Chomutov (German: Komotau) is a statutory town in the Ústí nad Labem Region, 49 km southwest of Ústí nad Labem. It covers an area of 29.26 km2 and has a population of approximately 49,000. It is the 22nd largest city in the Czech Republic, the fifth in the Ústí Region and the largest in the Chomutov district.



The name of the town is derived from the personal name Chomút, Chomout meaning Chomoutův dvůr. In historical sources, the name occurs, for example, in the forms: Fridericus de Chomutov, filius Nacherati, fratribus hospitalis s. Marieae Theutunicorum dat oppidum Chomutov cum villis (1252), Chomontowe (1261), in Cometave (1281), in Chomutow (1290), in oppido Comatow (1321), in Chomatow (1325), in Chomotov (1330), de Chomutow (1332), comentur ze Comentow (1355), Comotaw (1369), de Chomutoua (1389), w Chomutowie (1455), Kommotau ( 1787) or Komotau, Kommotau and Kommothau (1846).



The first mention of Chomutov comes from March 29, 1252, when Bedřich Načeradec from Chomutov donated the town to the Order of German Knights, who established his command here in 1254. Thanks to the work of the Teutonic Knights, the town became very Germanized, which stemmed the saying: "People everywhere, in Chomutov, Germans." The original wooden fence was replaced by stone walls in the second half of the fourteenth century. In 1396, Commander Albrecht of Dubá granted a seal with a coat of arms. The German knights held the Chomutov estate until 1411, when after the battle of Grunwald they were King Wenceslas IV. (except for the patronage over the churches) he took away. On March 16, 1421, Chomutov was conquered and plundered by the Hussites. After that, the city changed aristocratic owners; the last time they were the Hasištejn family from Lobkovice, who, as one of the first places in Bohemia in the town, promoted harsh re-Catholicization (in 1589 the Chomutov Jesuit College was founded here). In 1591, the townspeople revolted against the Jesuits and looted their seat, for which two of the leaders of the revolt were executed. After the conviction of Jiří Popel the Elder of Lobkovice, Chomutov was confiscated from him in 1594 by Rudolf II. In 1605, the people of Chomutov redeemed themselves from servitude and since then Chomutov has been a royal city.

Early modern age
The oldest mining company near Chomutov was the alum mine Kryštof Chomutov (originally Prague) burgher Lazar Grohman. It was located together with the vitriol smelter in the area of ​​today's Kamencov Lake. The first written mention of the mine comes from 1558 from a privilege issued by John of Veitmile. The extracted raw material was processed into alum directly on site in the smelter, whose annual production was in the order of tens of tons (for example, in 1563 it was 62 t). From 1770, the smelter began to burn coal, which was supplied by the mine in Pohlody. After the middle of the seventeenth century, the waterlogged area forced the costly construction of an approximately 1,500 m long drainage gallery towards Otvice, the collapse of which in 1810 led to the flooding of the mine and the termination of operations. Immediately, attempts were made to drain and resume production, but they were not successful.

At the turn of the 1950s and 1960s, an imperial road connecting Chomutov with Prague was built, along which development also developed on the right bank of the Chomutovka. Although Chomutov lay on this important link to Saxony, it grew only slowly until the middle of the nineteenth century. The turnaround did not occur until the seventies of the nineteenth century by connecting to the railway lines leading along the Ore Mountains and to Prague. At this time, brown coal mines were opened near Chomutov, and in 1870 ironworks were established, which after 1887 became famous as Mannesmann's tube rolling mills; In 1890, seamless steel pipes began to be produced here in the first place in the world. In addition to the rolling mills located on the eastern edge of the town, in 1917, the arms branch of the Kladno Poldi was added south of Chomutov, and after the war it was also reoriented to metallurgical production.

