Havlíčkův Brod

 

 

Havlíčkův Brod (until 1945 Německý Brod, German Deutschbrod) is a town in the district of the same name, in the Vysočina region, 23 km north of Jihlava on the river Sázava. It is an important transport hub located in the middle of the Czech Republic. Approximately 23,000 people live here.

 

History

Originally, there was a mining settlement at the ford across the Sázava. First, it was Smilův Brod, according to the founder Smil of Lichtenburg, of which there are the oldest mentions around 1234. The oldest mention of the town itself comes from a document dated October 26, 1256, which resolves the dispute between the Brod plebeian and the Vilém monastery. King Přemysl Otakar II. he claimed the territory around Brod, which he considered royal land because silver ore was mined here. He got into serious disputes with Smil, after which, however, a large part of the land fell to the king.

In 1274 the settlement was promoted to a town and at the end of the 13th century the town was surrounded by walls. From 1308 until 1945, the town was called Německý Brod. During the Hussite wars in 1422, King Sigismund and his army sought refuge here. Hussite troops led by Jan Žižka conquered Brod and defeated the imperial army. It was one of the last victories of Žižka, this event also definitively ended the mining of silver. In 1637, Brod was promoted to a royal town.

In the years 1871–1874, Vilém Kurz, a scientist, writer and politician, one of the founders of the Czech Tourists' Club and one of the initiators of the construction of the Petřín Lookout Tower in Prague, worked at the local grammar school. In 1945, the town was renamed Havlíčkův Brod after Karel Havlíček Borovský as part of the displacement of Germans from Czechoslovakia. The historic core of the city is a city monument zone. Rebel beer has been produced in the city since 1995.