|• Mayor||Miloslav Tůma|
|• Total||170.23 km2 (65.73 sq mi)|
|Elevation||331 m (1,086 ft)|
|• Density||13/km2 (35/sq mi)|
|Time zone||UTC+1 (CET)|
|• Summer (DST)||UTC+2 (CEST)|
295 01, 463 52, 471 24
Ralsko (German: Roll) is a town in Česká Lípa District in the Liberec Region of the Czech Republic. It has about 2,300 inhabitants. It comprises area of the former military training area with Hradčany Air Base. Ralsko is the fourth largest municipality in the country by area.
The town is made up of town parts and villages of Boreček, Horní Krupá, Hradčany, Hvězdov, Jabloneček, Kuřívody, Náhlov, Ploužnice and Svébořice. The municipal office is located in Kuřívody.
Ralsko is located about 21 km (13 mi) southeast of Česká Lípa and 25 km (16 mi) southwest of Liberec. It lies in the Ralsko Uplands. The town is named after the mountain Ralsko, which lies on the northern municipal border and is the highest point of Ralsko and of the entire Ralsko Uplands with an altitude of 696 m (2,283 ft). The Ploučnice River shortly crosses the municipal territory in the northeast. There are several ponds in the area, the largest of them are Hradčanský and Novodvorský.
Because of the former military area, the town's municipal territory is 170.23 km2 (65.73 sq mi), which makes it the fourth largest municipality in the country after the cities of Prague, Brno and Ostrava.
The oldest part of Ralsko is Kuřívody. The first written mention of Kuřívody is from 1279, it was founded between 1264 and 1278 by Ottokar II of Bohemia as a royal town. Due to lack of water, it remained a small town throughout its existence.
Before 1945, there was more than 7,000 inhabitants in today's Ralsko area. At the beginning of 1945, Hradčany Air Base was built by German army. After the World War II, the German majority was expelled.
Ralsko military training area
Between 1946 and 1950, the inhabitants were relocated to establish a military training area in surroundings of the Ralsko mountain. The displacement of the population was completed on 31 October 1952. More than 3,000 inhabitants were evicted from the villages.
The Ralsko Mountain and the airfield were used as a military weapons-testing area for decades. After the Prague Spring of 1968, the installation was manned by Soviet Troops. In the late 1980s the Soviet 442nd Missile Brigade stationed SS-21 short-range tactical missiles at Hvězdov. It 1988, there was more than 20,000 permanent Soviet inhabitants (soldiers and their families) in the area. After the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1990–91 the missiles were withdrawn and the entire weapons-testing area was closed off.
Many of the discarded Czech and Soviet munitions were collected and are now on display at a little museum in Kuřívody. Only recently has the former military training area been opened as a natural reserve. On the Ralsko mountain there is a ruin of a Gothic castle. It has been desolate since the 16th century.
There is a Renaissance castle in Kuřívody, formerly a fortress.
- "Population of Municipalities – 1 January 2023". Czech Statistical Office. 2023-05-23.
- "Historie a současnost města" (in Czech). Město Ralsko. Retrieved 2021-08-09.
- "Historický lexikon obcí České republiky 1869–2011 – Okres Česká Lípa" (in Czech). Czech Statistical Office. 2015-12-21. pp. 11–12.
- "Population Census 2021: Population by sex". Public Database. Czech Statistical Office. 2021-03-27.
- "Stálá expozice pyrotechnické asanace Ralska" (in Czech). Občanské sdružení Český svět – Ralsko. Retrieved 2021-08-09.
- "Zřícenina hradu Ralsko" (in Czech). Czech Tourism. Retrieved 2021-11-03.