Ceský Brod

Ceský Brod

Český Brod Basin spreads in the east of Prague and derives its name from the town of Český Brod (219 metres above sea level with 6,637 inhabitants). The name means the Czech Ford as the town lies on the stream Šembera. It used to be an important place on so-called Trstenická path which had connected Prague with southern and eastern Europe. The town of Český Brod was founded as a market settlement above the ford across the Šembera by Prague bishop Jan I. In the year 1268 Jan III of Dražice, another Prague bishop made the local market settlement a town and it was called Biskupský Brod at the time. During the Hussite Wars the town supported the Hussites and in the year 1437 it was awarded the status of the royal town. In the year 1444 all the Hussite parties came to Český Brod to discuss a significant topic, observance of Compacts of Prague.

During the Thirty Years’ War the town was badly damaged and almost depopulated for long years. A slow development started in the 19th century with the introduction of the railway.

The memorial plaque on the local grammar school commemorates that it was the place where in May 1945 general Reumann signed the surrender of that part of the Nazi army called “Mitte“.

The town’s landmark is the Gothic congregation church of St. Gotthard which was later rebuilt in a Baroque style. The Renaissance belfry near the church dates back to the second half of the 16th century. On the square of Arnošt of Pardubice there is the medieval town hall from the beginning of the 15th century, later rebuilt in a Renaissance and a Baroque styles and underneath it there is a system of old underground corridors. The remains of the town rampart from the 1350s have also been preserved. In the town we can visit the Podlipanské museum and we can see the statue of Prokop Holý by K. Opatrný from 1910. The historical town centre has been a Historic Town Reserve since 1993.

The former cemetery Church of the Holy Trinity has an interesting history regarding a developement of a congregation of the Evangelical Church of Czech Brethren in Český Brod. The Renaissance church from the year 1560 was originally Utraquist and the outdoor pulpit from the period of Saxon Renaissance is a valuable and listed monument. After the Battle of the White Mountain in 1620 the church was reconsecrated as Catholic but it dilapidated and even its demolition was considered.

After passing the Toleration Patent in the year 1781 a congregation was established in nearby Kšely and it was attended also by the Protestants from Český Brod.

The preaching station in Český Brod was established in the year 1903 and then developed quickly. For a long time the members were striving to acquire the abondoned and delapidated Church of the Holy Trinity with a nearby wooden belfry. They succeeded in the year 1951 after long negotiations. From a certain point of view in fact the Protestants returned ”home“. The first ceremonial service took place on the 24th May 1953. On 1st January 1969 the preaching station in Český Brod became a Protestant congregation. Then architect J. Poličanský and architect J. Trnka newly designed the interior of the church; the organ and the bell come from Kšely. The reconstructed church was opened on 12th June 1983 with an outdoor ceremonial service.

Between Český Brod and Kolín lies a little-known municipality Lipany which is a part of a village Vitice nowadays. It is, however, a place where the Czech history tragically changed: on 30th May 1434 the fratricidal battle between the Hussite radical troops and the troops of the Ultraquist nobility took place here and it is known as the Battle of Lipany. The Hussites and Prokop Holý were defeated.

In the year 1881 on a place of the battle there was erected the 10 metres high stone moud into which soil from the battle place at Zborov and from battle places in Italy was later put. Nowadays only few people wander there; but on 25th May 1991 there was held “the Day of the National Reconciliation“. On one of the memorial plaques we can read: “You who have made a stop here, ponder where the discord leads the nation.“