Písek (Czech pronunciation: [ˈpiːsɛk]; German: Pisek) is a town in the South Bohemian Region of the Czech Republic. It has about 30,000 inhabitants. The town centre is well preserved and is protected by law as an urban monument zone.

Písek
Church of the Nativity of the Virgin Mary, town walls and the Otava
Church of the Nativity of the Virgin Mary, town walls and the Otava
Flag of Písek
Coat of arms of Písek
Písek is located in Czech Republic
Písek
Písek
Location in the Czech Republic
Coordinates: 49°18′32″N 14°8′51″E / 49.30889°N 14.14750°E / 49.30889; 14.14750Coordinates: 49°18′32″N 14°8′51″E / 49.30889°N 14.14750°E / 49.30889; 14.14750
Country Czech Republic
RegionSouth Bohemian
DistrictPísek
Founded1254
Government
 • MayorEva Vanžurová
Area
 • Total63.23 km2 (24.41 sq mi)
Elevation
378 m (1,240 ft)
Population
 (2021-01-01)[1]
 • Total30,379
 • Density480/km2 (1,200/sq mi)
Time zoneUTC+1 (CET)
 • Summer (DST)UTC+2 (CEST)
Postal code
397 01
Websitewww.mesto-pisek.cz

Písek is colloquially called "South Bohemian Athens",[2] because it has many high schools and schools of higher education, including the Film School in Písek. Up to the last decades of 19th century Písek was a centre of the large autonomous Prácheňsko region.

Administrative partsEdit

 
View of Písek from Jarník observation tower
 
Otava river in Písek

Písek is made up of five town parts and four villages:

  • Budějovické Předměstí
  • Hradiště
  • Pražské Předměstí
  • Václavské Předměstí
  • Vnitřní Město
  • Nový Dvůr
  • Purkratice
  • Semice
  • Smrkovice

EtymologyEdit

The name of Písek literally means "sand". It refers to the sand of Otava river, which was panned for gold by the first settlers.[3]

GeographyEdit

The town, spreading on slopes of several hills, lies along the river Otava. In the municipal territory there are several brooks with many fish ponds. The largest of them are Prostřední Putim and Stará Putim.

There are several steep streets and some suburbs lie more than 70–90 metres above the town centre. Písek is shielded from the northeastern winds by the small range of Písecké Mountains. The highest point of the municipal territory and the range is Velký Mehelník with an altitude of 633 metres (2,077 ft). This eastern part of the territory is covered by deciduous woodlands mixed with high number of various coniferous trees. The lowest point is located on the shores of Otava in 350 metres (1,150 ft).

ClimateEdit

Písek
Climate chart (explanation)
J
F
M
A
M
J
J
A
S
O
N
D
 
 
41
 
 
2
−4
 
 
37
 
 
5
−3
 
 
41
 
 
10
0
 
 
43
 
 
16
4
 
 
74
 
 
20
8
 
 
83
 
 
23
12
 
 
89
 
 
26
14
 
 
79
 
 
25
13
 
 
55
 
 
20
9
 
 
41
 
 
13
4
 
 
42
 
 
8
2
 
 
47
 
 
4
−2
Average max. and min. temperatures in °C
Precipitation totals in mm
Source: Wunderground[4]

The climate in Písek is known to have a milder and drier microclimate because it is well protected from all sides against winds. Písek enjoys a cool inland version of a humid continental climate (Dfb) with rather balanced temperatures year round and rare deep negative extremes. Lying in a rainshadow causes relatively low precipitations, vastly in form of rain (539 mm/annum).

Average round the clock temperatures in July stay on 19.14 °C (66.45 °F) and January mean temperatures stay on −0.91 °C (30.36 °F). The whole year average is 8.98 °C (48.16 °F). The town is sunnier than its wind-prone high-grounded vicinity with some 1,750 hours of sunshine with the most sunlight occurring between March and September, and murky period between November and January. While last spring frost was recorded on May 18 and the first autumn frost was recorded on 18 September, i.e. 121 days without any frost (33.1% of the year), most years have frost-free period between early-April until mid of October (6+ months).

