|• Mayor||Rudolf Salvetr (ODS)|
|• Total||80.85 km2 (31.22 sq mi)|
|Elevation||405 m (1,329 ft)|
|• Density||280/km2 (720/sq mi)|
|Time zone||UTC+1 (CET)|
|• Summer (DST)||UTC+2 (CEST)|
Klatovy (Czech pronunciation: [ˈklatovɪ]; German: Klattau) is a town in the Plzeň Region of the Czech Republic. It has about 22,000 inhabitants. The historic town centre is well preserved and is protected by law as an urban monument zone.
Klatovy is made up of 30 administrative parts (5 town parts and 25 villages):
- Klatovy I
- Klatovy II
- Klatovy III
- Klatovy IV
- Klatovy V
- Dobrá Voda
Habartice, Kvaslice and Vítkovice, and Dobrá Voda, Křištín and Střeziměř form two exclaves of the municipal territory.
According to one theory, the name Klatovy was derived from the personal name Klát, meaning "Klát's (court)". The name Klát has then its origin in the Old Czech word klát, which meant "stump" or "log". According to the second theory, the name Klatovy was derived directly from klát.
Klatovy is located about 38 km (24 mi) south of Plzeň. It lies in the Švihov Highlands except for the two exclaves, which lie one in the Blatná Uplands and one in the Bohemian Forest Foothills. The highest point is the hill Boudovka at 729 m (2,392 ft) above sea level, located in the southern (Bohemian Forest Foothills) exclave. A dominant feature of the built-up area is the hill Hůrka (498 m).
The town is situated on the right bank of the Úhlava River. The Drnový Stream, a tributary of the Úhlava, flows through the town.
The first written mention of Klatovy is from 1253, when it was a small settlement on a trade route from Bohemia to Bavaria. Between 1260 and 1263, a royal town was made from the settlement by Ottokar II of Bohemia. The town walls were built and between the 13th and 16th centuries were improved. Despite the Hussite Wars and a fire in 1464, which destroyed all the suburbs, the development of the town continued. At the beginning of the 16th century, Klatovy was one of the ten most important towns in the Czech lands.
In the 16th century, Klatovy continued to flourish and many important buildings were built. But the town was damaged several fires, and the Thirty Years' War caused decline. In the mid-17th century, Jesuits came into the town and started not only building development, but also the development of education. However, in a fire in 1689 started by arsonists, all the Gothic and Renaissance monuments burned down.
In the 18th century, Klatovy became the administrative centre of the region. In the early 19th century, part of the fortifications were demolished and the town changed its architectural face. In the second half of the 19th century, Klatovy became the centre of cultural and social life. The development of trade was supported by the construction of new railway and road networks.
During World War II, Klatovy was occupied by Germany. The Germans operated a Gestapo prison in the town. In 1942, Klatovy was the centre of the resistance movement, which was harshly suppressed by the execution of 73 patriots in the Spálený Forest at the time of Reinhard Heydrich. In 1945, some parts of the town were badly damaged by bombing , and the railway station building was completely destroyed. Klatovy was liberated on 5 May 1945 by the US Army. The town's remaining German population was expelled in accordance with the Potsdam Agreement in 1945.
Historically, Klatovy is connected with the textile, leather, wood, engineering and food industries. Currently, the construction, woodworking and metalworking industries predominate. The largest employer in the town is a branch of the Rodenstock GmbH company, which manufactures spectacle lenses here. It has more than 1,000 employers.
Klatovy is a railway junction. The town has a direct connection with Prague via Plzeň. There are also regional railway lines to Železná Ruda, Domažlice and Horažďovice. The territory of Klatovy is served by five train stations and stops: Klatovy, Klatovy město, Luby u Klatov, Točník and Dehtín.
The oldest part of the town surrounded by fragments of town walls is protected as an urban monument zone since 1992. The best-preserved part of the fortifications is located on the eastern side of the historic town centre, where there are two circular bastions.
One of the main landmarks of Klatovy is the Black Tower, built in 1547–1557 as a watchtower. It turned black after many fires in the history of the town. It is a five-story tower with a height of 81.6 m (268 ft) and 226 steps. Nowadays it is open to the public and serves as a lookout tower.
After the Black Tower was finished, construction of the town hall began in 1557. Many construction modifications have completely changed its appearance. The last major reconstruction in the Neo-Renaissance style took place in 1923–1925 based on the project of the architect Josef Fanta. The building still serves its original purpose.
Baroque Jesuit pharmacy called "At the White Unicorn" on the town square is now a pharmacy museum. The museum maps the history of pharmacy from 1776 until 1966, when the Jesuit pharmacy was abolished. It contains valuable equipment, mostly from the 18th century. Next to the museum is the Gallery At the White Unicorn.
The Jesuit Church of the Immaculate Conception of the Virgin Mary and of Saint Ignatiusis was built in the early Baroque style in 1655–1679. It was designed by Carlo Lurago and finished by Domenico Orsi. After it was damaged by a fire, it was reconstructed in 1826 to its current appearance. Beneath the church are extensive catacombs where the Jesuits buried members of the order from the 1670s (before the church was finished) until 1783. About 38 mummified bodies have been preserved to this day.
The Dominican monastery with the Church of Saint Lawrence were founded in the 14th century, but they were burned down during the Hussite Wars in 1419. They were renewed after the Thirty Years' War, but were again destroyed by a fire in 1689. The monastery complex was then finally rebuilt in the Baroque style in 1694–1709, but the monastery was abolished in 1786. Today the premises of the former monastery serves social and educational purposes. The church building, owned by the town, was reconstructed in 2000 and is used as an exhibition space.
The Church of the Nativity of the Virgin Mary was built in the Gothic style at the end of the 13th century. Renaissance and baroque modifications were made during the building's history, then it was regotized by Josef Fanta in 1898–1908. Next to the church is a separate bell tower called "White Tower", built in 1581. After a fire in 1758, it was raised and modified to its current form.
- Bohuslav Balbín (1621–1688), writer, historian, Jesuit
- Václav Matěj Kramerius (1753–1808), publisher, journalist and writer
- Josef Dobrovský (1753–1829), philologist, historian
- Franz Kiwisch von Rotterau (1814–1852), medical professor and gynaecological researcher
- Josef Hlávka (1831–1908), architect
- August Breisky (1832–1889), medical professor and gynaecological researcher
- Johann Brotan (1843–1918), Austrian mechanical engineer
- Karel Klostermann (1848–1923), writer
- Jaroslav Vrchlický (1853–1912), lyrical poet
- Josef Klička (1855–1937), organist, violinist and composer
- Lubor Niederle (1865–1944), founder of Czech archaeology
- Václav Fišer (born 1947), long jumper and triple jumper
- Ivana Sekyrová (born 1971), long-distance runner
- Petr Frydrych (born 1988), javelin thrower
- Tereza Krejčiříková (born 1996), footballer
Twin towns – sister cities
Pavilion of glass – PASK
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- "Kostel Neposkvrněného Početí Panny Marie a sv. Ignáce" (in Czech). National Heritage Institute. Retrieved 2023-01-04.
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