Jihlava is a Czech regional and statutory city, located in the
Bohemian-Moravian Highlands and situated on the former
Czech-Moravian border, formed here partly by the river Jihlava.
Historically, it is a Moravian city and even today most of Jihlava
lies on the Moravian side, only the northwestern edge is in Bohemia.
The historic town, founded in the 13th century as a mining town with
silver mining, has been a city monument reserve since 1982. Jihlava
has been the center of the Vysočina Region since 2000. Approximately
51,000 inhabitants live here.
The town is named Jihlava (German Iglau) after the original merchant settlement near the church of St. John, which was located near the ford across the river of the same name, which gave the settlement its name. However, the origin of the name of the river is not clear. It could have been named Langobardi, who lived at its confluence with the Dyje, as Igulaha (hedge creek). However, the name may also come from Slavic languages, where the word "needle" meant sharp stones in the riverbed.
The first mention of a settlement called Jihlava comes from 1233, when Bishop Robert of Olomouc confirmed the transfer of goods (where the name Gyglaua - Jihlava also appeared) of the Teutonic Knights into the ownership of the Želiv Monastery. In 1234, Margrave Přemysl and Queen Constance with the Porta Coeli monastery in Předklášteří exchanged, among other things, the Jihlava farm with the surrounding villages and tolls for other property. After 1240, Jihlava returned to the possession of Wenceslas I and soon after (sometime between 1240 and 1243) the upper town was founded. Probably a lot of people came to the new city, willing to participate in the mining and processing of silver. As early as 1249, coins minted in Jihlava are mentioned, but it is uncertain whether the mint functioned here so soon. Even before 1253, the founding charter of Jihlava was created, which characterized the city from a legal point of view, but it has not been preserved to this day.
In 1270 Jihlava received from Přemysl Otakar II. building regulations, which imprinted the historical part of the city with a regular floor plan, a rectangular network of streets with a large square in the middle (later the cadastral area of Jihlava Inner City). Jihlava, although founded under Wenceslas I, thus bears the distinctive features of the cities that Přemysl Otakar II. directly founded. In addition, the city received a privilege from Otakar, which allowed the townspeople to regulate the development in the inner parts of the city. Probably this year, a fortification with a fence and a moat was also built (although the document talks about the rebuilding of the ruined towers, which would indicate that some fortifications existed before). Jihlava is Přemysl Otakar II. he was especially pampered due to the strong silver mining, which has seen a large increase since the 1970s. In 1272, in connection with silver mining, the king granted permission to the townspeople of Jihlava to prospectorate inter inter Yglauiam et Vst. It is difficult to say today what the king's income was from local mining. He allegedly owned one-eighth - called urbura - of each mine. However, silver mining, especially in the Jihlava region, but not only here, was associated with the allegedly famous Otakar wealth. As Josef Žemlička states in his book Přemysl Otakar II., King at the Crossroads of Ages, "it is difficult to compile a clearly legible image from a mosaic of preserved fragments of knowledge." However, it is known that in the 70s and 80s of the 13th century, silver mining in Jihlava and its surroundings was the liveliest.
During the Hussite wars, the Catholic city of Jihlava was never conquered by the Hussites. As early as 1420, it joined the Catholic side, which was probably due to the German nationality of the majority of the population. In 1422, Jihlava became a direct witness to the retreat of impoverished Sigismund's troops, which fled after the lost battle of Německý Brod (today Havlíčkův Brod). Jihlava experienced a direct threat from Hussite troops in the years 1423, 1425 and 1427, when Jan Žižka and Jan Roháč of Dubá, for example, besieged them for a time. However, the fortress always withstood. Nevertheless, there were large economic losses, the wide surroundings of the city were devastated, mining stopped. In 1436, the Basel Compact was proclaimed on Jihlava Square (now Masarykovo). In 1441, peace was to come between a peace between Jihlava and Tábor.
