Benešov (Czech pronunciation: [ˈbɛnɛʃof]; German: Beneschau; also known as Benešov u Prahy) is a town in the Central Bohemian Region of the Czech Republic. It has about 16,000 inhabitants. The town is known for the Konopiště Castle.

Benešov
Masarykovo Square
Masarykovo Square
Flag of Benešov
Coat of arms of Benešov
Benešov is located in Czech Republic
Benešov
Benešov
Location in the Czech Republic
Coordinates: 49°46′58″N 14°41′19″E / 49.78278°N 14.68861°E / 49.78278; 14.68861Coordinates: 49°46′58″N 14°41′19″E / 49.78278°N 14.68861°E / 49.78278; 14.68861
Country Czech Republic
RegionCentral Bohemian
DistrictBenešov
First mentioned1219
Government
 • MayorJaroslav Hlavnička
Area
 • Total46.87 km2 (18.10 sq mi)
Elevation
368 m (1,207 ft)
Population
 (2022-01-01)[1]
 • Total16,448
 • Density350/km2 (910/sq mi)
Time zoneUTC+1 (CET)
 • Summer (DST)UTC+2 (CEST)
Postal code
256 01
Websitewww.benesov-city.cz

Administrative partsEdit

Villages of Baba, Bedrč, Boušice, Buková Lhota, Červený Dvůr, Chvojen, Dlouhé Pole, Konopiště, Mariánovice, Okrouhlice, Pomněnice, Radíkovice, Úročnice and Vidlákova Lhota are administrative parts of Benešov.

GeographyEdit

Benešov lies about 32 kilometres (20 mi) southeast of Prague. The town is located in the Benešov Uplands on the Benešovský Stream. In the western part of the territory are situated the ponds Konopišťský and Jarkovický.

HistoryEdit

 
Masarykovo Square with Church of Saint Anne

The area of Benešov began to be settled in the 11th century. The first settlers are believed to have arrived on Karlov Hill in around 1050 during the Přemyslid dynasty.[2] The first written verified mention of Benešov is from 1219–1222, however there are unverified mentions from 1048 and 1070.[3]

Benešov was seat of Lords of Benešov until 1317, when they moved to nearby Konopiště Castle. In 1327, Benešov became a market town. In 1420, the town was conquered and burned by the Hussites. Benešov however recovered and at the end of the 15th century, it belonged among the most important towns in Bohemia. It was the centre of several political negotiations, such as the 1451 and 1473 meetings of the Bohemian Diet. In the 15th and 16th centuries the town experienced an economic boom, especially thanks to its location on the trade route from Prague to Linz. In 1512, Benešov became a town.[2]

A contemporary first edition map in Latin by A. Ortelius dated 1570 spells the town as Benissaw. After the end of the 16th Century there were several changes in ownership. During the Thirty Years' War, the population had suffered because of passing Polish and Swedish troops. To promote the reintroduction of Catholicism and improving the education, a Priory college with a high school was founded in 1703. After 1803 the town developed as a centre of national rebirth for Slavic Bohemians.

In 1871 the town was connected to Prague by rail and by 1895 it was an important regional hub.

By World War I Benešov was an important garrison town of the Austro-Hungarian Monarchy. There were the II. Bataillon des Böhmischen Infanterie-Regiments Nr. 102 (Second Battalion of the Bohemian Infantry Regiment No. 102) and the II. Bataillon des k.k. Landwehr-Infanterie-Regiments Nr. 28 (Second Battalion of the Imperial Landwehr Infantry Regiment No. 28). Because of fears of possible political unrest in 1916 by Czech nationalists, the 2nd Regiment of the Tiroler Kaiserjäger with a reserve unit part from Bolzano was stationed here to 1918.

Early during World War II the town was evacuated temporarily as the SS-Truppenübungsplatz Böhmen of the Waffen SS was stationed here.

A significant measure of industrialization began after 1945 with the establishment of a machinery factory and the food industry.

DemographicsEdit

Historical population
YearPop.±%
18695,345—    
18806,240+16.7%
18907,413+18.8%
19008,450+14.0%
19108,857+4.8%
YearPop.±%
19219,304+5.0%
19309,820+5.5%
195010,387+5.8%
19619,774−5.9%
197010,769+10.2%
YearPop.±%
198014,258+32.4%
199115,892+11.5%
200116,323+2.7%
201116,264−0.4%
202116,369+0.6%
Source: Censuses[4][5]

TransportEdit

The town is served by one railway station. It lies on the Prague–České Budějovice railroad.

SightsEdit

 
Konopiště Castle
 
Church of Saint Nicholas

The most significant monument is the Konopiště Castle. As of 2019, it was the 7th most visited castle in the country with 147,000 visitors.[6] It was built in 1294 as a copy of French fortresses. Around 1500, it was modificated to the late Gothic style, and in 1605 to the Renaissance style. After 1725, it was rebuilt in the Baroque style.[7]

The Church of Saint Nicholas is the oldest preserved monument in Benešov. It was built in early Gothic style in the second half of the 13th century. After a fire in 1420, it was rebuilt in the Renaissance style in 1583, and later once again in the Baroque style. The church includes a Gothic bell from 1322, one of the oldest preserved bells in the Czech Republic.[2]

Another important religious monument are the former Priory college with the Church of Saint Anne, which was built at the beginning of the 18th century according to plans submitted by the Italian architect Giovanni Battista Alliprandi.[2]

The town centre with Masarykovo Square include Baroque and Art Nouveau houses and the architecturally awarded building of the new town hall.[2]

Notable peopleEdit

Twin towns – sister citiesEdit

Benešov is twinned with:[8][9]

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "Population of Municipalities – 1 January 2022". Czech Statistical Office. 2022-04-29.
  2. ^ a b c d e "Historie města Benešov" (in Czech). Město Benešov. Retrieved 2021-06-30.
  3. ^ "Oslavy kulatého výročí založení Benešova" (in Czech). Město Benešov. 2019-04-08. Retrieved 2021-06-30.
  4. ^ "Historický lexikon obcí České republiky 1869–2011 – Okres Benešov" (in Czech). Czech Statistical Office. 2015-12-21. pp. 1–2.
  5. ^ "Population Census 2021: Population by sex". Public Database. Czech Statistical Office. 2021-03-27.
  6. ^ "Návštěvnost hradů a zámků v roce 2019 opět překonala pětimilionovou hranici" (in Czech). National Heritage Institute. 2020-01-23. Retrieved 2021-06-30.
  7. ^ "Zámek Konopiště" (in Czech). National Heritage Institute. Retrieved 2022-05-16.
  8. ^ "Návštěva oslav osvobození ve městě Partizánske" (in Czech). Město Benešov. 2019-03-28. Retrieved 2019-08-24.
  9. ^ "Spolupráce Sainte-Agnès s Posázavím letos pokračuje" (in Czech). Benešovský deník. 2019-01-09. Retrieved 2019-08-26.

External linksEdit