Extreme cold weather has reached -22.9 °C and extreme hot +42.0 °C.[5] Písek falls into 7a zone according to USDA zoning with average year absolute minimal temperature at −16.4 °C (2.5 °F) and into AHS heat zone 4 with only 15 days annually with temperatures crossing 86 °F (30 °C) - normal year has maximal temperature of 34.83 °C (94.69 °F). Nevertheless, number of days with at least 25 °C (77 °F) is normally 56 per a year. Písek has typically great differences between daily minimal and maximal temperatures due to its position far inland.

Climate data for Písek
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °C (°F) 15.1
(59.2)
18.8
(65.8)
24.6
(76.3)
32.4
(90.3)
33.3
(91.9)
39.3
(102.7)
42.0
(107.6)
41.5
(106.7)
38.3
(100.9)
25.6
(78.1)
20.6
(69.1)
15.3
(59.5)
42.0
(107.6)
Average high °C (°F) 1.1
(34.0)
2.8
(37.0)
8.3
(46.9)
13.7
(56.7)
19.0
(66.2)
21.9
(71.4)
23.9
(75.0)
23.4
(74.1)
19.3
(66.7)
13.1
(55.6)
6.2
(43.2)
2.6
(36.7)
12.9
(55.3)
Daily mean °C (°F) −2
(28)
−0.9
(30.4)
3.6
(38.5)
8.1
(46.6)
13.1
(55.6)
16.2
(61.2)
18
(64)
17.6
(63.7)
13.8
(56.8)
8.4
(47.1)
3.1
(37.6)
−0.1
(31.8)
8.2
(46.8)
Average low °C (°F) −5.1
(22.8)
−4.5
(23.9)
−1.1
(30.0)
2.6
(36.7)
7.2
(45.0)
10.5
(50.9)
12.1
(53.8)
11.8
(53.2)
8.3
(46.9)
3.8
(38.8)
0.0
(32.0)
−2.8
(27.0)
3.6
(38.4)
Record low °C (°F) −19.7
(−3.5)
−22.9
(−9.2)
−11.4
(11.5)
−5
(23)
−1.9
(28.6)
2.4
(36.3)
5.6
(42.1)
3.8
(38.8)
−1.2
(29.8)
−4.4
(24.1)
−9.6
(14.7)
−18.1
(−0.6)
−22.9
(−9.2)
Average precipitation mm (inches) 41
(1.6)
37
(1.5)
41
(1.6)
43
(1.7)
74
(2.9)
83
(3.3)
89
(3.5)
79
(3.1)
55
(2.2)
41
(1.6)
42
(1.7)
47
(1.9)
672
(26.5)
Source 1: [6]
Source 2: [7]

HistoryEdit

 
Old houses in the town centre

The predecessor of the town was a settlement of the area where gold was panned, which later became a market village with the royal court. In 1254, King Ottokar II founded here a royal town. During his reign, the town grew and its importance increased. A castle was built above the ford across the Otava river,a monastery was founded, and Písek Stone Bridge was built. Also, at the end of the 13th century, the mint was founded, later moved to Kutná Hora.[3]

From 1308, Písek was free imperial town, and in the 14th century, Písek became the administrative centre of Prácheňsko region. Under the rule of Charles IV, the salt and grain warehouses were founded, and were the largest in Bohemia. For centuries, the town of Písek was the holder of the largest urban estate in Bohemia, especially forests.[3]

During the Hussite Wars, Písek was conquered by Hussites and the monastery was razed. During the Thirty Years' War in 1619–1620, the town was conquered and most of its inhabitants killed by the army of Count of Bucquoy. In 1623, Písek was acquired by the royal chamber again, and in 1641, it was once again promoted to a royal town. In the 18th century, it became the centre of Prácheňsko again.[3]

In the 19th century, Písek became the centre of education because several schools of higher education were established here.[3]

DemographyEdit

Historical population
YearPop.±%
186910,565—    
188012,156+15.1%
189012,550+3.2%
190015,313+22.0%
191017,273+12.8%
YearPop.±%
192118,094+4.8%
193018,658+3.1%
195020,560+10.2%
196121,228+3.2%
197023,713+11.7%
YearPop.±%
198028,104+18.5%
199129,550+5.1%
200129,796+0.8%
201129,706−0.3%
202130,379+2.3%
Source: Historical lexicon of municipalities of the Czech Republic[8]

EconomyEdit

There is the Industrial Zone Sever in Pražské Předměstí part of Písek. The largest industrial employers in Písek are S.N.O.P. CZ, Aisin Europe Manufacturing Czech, and Faurecia Components Písek, all three engaged in the production of automotive parts. Other large town's employer is the Písek Hospital.

