České Budějovice

České Budějovice (Czech: [ˈtʃɛskɛː ˈbuɟɛjovɪtsɛ] (listen); German: Budweis, German pronunciation: [ˈbʊtvaɪ̯s] (listen); Latin: Budovicium[2]) is a city in the South Bohemian Region of the Czech Republic. It has about 94,000 inhabitants. It is the largest city in the region and its political and commercial capital, the seat of the Roman Catholic Diocese of České Budějovice, of the University of South Bohemia, and of the Academy of Sciences. It is in the valley of the Vltava River, at its confluence with the Malše. České Budějovice is famous for the Budweiser Budvar Brewery.

České Budějovice

Statutory city
Old town
Coat of arms
České Budějovice
Location in the Czech Republic
Coordinates: 48°58′29″N 14°28′29″E
Country Czech Republic
RegionSouth Bohemian
DistrictČeské Budějovice
  MayorJiří Svoboda (ANO)
  Total55.71 km2 (21.51 sq mi)
381 m (1,250 ft)
  Density1,700/km2 (4,400/sq mi)
Time zoneUTC+1 (CET)
  Summer (DST)UTC+2 (CEST)
Postal code
370 01


Trams on Radecký Street (now Žižkova Street), c. 1909

The city was founded in 1265 by King Ottokar II of Bohemia, who granted its municipal charter in 1265. The siting and planning of the city was carried out by the king's knight Hirzo. The settlers were coming from the Bohemian Forest and Upper Austria.[3] The royal city was created as a platform of the king's power in South Bohemia and to counterbalance the powerful noble House of Rosenberg, which became extinct in 1611.

In 1341 King John of Bohemia allowed Jewish families to reside within the city walls, and the first synagogue was built in 1380; however several pogroms occurred in the late 15th and early 16th century. Since the Hussite Wars, the city was traditionally a bulwark of the Catholic Church during the long-lasting religious conflicts in the Kingdom of Bohemia. A part of the Habsburg Monarchy from 1526, Budejovice remained a loyal supporter of Emperor Ferdinand II in the Thirty Years' War. Budějovice underwent a short occupation by Prussia during the Silesian Wars, and the war between the Habsburgs and the French army in 1742.

In 1762 the Piarists established a gymnasium here and Emperor Joseph II founded the diocese in 1785. In 1847, the production of Koh-i-Noor Hardtmuth pencils was relocated from Vienna to Budějovice.

During the World War II in March 1945, Budějovice was twice targeted by United States Army Air Forces raids that greatly damaged the city and caused great loss of life. At the end of the war, on 9 May 1945, Soviet troops liberated the city. On the following day, the Red Army and the United States Army met on the main square in a joint celebration of the city's liberation.


The vast majority of the city's population today are Czechs (94.9% in 2001), with 1.15% Slovaks. In the past, the city had a significant proportion of ethnic Germans, who had formed the majority since medieval times.[4] The city remained a German-speaking enclave until 1880, after which Czechs became the majority. Until the end of World War II, the city contained a significant German minority (about 15.5% in 1930). For example, the ratios between the Germans and the Czechs were in 1880: 11,829 Germans to 11,812 Czechs, in 1890: 11,642 to 16,585, in 1900: 15,400 to 23,400, in 1910: 16,900 to 27,300 and in 1921: 7,415 to 35,800.[5] The entire German population was forcibly expelled in 1945 under the Beneš decrees.

Development of the city population since 1845[6][7]
1845 7,500    
1869 17,413+132.2%
1880 23,845+36.9%
1890 28,491+19.5%
1900 39,328+38.0%
1910 44,538+13.2%
1921 44,022−1.2%
1930 43,788−0.5%
1950 56,832+29.8%
1961 64,785+14.0%
1980 90,415+39.6%
2001 97,339+7.7%
2011 93,883−3.6%
2021 94,229+0.4%


Tourist boat on river in České Budějovice

České Budějovice is a low-lying city spread mostly across a plain, making it nearly flat in the inner parts with hillier areas in the eastern suburbs. The lowest point lies at 375 meters (1,230 feet) above sea level, and the highest point at 452 meters (1,483 feet). Because it is not very well ventilated some strong winters do occur; the strongest winter plummeted to −42.2 °C (−44.0 °F) in 1929 in the southern part of the city with lower temperatures elsewhere in the meantime. Nevertheless, such a strong winter is exceptional, especially outside of valley bottoms.

České Budějovice has a cooler and wet inland version of a humid continental climate (Dfb) with an average annual temperature of 8.3 °C (46.9 °F). There are four seasons, with a murky dry winter between early December and early March, a sunny and wetter spring between half of March up to half of May changing to a rainy and warm summer during late May and early September when a dry autumn lasting to late November begins. There are between 1550 and 1800 hours of sunshine in most years.