Brown coal mining
The largest brown coal mine in Chomutov was the Jan Žižka Mine, which was not closed until 1992. The first company in its mining field was the Augusta shaft, which was opened in the 1960s. During the economic crisis in 1874, she changed owners and was renamed Karel. In 1895 it was bought by the nearby Mannessmann factories. After the Karel shaft was damaged by fire, a new 105 m deep Julius mining pit was opened in 1904 and renamed the Jan Žižka Mine in 1946. At the same time as Augusta was opened, the Hugo mine was opened between Otvice and the defunct Michanice, connected by a siding to the main railway line at Kamencov Lake. In the 1970s, it was abandoned with a total production of around 60,000 tons. The third important mine in Chomutov was Max on the southern edge of the city. It was also built in the 1960s and already at that time reached a depth of over 100 m. Two seams were mined in it: the upper (1.5–3 m) and the lower (5–6 m). In addition to them, crumbs were also mined, which were used as a raw material for the production of alum. Until its closure in 1887, it produced 5-6 thousand tons of stone raw materials a year and up to 800,000 tons of coal during its existence. Other mines were located in Horní Ves.


Twentieth century
In 1928, Horní Ves (today's northwestern part of the town) was annexed to Chomutov. In connection with the Munich Agreement, the majority German city had to be ceded to Nazi Germany in October 1938, it became part of the Reichsgau Sudetenland and within it the Ústí nad Labem government district. Chomutov was liberated at the very end of the war, on May 8, 1945, by Red Army units. In the following months, the German population was expelled from the city.

In the 1960s and 1980s, the city was extensively rebuilt, which did not significantly affect the historic core, which has been a city monument zone since 1992. The plan for the construction of housing estates between Chomutov and Jirkov was drawn up in the 1960s. It was based on the assumption that in 1975 95,000 people would live in the Chomutov-Jirkov agglomeration. The construction of the Březenecká and Kamenná housing estates was decided in 1966 and in the years 1970–1971 also of the Zahradní and Písečná housing estates, although the construction of the other two was not planned until after 1980.

In addition to up to sixteen-storey houses, they also included a new hospital, grammar school, swimming pool, retirement home, underground garages and other common facilities. In the end, only the cinema with a library (demolished during October and November 2012), a football pitch with tennis courts and a shopping center remained from the big plans.

The Březenecká, Kamenná, Zahradní and Písečná housing estates connect Chomutov with Jirkov as an urban agglomeration with approximately 68,000 inhabitants.

The Březenecká and Kamenná housing estates were built in the years 1970–1985. The dominant feature of both housing estates were to be the so-called experimental houses with maisonettes, lightened by above-ground pillars. In the style of Le Corbusier's concept, it is inspired by the Marseille collective house Unité d’habitation, designed by architect Rudolf Bergr. Large time slippages caused by unusual work procedures caused that only 3 of the planned 6 houses were built. On Březenecká, they were partially replaced by the construction of three three-part thirteen-storey houses in Holešická Street and the construction of Hutnická Street on the site of the planned retirement home. Compared to the original plans, which included the start of construction after 1980, the construction of Zahradní and Písečná housing estates began before 1975. The reason was relatively easy connection to existing utilities, hot water from Komořany, four-lane section of road I / 13 and civic amenities in Jirkov. Therefore, construction began in the neighborhood of Jirkov and absorbed the small settlements of Keprtovo Pole and Kamenný Lom.

After 1990, most of the prefabricated houses in the housing estates underwent reconstructions and, as part of the Sídliště - place to live project, several playgrounds were built, sidewalks were gradually repaired and car parks were being expanded.

Until 2002, Chomutov was the seat of the district office, since July 1, 2006 it has been a statutory city headed by the mayor.



Before the introduction of the regular census, Chomutov had a population of 1,129 (1702), 2,967 (1811) and 4,014 (1843).

Population structure
According to the 1921 census, there were 20,894 inhabitants in 1,271 houses, of which 10,037 were women. 1869 inhabitants declared their Czechoslovak nationality, 18,042 German and 103 Jewish. There were 18,770 Roman Catholics, 825 Evangelicals, 80 members of the Czechoslovak Hussite Church and 483 Jews. According to the 1930 census, there were 33,279 inhabitants living in 2,818 houses. 4,449 inhabitants declared their Czechoslovak nationality and 27,609 German. There were 28,570 Roman Catholics, 1,311 Evangelicals, 529 members of the Czechoslovak Hussite Church and 444 Jews.

