Most (Czech pronunciation: [most]; German: Brüx; Latin: Pons) is a city in the Ústí nad Labem Region of the Czech Republic. It has about 66,000 inhabitants. It is the capital of the Most District and it lies between the Central Bohemian Uplands and the Ore Mountains, approximately 77 km (48 mi) northwest of Prague along the Bílina River and southwest of Ústí nad Labem.

The only remaining street of old Most
The only remaining street of old Most
Flag of Most
Coat of arms of Most
Etymology: Bridge
Most is located in Czech Republic
Location in the Czech Republic
Coordinates: 50°30′11″N 13°38′12″E / 50.50306°N 13.63667°E / 50.50306; 13.63667Coordinates: 50°30′11″N 13°38′12″E / 50.50306°N 13.63667°E / 50.50306; 13.63667
Country Czech Republic
RegionÚstí nad Labem
First mentioned11th century
 • MayorJan Paparega
 • Total86.94 km2 (33.57 sq mi)
233 m (764 ft)
 • Total65,341
 • Density750/km2 (1,900/sq mi)
Time zoneUTC+1 (CET)
 • Summer (DST)UTC+2 (CEST)
Postal code
434 01

Administrative partsEdit

Most is made up of eight city parts and villages: Most, Starý Most, Čepirohy, Komořany, Rudolice, Souš, Velebudice and Vtelno.

  • Rudolice is home to the Chanov housing estate, created during the communist era, which has become a symbol of the poverty and ghettoization of many Romani people in the Czech Republic.
  • Vtelno used to be a village near Most. When the new city was built near it, Vtelno became an integral part of Most. It has a church, a historical Baroque manor, and many monoliths and sculptures that have been collected during the era of demolition of villages in the region (due to coal mining).


The name Most means "bridge" in Czech. The town was named after the system of bridges that crossed the swamps in this area in the 10th century. The German name for Most is Brüx (derived from the German word for "bridge", Brücke).


Medieval periodEdit

Lookout tower of the rebuilt Hněvín

The Latin Chronica Boemorum mentions a Slavic settlement below the Hněvín Castle called Gnevin Pons (Hněvínský Bridge) in 1040. Through the swamps there led a merchant route from Prague to Freiberg. The network of wooden bridges was built to provide comfortable passages through this territory. Hneva from the Hrabišic dynasty established a military stronghold to protect caravans. Under this stronghold, the village that would become Most developed.

In 1227 Kojata, the last of the Hrabišics, passed his property to the cloister of the Knights of the Cross. Between 1238–1306 the town was part of the territory possessed by the Přemyslids and it became rich with many churches. The mid-13th century saw the beginning of substantial German immigration as King Ottokar II sought to replace losses from the Mongol invasion of eastern Europe in 1241. Germans settled throughout and primarily along the northern, western, and southern borders of Bohemia, although many lived in towns like Brüx, where they were the majority population, throughout the kingdom. The Bohemian kings Ottokar II, John of Bohemia, and Charles IV all granted city rights to Brüx.

In 1526 Bohemia became a part of the Austrian Habsburg monarchy, designated as Crown lands and the city became head of the Brüx District, one of the 94 Bezirkshauptmannschaften in Bohemia. Following the Austria-Hungary compromise of 1867 it remained part of Austrian Bohemia.[2]

During the 15th and 16th centuries, the city was hit by several fires. In circa 1530, city reconstruction began with the foundations of several significant facilities, including the new dean's church and the Renaissance city hall.

During the Thirty Years' War, the city was occupied by Swedish troops. Both in the early years and in the last years of the war, it was captured by stratagem. In a similar manner the castle Hněvín was captured. After the Thirty Years' War, the city lost much of its economic and political significance.

19th-century growthEdit

In the second half of the 19th century, industry and mining emerged, and in 1870, a railway line was built. Construction included sugar works, porcelain factory, steel works, brewery, and the founding of a city museum. In 1895 the city was affected by quicksand that swallowed several houses, including some of their occupants.

In 1900 the textile industry RICO plant was erected. In 1901, an electric tramline linked Most with Litvínov's administrative parts of Kopisty and Janov u Litvínova. The construction (1911–1914) of the Janov dam at Křížatky solved the city's supply of drinking water.

In 1905 Most had a population of 21,500 people and the most modern theatre of its time within Austria-Hungary, built in 1910 and designed by Viennese architect Alexander Graf, was opened in Most in 1911.[3]


The 1919–1920 Peace Treaties that ended World War I created a new state from the territories of the Czech lands (Bohemia, Moravia) and of Slovakia. This new confederation was called Czechoslovakia, and Most was within the borders of the new state.

According to the 1930 census, there were 28,212 citizens living in Most (9,740 people of Czechoslovak ethnicity, 17,549 German, 33 Russian and 154 Jewish).[4]

Under the Munich Agreement in 1938, using the census-based Völkerkarte Mitteleuropas ethnicities map of 1937, it was found that Most fell within the ethnic German-speaking zone which would become part of the Sudetenland districts to be separated from Czechoslovakia. From 1938 until 1945, the city was administered as a part of the Regierungsbezirk Aussig of Reichsgau Sudetenland.

