Pilsen was founded on the confluence of
the Mže and Radbuza rivers in 1295 by the king Václav II. Immediately after its coming into existence the town was developing succesfully. It became, next to Prague, the second most importatnt town, where artisan's production and trade were concentrated. After the Hussite wars, during which the town had never been captured, its economic and political importance was considerably growing.
The historical centre of Pilsen demonstrates a creative and technical standard of that time and its Gothic ground plan is one of the top expressions of the Czech Gothic ground planning. The Church of St. Bartholomew (1480) and the Renaissance town hall, constructed in the years 1556-58, have been noteworthy monuments. There, in the church, is situated a rare Gothic statue of Madonna.
The Thirty Years' War interrupted development of the town and it took almost a century before Pilsen reached again its pre-war standard. Since the beginning of the 19th century there were founded in the town industrial plants, the world-known Pilsen brewery (1842) and machine-works (1859), later the Skoda's factory.
The famous Czech composer Bedrich Smetana was attending the local grammar-school in the years 1840-43, in 1856 Josef Kajetan Tyl, an actor and writer, the author of the text of the Czech national anthem, died in Pilsen.
In the second half of the 19th century continued the development of the Pilsen industry. State Railway workshops, a paper mill and breweries were, besides the Skoda's factory, the biggest plants in the end of the 19th century. In the beginning of the 20th century the town already had 68 000 inhabitants.
Since the end of the 19th century cultural life in Pilsen has been noted for its great standard. The town had its residential theatre, the nowadays world-known marionette Theatre of Spejbl and Hurvinek began there and many famous artists have been living in Pilsen.
During the Second World War this important industrial and communication centre was many times bomb-destroyed. Pilsen was liberated on the 5th May 1945 by the American army.
On the present live in Pilsen 169 000 inhabitants. It is the fourth biggest city in the Czech republic. Pilsen is important industrial, cultural, commercial and traffic centre.
Place for visit
West Bohemian Museum (Kopeckeho
Museum was founded in 1878. Collection contains over 2 million articles from several spheres. World unique is armoury with collection fire arms from the 14th - 17th century.
Town hall (Republic square 1)
Town hall is renaissance building from the 16th century. The facade is decorate with sgraffitos.
Brewery Museum (Veleslavinova 6)
In Pilsen beer is brewed since foundation, it means year 1295. This museum is one of the best in the world.
Historical underground(Perlova 4)
Under the centre of town there are 25 km of tunnels. Visitors can view 1 km long journey.
The Church of St. Bartholomew (Republic square)
It was build in the beginnig of 16th century. There is the highest tower in Czech republic. It is 102 metres high.
The Great Sinagogue (Sady Pětatřicátníků 11)
It was built in 1892 and it is the second largest sinagogue in the central Europe.
ZOO and Botanival gardens(Pod Vinicemi 9)
This ZOO is the only in Czech republic, where you can see the biggest lizards - Komodo dragon. In Botanical gardens thre is rare collection plants from Africa, Madagascar and Canary Islands.
You can visit theatres (Josef Kajetan Tyl's Theatre, Miroslav Hornicek's Theatre etc.) In the centre of town there are a lot of cultural clubs almost every genre.
There is the world known university West Bohemian University.
In Pilsen there are many sports clubs. The most popular is ice hockey club Keramika Plzeň. The best known player is goalkeeper Dušan Salfický. He is also the goalkeeper of the Czech national team.
Football club Viktoria Plzeň usually engage in the highest Czech football league. But this season, they relegated to the second division. The world known player Pavel Nedvěd started his career in this club.
In Pilsen there are two first-rate STIGA hockey clubs. The most successful is THC Stiga Plzeň. They won several times Czech team championship and players like Pavel Chaluš, Pavel Plešák and Vladimír Studnička are participants on world championship several times in a row.
The second club is Stiga Expand Plzeň. From this club come Jan Suchý, the third junior from the last world championship in Germany.
In the neighbourhood there are castle Radyně and hunting-seat Kozel and St. Peter's Rotunda in Starý Plzenec from 10th century.
Brewery Museum ... www.pilsner-urquell.com
Ice hockey club Keramika Plzeň ... www.hcplzen.cz