Ceske Budejovice Tip
The confluence of the big South Bohemian Vltava and Malše rivers was chosen by the Czech king Pøemysl Otakar II in 1265 with a view to establishing the town of Èeské Budìjovice and thus to strengthen his powerful position in South Bohemia. The regular ground plan of the newly established royal town, whose center is formed by an extensive quadrate square, is among the top works of medieval urbanism.
The town grew economically due to the king's favor and a favorable position on distance commercial routes. Bohemian kings paid for the fidelity to the Royal crown to the citizens of Èeské Budìjovice by awarding numerous privileges ensuring economic prosperity. As early as the turn of the 13th and the 14th centuries two magnificent cathedrals were completed and the town was surrounded by solid walls.
In the course of the turbulent 15th century the catholically oriented town of Èeské Budìjovice represented a firm support against the Hussite movement. Žižka himself estimated well the solid character of the fortifications and did not even try to capture the town.
With its 4,000 inhabitants the medieval town of Èeské Budìjovice was among the largest and most important towns of the Bohemian Kingdom. Nevertheless, it remained a town closed in the ring of the walls with several scattered agricultural estates and gardens in the suburbs.
The 16th century brought an unprecedented growth of the town and considerable profits flowing to the municipality particularly from silver mining in the surrounding mines as well as from beer brewing, pond economy and trade with salt. The accumulated means were used by the community, among others, for an ostentatious presentation: a new town hall was built, the walls were rebuilt and the town council decided to erect a high tower, which is currently called 'Black Tower'. Èeské Budìjovice thus took on a charming Renaissance face. In 1569 a mint was established here processing silver mined in the fields around the present Rudolfov.
During the course of the Estate Uprising and the subsequent Thirty Years' War Èeské Budìjovice remained once more again at the Emperor's part and resisted attacks of the Estate Army. The modern fortification made the town a strategically important fortress where during the war in the 1630s provincial officers moved several times; the local church was temporarily hiding the Bohemian crown jewels.
Whereas the war itself did not cause much damage, more than a half of the houses were destroyed in the fire of July 1641. The town renovation extended over several decades. Baroque era again profoundly changed the form of public buildings and private houses in the town, enriched Èeské Budìjovice with several ecclesiastical sights and inter alia also with one of the town symbols - Samson's fountain.
Maria Theresa's reforms in the second half of the 18th century made Èeské Budìjovice the seat of a newly created region. Also the Piarist Order, settling here in 1762 and establishing a Latin grammar school, contributed, to a great extent, to the cultural importance of the town. The town theater was established in the same period as well. In 1785, under the Emperor Joseph II, the bishopric of Èeské Budìjovice was founded and not even two decades later the seminary and the philosophical institute started their activities.
The 19th century entered the town life especially with revolutionary technical progress and development of modern civil society. Built between 1825 and 1832 as the first one on the European continent, the horse-drawn railway connected Èeské Budìjovice with Austrian Linz and along with the Vltava trade run by Vojtìch Lanna accelerated transport in the north-south direction. This fact stimulated development of trade and industry. In 1847 the Viennese firm Hardtmuth brought its enterprise manufacturing pencils and ceramic goods to Èeské Budìjovice and the town was thus given its first large factory. So far the small Citizen's Brewery was relocated to Linz suburbs in the vicinity of the railway where it had a perspective of further development. In 1895 its opposite pole, the Czech Joint-stock Brewery, the present Budweiser Budvar, was created making the town famous in many countries worldwide.
The 20th century brought a turbulent development. Èeské Budìjovice grew in a real economic and cultural metropolis of South Bohemia and in 1949 it became the seat of the newly created Region of Èeské Budìjovice.