Kralupy nad Vltavou



Kralupy nad Vltavou (German Kralup an der Moldau) is a town located on both sides of the Vltava River about 20 km north of Prague, in the district of Mělník in the Central Bohemian Region. Approximately 18,000 inhabitants live here. It is a railway junction of several regional railways and the main line Prague – Děčín.

The name Kralupy is said to be based on the combination of the magnifying glass in the sense of "village of bark peelers". The name would therefore suggest that a large amount of bark was peeling around Kralupy. However, unlike other municipalities, which in Bohemia were named Kralupy, according to archaeological findings, the landscape around today's Kralupy nad Vltavou had a rather steppe nature. More likely (though less flattering for the city) is the variant that the name originated as a derogatory designation of a place where poultry thieves live, people who "rob the chicken". However, it is possible that it originated completely differently and one can only speculate as to how. The adjective "nad Vltavou" distinguishes the town from the German Kralupy or Kralup near Chomutov, a village that disappeared in 1976 due to coal mining, and Kralup near Žatec, a village that disappeared in the Middle Ages.


Description of the territory
Kralupy lies at the point where the Vltava River flows out of the rocky valley of the Prague Plateau and enters the open landscape of the Elbe. The city center is located on the left bank of the Vltava in the cadastral area of ​​Kralupy nad Vltavou, southeast of Zákolanský brook, but this cadastral area also extends to the industrial and sports zone on the right bank of the river. Near the city center is the railway station Kralupy nad Vltavou, a major railway junction. In the center of Kralupy stands the pseudo-Gothic Church of the Assumption of the Virgin Mary and the three-nave Basilica of St. Wenceslas, consecrated on October 27, 1895. In the 1970s, the church was overshadowed by a new department store in the direction from Lobeček.

In the southwest, the local part of Minice (cadastral district Minice near Kralup nad Vltavou) is a part of the town. In Minice there is a railway station Kralupy nad Vltavou-Minice on line 093 to Zákolan. The Zákolanský brook flows through the mines along the railway line and the Knovízský brook flows into it here. The road II / 240 from Tursk called Pražská also comes to Kralupy via Minice. In Minice is the church of St. James the Elder. On the border of Minice and Mikovice at the border of the neighboring village Otvovice is the natural monument Minická skála.

In the western part of Kralup lies the local parts of Mikovice (cadastral area Mikovice u Kralup nad Vltavou) and Zeměchy (cadastral area Zeměchy u Kralup nad Vltavou). The railway line from Kralupy railway station has a station Kralupy nad Vltavou-předměstí in Mikovice and further branches to the northwest to Velvar and to the west to Zvoleněves. The western branch still has a Zeměcha stop in Zeměchy. The road II / 240 under the name Velvarská in the direction of Velvar passes through both parts. Mikovice forms the western part of the continuous development of the town of Kralup. Zeměchy is an urbanistically independent village about 1 km west. In Zeměchy, the Church of the Nativity of St. Jan Křtitel, on the southern edge of the village there is a natural monument Sprašová rokle u Zeměch. In the northern part of the Zeměchy cadastral district, at a distance of about 1.2 km from Zeměch, there is a settlement (homestead) Nový Dvůr.

The northern part of the town on the left bank occupies the cadastral area of ​​Lobeč, which is not the only separate local part, but also belongs to the central local part. The southern edge of Lobeček is crossed by the road II / 101 in the east-west direction, which in the east continues over the T. G. Masaryk bridge (built in 1926–1928) to another local part of Lobeček and then in the direction of Veltrusy. Simultaneously with the Vltava bank, Lobčí passes in the north-south direction of road III. class to Nelahozeves. In Lobča near the city center there is a sports hall with a swimming pool. The rocky promontory Hostibejk with walking paths and an observation gazebo rises above the Děčín railway line, followed by the Lobečská rock with three so-called Nelahozeves tunnels (I, II and III). Dvořák's trail leads along the river bank.

On the left bank, the town of Kralupy borders (from south to north) with the villages of Dolany nad Vltavou, Holubice, Otvovice, Olovnice, Velvary and Nelahozeves.