Jewish community
The oldest mention of the Jewish settlement of Chomutov dates from 1421. They could live, work and buy real estate in the town until 1517, when Petr and Šebestián of Veitmile expelled the Jews from the town at the request of the townspeople. For this privilege, the townspeople had to grind grain only in the manorial mill and pay 400 kopecks in cash. The Jews settled in the surrounding villages and, despite numerous bans, continued to trade with the city's inhabitants. The larger community in Chomutov then existed only from the middle of the nineteenth century. The greatest numerical expansion took place in 1880, when 562 Jews lived in Chomutov (for comparison, in 1930 there were 444 people). The Jewish community decimated by the Holocaust was restored after World War II and annexed to the Jewish community in Ústí nad Labem.

There were three synagogues in Chomutov. The first two medieval ones disappeared without a trace. The modern synagogue, built in 1876 in the neo-Romanesque style, stood on the corner of Mostecká and Karla Buriana streets. In November 1938, it was burned down during Crystal Night and later demolished. The Jewish cemetery, which is located next to the town cemetery in Beethoven Street, has been preserved to this day. In the eighties of the twentieth century, the cemetery was transformed into a park and closed in the following decade due to the concentration of socially pathological phenomena. It was opened after reconstruction in 2008 and includes a memorial plaque and a monument.

German community
In 1930, more than 27,000 Germans lived in Chomutov, ie over 80% of the entire population. According to the Munich Agreement of 1938, Chomutov became part of the German-occupied Sudetenland, and many Czechs, Jews and German anti-fascists emigrated to the territory of the so-called Second Republic.

According to witness estimates, at the beginning of May 1945, 60,000 people were to live in Chomutov (before the war in 1939, the town had 33,475 inhabitants), of which about eighty Czechs remained in the town after October 1938. From 8 to 9 May 1945 the city was occupied by a division of the Red Army under the command of Major Nosov. The Czech inhabitants of Chomutov, as well as local German anti-fascists and communists, established a twelve-member Czechoslovak National Committee, whose chairman was elected Josef Černý. The Czechoslovak National Committee was later transformed into the National Revolutionary Committee, and all German members were expelled from it. This was later transformed into the Local National Commission.

After the necessary commissioning of the basic functions of the city, which lasted until the end of May, the Chomutov MSK issued an order that "all Germans must wear a visible white belt on their left sleeve." In addition, the use of Czechoslovak tricolors by the Germans and the marking of the houses in which they lived was criminalized with Czechoslovak and red flags. These houses were to continue to be marked with white banners. All the streets in the city were renamed with Czech names. On June 9, a decree was issued stating that “all German men aged 13–65 had to arrive at the former DFK Chomutov playground near the park within ten hours at the latest. Women, children and the elderly are not allowed to leave their flats. ”According to witnesses, five to eight thousand Germans arrived. They were later expelled by a three-day infantry march with the assistance of the army along the route through Jirkov - Kundratice - Dřínov - Jezeří to Nová Ves in Hory. Dozens of people were allegedly beaten, shot or otherwise killed during the march. However, the Czech escort failed to arrange a transfer to Germany, and therefore they were all taken to Záluží, where some of them remained until 1946.

At the turn of May and June, an internment center was established in the building of the former glassworks in Na Moráni Street, in which several dozen Germans were killed on the night of June 6-7. From July 2, transport trains with the German population began to leave via Křimov and Reitzenhain to Germany. By September 8, 1945, a total of fifteen thousand other Germans had been expelled from Chomutov and the surrounding villages in a total of fifteen railway transports. Only a few hundred Germans, especially anti-fascists and communists, were allowed to remain in Chomutov (based on an individual review of their activities during the occupation). Chomutov was then - like other parts of the Czech border in the period after World War II - settled by newly arrived settlers, in the vast majority of the eastern parts of Czechoslovakia. This also completely irreversibly changed the overall socio-cultural composition of the city.