1
|Average high °C (°F)||2.4
|Daily mean °C (°F)||−0.42
|Average low °C (°F)||−2.99
|Record low °C (°F)||−19.7
|Average precipitation mm (inches)||41
|Source #1: Climate-Data.ORG|
|Source #2: Wunderground.com|
The city, spreading on slopes of several hills, radiates from the vicinity of river Otava. There are several steep streets and some suburbs lie more than 70–90 metres above the city centre. Much of its surroundings is covered by decious woodlands mixed with high number of various coniferous trees. Flow of several local brooks is slowed down by artificial tiny lakes and dikes, creating mozaic of wetter and drier places, a safe haven for nesting and migrating birds.
This South Bohemian town was, up to its serious damage in 1620, one of the biggest towns in Bohemia. It is considered to be of prehistorical origin (first settled about 900 BC, when it was officially established as a royal city in the beginning of the 13th century - but in these times one part of to-be town had been still inhabited by descendants of German-Celtic predecessors (today's Saint Wenceslas Quarter). The oldest town in the area of modern Písek ("Písek" in fact means "sand") was Hradiště (Oppidum on top of Hradiště hill). Close to this place remnants of two graves of Celtic kings can be found. Pisek was called Meliodunum on Ptolemaios`map of the 2nd Century - Germanic city at that time. In the 12th century, Germans were called back as settlers. Písek has still his unique atmosphere and has a well-preserved, picturesque medieval centre with number of narrow alleys. A large part of Písek encircling its city core was built in the 19th century, so one can still find there many buildings built in classical or neo-styles around tree-lined boulevards. In Písek is the oldest bridge (Písek Stone Bridge) in the Czech Republic (and the second oldest in the whole central European region).
- Charles IV – 14th-century king of Kingdom of Bohemia and Holy Roman Emperor
- John I of Bohemia – 14th-century king of Kingdom of Bohemia
- Přemysl Otakar II – 13th-century king of Kingdom of Bohemia
- Václav IV – 15th-century king of Kingdom of Bohemia
- Mikoláš Aleš – painter
- Jan Čarek - poet, essayist, literary critic
- Ferdinand Hart - actor
- Adolf Heyduk – poet
- Josef Holeček – writer
- Janek Juzek – major exporter of orchestral string instruments to New York City
- Jan Mukařovský - literature theorist
- Kateřina Neumannová – cross-country skier
- August Sedláček – historian
- Otakar Ševčík – violin teacher
- Fráňa Šrámek – poet
- Tomáš Verner - figure skater, European champion 2008
- Tomáš Zíb - tennis-player
- Caerphilly, Wales, United Kingdom
- Lemvig, Denmark
- Smiltene, Latvia
- Velky Krtis, Slovakia
- Wetzlar, Hesse, Germany
- Church of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary (Kostel Narození Panny Marie)
- Church of Holy Trinity (Kostel Nejsvětější Trojice)
- Church of the Elevation of the Holy Cross (Kostel Povýšení svatého Kříže)
- Písek Castle (Hrad v Písku)
- Prácheňské museum (Prácheňské muzeum ) - http://www.prachenskemuzeum.cz/en
- Marian column (cs:Mariánské sousoší)
- Stone Bridge (Kamenný most)
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Písek.|
- Official Website (English)/(Czech)/(German)
- Písek (en)
- Online webcam in the center of Písek
- Road map of South Bohemia