View of Beroun
|o Mayor||So?a Chalupová (ODS)|
|o Total||31.25 km2 (12.07 sq mi)|
|Elevation||235 m (771 ft)|
|o Density||640/km2 (1,700/sq mi)|
|Time zone||UTC+1 (CET)|
|o Summer (DST)||UTC+2 (CEST)|
Beroun (Czech pronunciation: ['b?roun]; German: Beraun) is a town in the Central Bohemian Region of the Czech Republic. It has about 20,000 inhabitants. Beroun has strong connection with Král?v Dv?r, former part of Beroun. The town centre is well preserved and is protected by law as an urban monument zone.
Beroun is made up of seven town parts: Beroun-Centrum, Beroun-Hostim, Beroun-Jarov, Beroun-M?sto, Beroun-Zavadilka, Beroun-Závodí and Beroun-Zdejcina.
The surrounding landscape is hilly. Beroun itself is situated in a deep valley, which has been a limitation on building development. The highest point is the D?d hill, 493 m (1,617 ft) above sea level. The lowest point is the Berounka river, 212 m (696 ft) above sea level. Neighbouring hills of Brdy and K?ivoklátská vrchovina are protected landscape areas, popular for tourist.
A settlement Na Brod? ("By the Ford"), predecessor of Beroun, was first mentioned in a 1088 deed. The first written mention of Beroun (under its Latin name Verona) is from 1265 in a deed of Ottokar II of Bohemia. Ottokar II designated a strategically important place for the establishment of a settlement, from which the town of Beroun originated, that formed the shortest and easiest connection between Prague and Plze?.
In 1295, Wenceslaus II decided to re-settle and expand the town. At this time, the historic core of Beroun was created, which has been roughly preserved to this day. A Dominican convent was also founded. In 1303, Wenceslaus II made Beroun a royal town.
During the reign of Emperor Charles IV, the town prospered and rapidly developed. In 1421, Hussite forces under the command of Jan ?i?ka stormed the town and demolished the Dominican convent, and though it was retaken and devastated after the Battle of Lipany, it has remained a mainly Czech settled town since then. During the reign of King Vladislaus II (1471-1516), Beroun reached its greatest prosperity.
Under the rule of the House of Habsburg from 1526, the town's estates were seized. During the Thirty Years' War it was sacked in turn by the Imperial army, Saxon forces, and Swedish forces. In the First Silesian War the same fate befell it at the hands of French and Bavarian troops.
In the 18th century, Beroun became a garrison town and did not prosper again until the 1860s, with the opening of limestone quarries and iron ore mines. Beside several ironworks, Beroun became the site of textile manufacturing, and the population increased.
Beroun was significantly transformed during communist rule. Heavy industry was expanded, and central government policy set quotas for new flats. As Beroun is situated between two rivers in a deep valley without suitable building plots, quotas were met by demolishing historical medieval buildings and erecting prefabricated high-rise buildings. The town look was changed again in the 1980s when the D5 highway was opened, running on the bridge above the town.
Since the fall of communism, the town has been revitalised. Medieval buildings have been reconstructed, and town walls have been conserved. Heavy industry left the town, significantly raising the quality of living. In the 21st century, Beroun has become a popular place to live because of its proximity to Prague and its excellent travel connections.
The Church of Saint James the Great is as old as the town. It is one of the most valuable building in the town and a national cultural heritage. The Church of the Annunciation of the Virgin Mary was built in 1525, after a new cemetery was established during the great plague.
The Beroun walls are an exceptional monument of a medieval fortification in Bohemia. They were built during the reign of Wenceslaus II. They surrounded the town with a total length of 1,170 metres (3,840 ft). Plze?ská Gate (also known as "Upper Gate") and Pra?ská Gate ("Lower Gate") were the most significant parts of town fortifications. Until 1842, the road from Plze? to Prague passed through the gates.