TransportEdit

Písek is connected by the D4 motorway to Prague and by the I/20 and I/29 highways. The I/20 travels northwest to Plzeň and southeast to České Budějovice, while the I/29 travels east to Tábor.

Písek railway station lies on the ZdiceProtivín and TáborRažice rail lines.

SightsEdit

 
Marian column on Alšovo Square
 
Písek Stone Bridge

Písek has a well-preserved, medieval centre formed by larger Velké Square and small Alešovo Square with number of narrow alleys. The most valuable monument is Písek Stone Bridge, a national cultural monument. It was the second stone bridge in Bohemia and it is the oldest preserved bridge in country. It is also one of the oldest preserved bridges in whole Europe.[3]

Sacral buildingsEdit

There are six churches in Písek, four of them in the town centre. One of the town's main landmarks is the Deanery Church of the Nativity of the Virgin Mary from the mid-13th century, old as the town itself. The church tower is open to the public and serves as a lookout tower.[9]

The Church of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross is located on the central square commemorates the former Dominican Monastery destroyed by Hussites in 1419.[10]

The Church of Saint Wenceslaus is located in Václavské Předměstí part of Písek. Existence of a sacral building in the area is documented already in around 1200, Church of Saint Wenceslaus was first mentioned in 1378. The original church was demolished in the mid-16th century and a new Gothic-Renaissance church was built on its foundations. In 1695–1697, it was rebuilt into the Baroque style. Today it is known fo the unique fresco of Jan Hus being burned in Konstanz from around 1550, the oldest painting of his burning in the world.[11]

Castle and town wallsEdit

The Písek Castle is a partly preserved Gothic castle, rebuilt into the town hall and a brewery. It also houses the Prácheňsko Museum, part of its exhibition is a preserved Gothic hall from the 13th century.[12]

There are several preserved remains of the town fortifications in Písek, including two castle bastions and fragments of the town walls.[13]

Notable peopleEdit

Twin towns – sister citiesEdit

Písek is twinned with:[14]

Písek also has friendly relations with Jičín in the Czech Republic and Bad Leonfelden in Austria.[14]

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "Population of Municipalities – 1 January 2021". Czech Statistical Office. 30 April 2021.
  2. ^ "Interesting facts about Písek". Tourist Information Centre Písek. Retrieved 26 August 2021.
  3. ^ a b c d e f "Historie města" (in Czech). Město Písek. Retrieved 26 August 2021.
  4. ^ "Amut.Net data for Pisek, CZE". Retrieved 9 October 2015.
  5. ^ Jakub Wailguny. "Meteorologická stanice SZEŠ Písek". Czv.szespisek.cz. Archived from the original on 7 July 2015. Retrieved 18 August 2015.
  6. ^ "Climate: Písek". Climate-Data.ORG. Retrieved 10 September 2015.
  7. ^ "Písek, Czech Republic". Wunderground.com. Retrieved 2 April 2017.
  8. ^ "Historický lexikon obcí České republiky 1869–2011 – Okres Písek" (in Czech). Czech Statistical Office. 21 December 2015. pp. 1–2.
  9. ^ "Deanery Church of the Birth of the Virgin Mary". Tourist Information Centre Písek. Retrieved 26 August 2021.
  10. ^ "Church of the Erection of the Holy Cross". Tourist Information Centre Písek. Retrieved 26 August 2021.
  11. ^ "Church of St. Wenceslas". Tourist Information Centre Písek. Retrieved 26 August 2021.
  12. ^ "Hrad Písek" (in Czech). Hrady.cz. Retrieved 26 August 2021.
  13. ^ "Town walls". Tourist Information Centre Písek. Retrieved 26 August 2021.
  14. ^ a b "Partnerská města" (in Czech). Město Písek. Retrieved 26 August 2021.

External linksEdit