During the reign of George of Podebrady, fighting broke out again. Mostly German Jihlava refused to recognize his coronation and election, so the Hussite king had to conquer it. It happened in the autumn of 1458 after a four-month siege. The stiff resistance was caused by entrenched Catholicism and resistance against the Hussites. These struggles resulted in a long period when Jihlava could not get out of the crisis. The revival did not occur until the turn of the 15th and 16th centuries.
The years 1526–1619 are the years of the city's great prosperity. After large fires, it was reconstructed with significant Renaissance features. After 1522, Lutheranism prevailed in the town. Crafts and trade flourished - drapery became a field of Central European importance. There were a number of surveys again, the miners restored a number of galleries and stopped a number of new ones. All this despite the fact that Jihlava, as the only Moravian town, took part in the first resistance of the estate in 1547 and escaped with only 25,000 tolars of a fine and the so-called hereditary beer tax.
During the Thirty Years' War in March 1645, the towns were seized by the Swedes under the command of Lennart Torstenson (1603–1651), who bribed one woman and she opened two gates for them. The city was rebuilt into a Baroque fortress with a bastion fortification. After their departure in 1647, only one thousand inhabitants remained in the destroyed city.
The city experienced great re-development in the 18th and 19th
centuries, when it became the second largest producer of cloth in
the then Habsburg monarchy. In the 19th century, industry developed
and parts of the walls and gates with narrow passages were
demolished. In 1850, a regional court was established here. In the
years 1864–1928, Jihlava was a statutory city for the first time. In
1923, the village of Dřevo Mlýny was annexed to Jihlava (however,
Bedřichov, Staré Hory and Hruškové Dvory were also part of the
agglomeration). Until 1945, Jihlava and its surroundings formed the
second largest German language enclave in the Czech lands - the
so-called Jihlava language island. In the 1930s, the city was
enriched by works of Czech modern architecture by its leading
representative, the internationally renowned architect Bohuslav
World War II also affected Jihlava. A few days after the German occupation, the Jihlava synagogue was burned down (Gustav Mahler Park was later established in its place). On the night of April 10-11, 1945, the partisans damaged the bridge near Helenín and overturned when the train crossed. According to the amateur historian Jiří Vybíhal, the event is rated as one of the largest railway diversionary actions of partisans in the period of the Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia. German reports speak of the deaths of 65 and the injuries of 124 soldiers. After the war, the local Germans were displaced.
In 1969, Evžen Plocek set himself on fire in the square in Jihlava to protest against normalization. His memorial plaque is located by the plague column in the upper part of Masaryk Square. In the historical core of the city (declared a city monument reserve since 1982) you can find houses of many historical styles and large remains of the city walls from the 14th and 15th centuries.
Post - war administrative development
The abolition of the land organization and the new regional establishment in 1949 brought Jihlava the status of a regional city, the center of the Jihlava region. However, another administrative reform in 1960 annexed Jihlava to the South Moravian Region with its center in Brno and remained only a district town.
On January 1, 1951, Jihlava expanded its territory to include Bedřichov, Helenín (including Handlové Dvory and Pančava), Hrušková Dvory and Staré Hory, while Bedřichov and Staré Hory belonged to Bohemia. This created the so-called "Great Jihlava". On May 17, 1954, Hruškové Dvory was separated from Jihlava and, on the contrary, the settlement of Sasov was annexed to Jihlava. On January 1, 1968, Jihlava was expanded to include the village of Pávov. Another expansion took place on August 1, 1976, when Antonínův Důl, Červený Kříž, Henčov, Heroltice, Hruškové Dvory, Hybrálec, Pístov, Popice, Rančířov, Smrčná, Vysoká and Zborná were added to Jihlava. On April 1, 1980, Horní Kosov, Hosov, Malý Beranov and Kosov were annexed to Jihlava.
On January 1, 1989, the last expansion of the town took place, during which Rantířov, Měšín, Cerekvička, Loučky, Vílanec, Čížov, Rosice were connected to it. In the summer of 1990, on the other hand, many parts of Jihlava became independent. Since 2000, Jihlava has once again been the center of the region, which nevertheless soon changed its name from the original old-new name Jihlava Region to Vysočina Region. Together with Karlovy Vary, it is one of the smallest Czech regional cities by far.