On 15 December 1942, Most began output of Ersatz fuel synthesized from lignite at the Sudetenländische Treibstoffwerke AG (STW) Maltheuren plant,[5][6] and a subcamp of Sachsenhausen provided forced labor. Stalag IV-C (Wistritz bei Teplitz) was at the "Sudentenland Treibstoff Werke",[7] and Most was repeatedly bombed during the Oil Campaign of World War II.

In May 1945 Most was restored to Czechoslovakia. Shortly afterwards, the German population was expelled. The city was renamed to its Czech language name of Most, and a degree of resettlement by Czechs took place.

Nations ruling Most
Early Hrabišic dynasty
1238 Přemyslid dynasty
1306 Kingdom of Bohemia
1526 Habsburg Monarchy
1618–1648 Swedish Empire
1806 Austrian Empire
1867 Austria-Hungary
1919 Czechoslovakia
1938 Nazi Germany
1945 Czechoslovakia
1993 Czech Republic

Destruction and redevelopmentEdit

In 1964, the Most Coal Company began the demolition of the historical old town of Most in order to make room for the expanding lignite mines in the area. Financed and led by the Communist government of Czechoslovakia, the company pulled down the town's historic buildings including a brewery dating from the 15th century and the 1910 theatre. New low-cost, standardized, multifamily housing projects were built (paneláky, in reference to the precast concrete panels from which they were made). In the summer of 1968, an American film company shot scenes for the war film The Bridge at Remagen in the town; the clearance work providing realistic looking war-damaged properties.[8] The demolition work ended in 1970.[9]

Although the old town was flattened, the Communist authorities decided to preserve the Gothic Church of the Assumption of the Virgin Mary. The entire building, which was built between 1517 and 1594 and designed by Jakob Heilmann of Schweinfurt, was moved by train to the newly constructed town 841 m (2,759 ft) 2,759 feet [841 meters] away. The move took 28 days to complete at the rate of roughly 30 m (98 ft) 98 feet [30 meters] per day. The Czechoslovak government took pride in the relocation of this religious structure, and the building was mentioned in the Guinness Book of World Records as the heaviest building ever moved on wheels.

Today most Czechs consider the decision to demolish Most as a destruction of Bohemian history and culture.[citation needed] Nevertheless, the redevelopment of the new town opened a new industrial era and opportunities in the area. Labor mobility drew skilled and unskilled labor to the mining and construction sectors in Most making it one of the busiest regions in Czechoslovakia.


Historical population
Source: Historical lexicon of municipalities of the Czech Republic[10]


The city viewed from Hněvín

Most lies at the heart of the northern Bohemian lignite-mining region and serves as an important industrial railway junction. During the latter half of the 20th century, Most was considered to be one of the most polluted coal mining towns in communist Czechoslovakia. Most's other industries includes textile, ceramics, steel, and chemicals.

Foreign mining operations continue to operate in the area in the 21st century. Some surrounding villages are planned to be abandoned due to surface mining. However environmental conditions have improved in recent years around Most, in particular the growing of apples and grape vines has developed.


In addition to buses, trams also provide public transport. The city operates a transport company together with the neighbouring town of Litvínov.


As a redeveloped city, Most does not have many historical sights, yet there are two important ones: Hněvín Castle and the Gothic Church of the Assumption of the Virgin Mary. On the other hand, there are many amusement facilities which can be visited: planetarium, observatory, autodrome, aquadrome or hippodrome.


The Hippodromo (Racecourse) in the Velebudice district of Most was the host of the 18th International Meeting of 2CV Friends between 28 July and 2 August 2009, attracting 3,333 vehicles and approximately 10,000 people.[11]

Notable peopleEdit

Twin towns – sister citiesEdit

Most is twinned with:[12]



  1. ^ "Population of Municipalities – 1 January 2021". Czech Statistical Office. 2021-04-30.
  2. ^ Die postalischen Abstempelungen auf den österreichischen Postwertzeichen-Ausgaben 1867, 1883 und 1890, Wilhelm Klein, 1967
  3. ^ Baedeker, Karl, Austria-Hungary, Leipzig, 1905, p.237.
  4. ^ Encyklopedie branné moci Republiky Československé, Jiří Fidler & Václav Sluka
  5. ^ "HISTORY OF THE COMPANY". Archived from the original on 2007-05-26.
  6. ^ "Sudetenl ä ndische Treibstoffwerke AG Oberleutensdorf, Kreis Br ü x (Sudetengau) - Sudeten German factory for motor fuels akc. spol". Retrieved 29 April 2009.
  7. ^ "Summer 2002 Newsletter". The National Ex-Prisoner of War Association. 2002. Archived from the original on 17 October 2014. Retrieved 12 October 2014.
  8. ^ "American film-makers use Austrian tanks in Most". Retrieved 24 August 2012.
  9. ^ "Stary Most, Old city Most, Das Verschwundene Brux _1238-1982". 2008-01-05. Archived from the original on 2021-12-22. Retrieved 2015-03-30.
  10. ^ "Historický lexikon obcí České republiky 1869–2011 – Okres Most" (in Czech). Czech Statistical Office. 2015-12-21. pp. 5–6.
  11. ^ Vokurka, Martin (18 June 2009). "Do Mostu míří z celé planety tisíce milovníků starých citroënů". Mostecký deník. Retrieved 21 July 2019.
  12. ^ "Partnerská města" (in Czech). Statutární město Most. Retrieved 2020-06-08.
  • Merriam Webster's Geographical Dictionary, 3rd edition

External linksEdit