The right (northeastern) bank of the Vltava occupies the local part and the cadastral area of ​​Lobeček, and in the south it extends to the cadastral area of ​​Kralupy nad Vltavou. Closer to the Vltava lies a residential area with several schools and an ice rink. The eastern part of Lobečko is occupied by an extensive area of ​​Synthos Kralupy a.s. (former Kaučuk) and Unipetrol RPA s.r.o (former Česká rafinérská), which is connected to other industrial buildings in the southwest. The entire industrial zone is interwoven with a network of sidings. In the easternmost outcrop of Kralup lies the Chvatěruby railway station on line 092. The town of Kralupy on this bank of the river borders Veltrusy and Chvatěruby.

The Kralupy valley has been inhabited since prehistoric times. The first documented mention of Kralupy (considered a forgery) can be found in the inventory of the Břevnov monastery from 993. The deed of gift of King Wenceslas I is authentic, and on April 6, 1253, he dedicated several villages to Prague's Red Star Crusaders, including Kralupy. The order had a mill with a fortress built here and the village remained in its possession until 1848. At that time, the number of its inhabitants did not reach even 200 souls. The first written mention of Kralupy is from 1253.

19th century
Back in 1850, Kralupy was only a settlement with 27 houses. Massive development occurred with the introduction of railways. With the end of robots came the railway in 1851 and with it progress. The Buštěhrad railway for the transport of Kladno coal was added to the Podmokelská railway, which was transferred to ships here. A shipyard was built and the first chemical factory was established. In 1865, the Turnov railway was added, railway workshops were built, and a railway junction was established in Kralupy.


In 1867, the first Kralupy primary school was established. And the development of the village continued: a steam mill and a steam sawmill were built, railway buildings grew, a brewery and a sugar factory were built, so that in 1881 the village with the connected Lobčí had almost 3,000 inhabitants and was promoted to a town. This year, the railway line to Velvar was extended. Workshops, chemical and construction companies were added to the workshops, a savings bank was established and a telephone was introduced. In 1884, Kralupy Sokol was established and workers' associations were also founded. In 1901, the Kralupy mineral oil refinery started production, which later had 700 employees.

The population increased, more schools were built and at the end of the 19th century the Kralupy municipality sought to obtain the status of a town. An important prerequisite, however, was the church itself. From the gift of the Prague provost Msgr. In the years 1894–1895, the parish church of the Virgin Mary and St. Edward Tersch was built. Wenceslas and only then could Kralupy be promoted to a town by a decision of Emperor Francis Joseph I of November 22, 1902.

20th century
In 1910, the town had a population of 6,000, a district court and a tax office were established, and in 1913 Kralupy became the seat of the district political administration. In July 1914, the First World War broke out, in which 7,000 men from the district enlisted and the largest bells were confiscated from the church tower. The new district failed to organize supplies, there were strikes and demonstrations, and Kralupy became one of the towns where the coup took place on October 14, 1918.

In 1935, the first scout unit was founded in Kralupy under the leadership of Fr. Šandy and V. Kintery.

In the years 1935–1936, the Kralupy airport was built on the municipal lands in Lobeček northeast of the town, which was created as part of the "1,000 New Pilots to the Republic" event, organized by the Masaryk Air League and the Aeroclub of the Czechoslovak Republic. In 1939, the airport in Kralupy was occupied by the German army. The flight at the local aeroclub was of course stopped. After the war, the first motorless operation was resumed, and a little later, motorized flying on the Piper aircraft began. Aviation at Kralupy Airport continued until 1958, when the construction of the Kaučuk company began on the airport area.

Even during the German occupation, cultural activities that aroused hope did not cease. The local associations came together and their activities culminated in 1941 with the celebrations of Antonín Dvořák's centenary.

Kralupy was one of the most affected Czech cities during World War II, as a large part of the city was damaged by a heavy raid by American bombers at noon on March 22, 1945. Its target was the Kralupy refinery. A cloud of black smoke from the affected oil tank enveloped the entire city, and further waves of bombers were already dropping their cargo blindly, for a total of 1,500 bombs. The raid damaged the station, destroyed most industrial buildings and 117 houses, many other houses were damaged. The city was completely destroyed, 145 Czechs and 100 German soldiers lost their lives. Kralupy became the most war-torn town in Bohemia.

After the liberation in May 1945, it was time for renewal. German prisoners were deployed to clear the rubble, and people returned to repair buildings and machinery. Hundreds of Sunday temporary workers streamed from the surroundings to the city, while those who could not find a livelihood in the affected city moved to the border.

