Pelhřimov (popularly "Pejr", German Pilgrams) is a town in the
western part of the Vysočina region. It is located in the valley of
the Bělá river in the Křemešnická vrchovina (part of the
Bohemian-Moravian Highlands). It is located 27 km west of Jihlava,
74 km northeast of České Budějovice and 93 km southeast of Prague.
Approximately 16,000 people live here.
The center of the historic city is Masaryk Square with the Church of St. Bartholomew and the town hall. The town is a traffic junction of two 1st class roads and a tourist starting point to the Bohemian-Moravian Highlands. The agglomeration is the center of a large potato growing area. Pelhřimov is known as a city of records and curiosities (see the smallest equestrian statue of T. G. Masaryk in the world directly above the arcade of Masaryk Square and the competition taking place every year on this market square).
The original settlement from the 13th century was
probably built on the site of today's Starý Pelhřimov. Later, the
name was transferred to the settlement around the church of St. Vít
and Hrnčířská Street, which was plundered by Vítek of Hluboká in
In 1290 King Wenceslas II. granted the right to Bishop Tobias of Bechyně to re-establish the city and fortify it with walls. The floor plan of the town suggests that it is a colonization work, mostly inhabited by German settlers. Over the years, the population began to be honored. Economic development, otherwise limited by the great distance from trade routes, was favorably affected by silver mining in the vicinity of Vyskytná and Křemešník, 9 km southeast of the town. In the pre-Hussite period, the city was the market center of its surroundings and a number of crafts were developed here, such as cloth, linen, weaving, gingerbread and brewing. Until 1416, Pelhřimov was in the possession of the Prague archbishops - from them it acquired a number of rights, especially the great privilege of Archbishop Zbyněk Zajíc of Hazmburk from 1406, which regulated the relationship between the city and the nobility.
During the Hussite wars, Pelhřimov was on the side of the camps, to whom he gave, among other things, the spiritual leader Mikuláš, Bishop of Pelhřimov. During the Hussite revolution, the town was probably administered by the governors of Tábor in 1422. After the Battle of Lipany, the town passed into the possession of Mikuláš Trčka of Lípa, on whose initiative in the 1840s there were 4 provincial congresses, convened for settlement between Catholics and the Similar Party. As the place of the congresses, in which the later Czech King George of Poděbrady also took part, tradition is determined by the house No. 80 on the square.
In 1550, the Říčany family from Říčany became the new lordship, with whom the town had long-standing disputes, which resulted in redemption from servitude in 1572. In 1596, Pelhřimov was promoted to a royal town. The quiet development of the city was ended by the Thirty Years' War. Troops were drawn into the city several times, and the city was damaged by several fires. In 1766, most houses were reduced to ashes. Because the houses were built completely new after the fire, the historic city center has a Baroque order.
The economic development of the town took place mainly in the 17th to 18th centuries, when many cloth factories operated here. In the 19th century, there was a further development of industry, especially brush, knitting, starch. The development of these branches was also helped by the commissioning of the Czech - Moravian Transversal Railway (Tábor - Horní Cerekev section) in 1883.
From 1850, Pelhřimov was a district town and administrative center of a large area. Patriotic associations were formed, which maintained their continuity until this time. Associations founded in the years 1862–1894: the singing association Záboj, Sokol, Čtenářská beseda and the association of theater amateurs Rieger. The 20th century brought further construction and economic development of the city. In 1903, a hospital building was built by the road to Jihlava, which still serves today. After the Second World War, new buildings and halls of industrial plants were built, especially in the southern part of the city, which were nationalized after 1948.
Communism in Pelhřimov
In 1960, Pelhřimov became the center of the district, which also included the surroundings of Pacov and Humpolec. The whole district was assigned to the South Bohemian Region.
From the mid-1960s, the construction of prefabricated housing estates in the northwest of the city and south of the square began. Also, thanks to the process of integration of the surrounding municipalities, the population of the city in the period 1960–1990 rose from about 9,000 people to 16,000.
The city center was declared a city monument reserve in 1969. Even that did not prevent large-scale demolition. Pelhřimov thus lost almost all of its historic buildings in the wider center, and part of the houses were demolished directly in the monument reserve. Starý Pivovar (now a car park), a Baroque granary (now an empty area), a large block of houses between the historic Hrnčířská Street and the square (now the Vysočina Department Store from 1989) and the Meat Shops and the protected Jewish synagogue (now the Department Store) Pearl). Uniform buildings of the communist post office, tax office, department stores Perla, Vysočina and Drupo and others were built on the site of other buildings of the center. The city was crossed by a highway lined with concrete walls.
Several films were made in Pelhřimov at that time, including Our Old Man Josef and the sci-fi series by director Ota Hofman Visitors from 1983.