"As soon as I came out of the station hall and looked around the streets, I realized that the shadow of the March catastrophe was still above the city. In Prague, shop windows were already shining and the streets were full of people, the streets of Kralupy were gray and almost deserted. Nothing festive anywhere. The wind seemed to make crying, tears and sighs in the corners of the streets instead of rubbish. Sad and ugly memories were trampled everywhere. "
- Jaroslav Seifert after visiting Kralup at the end of 1945

From 1947, Kralupy was again a district town. The building of the District National Committee was completed on the left bridgehead, a fire house and a polyclinic in the center.

A nursery and a modern school were built in Lobeček. In 1948, the Kralupy district was expanded to include 3 towns and 50 villages with 35,000 inhabitants. As almost 80% of the district's area was arable land, the violent collectivization of agriculture was promoted, but it did not bring the expected results. For example, in 1950, cereal yields were lower than before the war. Representatives of the political opposition were imprisoned or evicted.

Since 1955, the city has stagnated, while repairing the war damage, some earlier smaller operations were canceled and therefore failed to cope with other, non-war-affected cities. In 1960, a territorial reorganization took place, Kralupy lost the status of a district town, the district was divided and the town with the eastern part of the district was annexed to Mělnicko.


Of great importance for the city was the decision, following the tradition of the local art industry, to build one of the largest chemical plants in our republic - the national company Kaučuk. Its construction began at the end of the summer of 1958 at the Kralupy sports airport, and hundreds of young people from all over the country began to come to Kralupy. Production in the new chemical plant was started in 1963. In 1975, Mr. Kaučuk was expanded with an oil refinery and the existing production facilities were expanded and modernized. At the same time, the face of the city began to change dramatically.

In Lobeček, the construction of a new housing estate with more than 1,000 flats continued quickly, a new swimming pool was built, a social house with a cinema and a multi-purpose hall, and the building of the former ONV was adapted into a hospital. At the end of the 1960s, construction activity was moved to the city with the construction of another housing estate, Kochmanka, and after the liquidation of the sugar factory, another housing estate of the same name was created on the left bank of the Vltava. In 1969, an artificial ice rink was built in Lobeček, and 20 years later it was also roofed. In 1974, the reconstruction of the railway junction was started, during which they were demolished to the track of the adjacent part of Husova and Jungmannova streets. The old railway station was also demolished and the new, modern one was put into operation in 1986. On January 21 this year, with the assistance of the State Security, the Nobel Prize winner, the poet Jaroslav Seifert, was buried in the Kralupy cemetery.

The revolutionary events of the autumn of 1989 marked the "end of one-party rule." In June 1990, the Sport Hotel was completed, to which part of the city's national committee moved, in which, in addition to the Communists, representatives of the Civic Forum were also represented. In the autumn elections to the City Council, Mgr. Pavel Rynt. The next year was marked by privatization and restitution of nationalized property. At the end of 1991, the Municipal Museum was established, and the following year the Municipal Police.

In January 1994, Kralčuk in Kralupy became a joint-stock company. In the municipal elections, Pavel Rynt was elected mayor again. In October 1995, a boarding house for pensioners was ceremoniously opened, and the construction of a footbridge began next to the T. G. Masaryk Bridge. After its opening in December 1996, repairs to the bridge began.

Flood 2002
The city was hit by a flood wave, with its severity and consequences, the largest in the history of the lower Povltava. During this flood, Kralupy was one of the most affected cities. Some houses can still see a typical "line" showing the height of the then level. The restoration of the destroyed buildings then continued for years to come. The flood culminated on 14 August, when the flow approached 5,000 m3s − 1. The entire center of the city found itself under water, including the side streets into which the Zákolanský stream spilled. The water level in the square reached a height of 2 meters, and the station was flooded. The water also threatened the reinforced concrete bridge of Tomáš Garrigue Masaryk. Fire brigades from near and far gathered, the evacuation of residents from endangered buildings took place without loss of life.

After the water receded, the cleaning began and the damage appeared, which everyone helped to eliminate. With good organizational activities and with the help of neighboring towns and villages, the town was cleaned up by Christmas. The elimination of the consequences of the flood continued in the following years, and it seems that the city got a more friendly appearance.

In May 2017, a group of local sympathizers with the figure of Švejk, from the work The Fate of the Good Soldier Švejk during World War II by Jaroslav Hašek, installed a statue of this literary figure in the pedestrian zone of the local Husova Street. The costs of making the sculpture were calculated by the members of the association at 400,000 Czech crowns, which they collected in the form of a collection.