Climate data for České Budějovice
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Average high °C (°F) 1.4
Daily mean °C (°F) −1.9
Average low °C (°F) −5.1
Average precipitation mm (inches) 42
Source: Climate Data ORG[8]


Budweiser Budvar Brewery

Budějovice has long been well known for the beer brewed there since the 13th century. For a time, the town was the imperial brewery for the Holy Roman Emperor, and Budweiser Bier (i.e. beer from Budweis) became,[9] along with Pilsner from Plzeň, one of the best-known lagers. Brewing remains a major industry. In 1256 the Svitavy brewery was founded there, which was closed in 2002.[10]

The largest brewery, founded in 1895, is "Pivovar Budějovický Budvar" (Budweiser Budvar Brewery) which has legal rights to market its beer under the "Budweiser" brand name in much of Europe. The same product is also sold elsewhere under the names "Budvar" and "Czechvar" due to legal disagreements with Anheuser-Busch over the Budweiser brand and Anheuser-Busch sells its beer as "Bud" in most of the European Union. The American lager was originally brewed as an imitation of the famous Bohemian original, but over time has developed its own identity and attained remarkable commercial success. Anheuser-Busch has made offers to buy out the Czech brewing company in order to secure global rights to the name "Budweiser", but the Czech government has refused all such offers, regarding the Czech Budweiser name as a matter of national pride.

The oldest (founded in 1795) and second largest brewery was renamed to "Pivovar Samson", replacing its original German name "Budweiser Bürgerbräu" during the communist period. It also exported, mostly under the "Samson" and "Crystal" labels. Recently, they reacquired naming rights for Budweiser for Europe while offering "B. B. Bürgerbräu" in the US since 2005.


City hall and Samson fountain at Přemysla Otakara II. Square
Black Tower and St. Nicholas Cathedral on the opposite corner of the square

The old town preserves interesting architecture from the Gothic, Renaissance, Baroque, and 19th century periods. This includes buildings around the large Přemysla Otakara II. Square, the old city hall with murals and bronze gargoyles, and the 16th century Black Tower (Černá věž). The most valuable historic building in České Budějovice is the Dominican convent with the Gothic Presentation of the Virgin Mary church from the 13th century. The Iron Maiden Tower and the Rabenštejn Tower are a 14th-century former prisons and one of the few remainings of the Old Town's Gothic fortifications.

Historical Presentation of Virgin Mary Church (rear)
Iron Maiden Tower


Museum of South Bohemia

The Museum of South Bohemia dates to 1877 and holds a large collection of historic books, coins, weapons and other articles. It was closed for reconstruction in 2012–2014.[11]

In literature

The city is one of the major settings in the novel The Good Soldier Švejk by Jaroslav Hašek. Budějovice is the setting and was the working title for the play The Misunderstanding by Albert Camus.


Trolleybus Škoda 25Tr serving the city

The city can be reached from other locations by inter-city buses and by train. The town will receive access to the planned D3 motorway running from Prague to the Austrian border at Dolní Dvořiště. Internationally, a direct railroad built by the Austrian Empress Elisabeth Railway company in 1871, connecting the Czech capital Prague with Zürich, via Linz and Salzburg, also makes a stop in České Budějovice.[12]

The city is served by České Budějovice railway station, a Neo-Renaissance style station building in the new town.[13] The horse-drawn railroad line connecting České Budějovice to Linz was the second oldest public line in continental Europe (after the St.Étienne-Andrézieux line in France), constructed from 1824 to 1832; traces of the line can be seen south of the city. Local buses and trolleybuses take passengers to most areas of the city.

Public domestic and non-public international České Budějovice Airport is located 6 kilometres (3.7 miles) south-west from České Budějovice, at the nearby village of Planá. Modernization of the airport will allow public international flights, construction of the new terminal started in December 2017 and full operation is planned at the end of 2020.


Swimming Stadium České Budějovice

České Budějovice is the site of many sports facilities and national stadiums. For example, the football Stadion Střelecký ostrov, the hockey Budvar Arena and the Athletic Stadium Sokol. The Swimming Stadium České Budějovice features a 50-meter indoor pool, a diving pool, saunas, an outdoor swimming pool and a children's pool. After the modernization in 1998 a covered water slide was added and after the modernization in 2017 a new whirlpool. Major sport clubs include:

  • SK Dynamo České Budějovice (Czech First League)
  • Motor České Budějovice (Czech Extraliga)
  • Jihostroj České Budějovice (Czech First Volleyball League)
  • TJ Sokol České Budějovice (Athletics)
  • Hellboys České Budějovice (American football)
  • RC České Budějovice (Rugby football)
  • TJ Lokomotiva České Budějovice (Handball)
  • Budějovické Barakudy (Cricket)
  • FBC Štíři České Budějovice (Floorball)
  • TJ Dynamo České Budějovice (Football tennis)
  • SKVS České Budějovice (Canoe slalom)
Sculpture of rushing managers by Michal Trpák

Notable people

  • Adalbert Gyrowetz (1763–1850), composer
  • Franz Schuselka (1811–1886), politician
  • Otto Pilny (1866–1936), painter
  • Otto Steinhäusl (1879–1940), police officer
  • Jan Palouš (1888–1971), ice hockey player
  • Rudolf Tomaschek (1895–1966), experimental physicist
  • Anna Binder-Urbanová (1912–2004), philosophy lecturer
  • Norbert Frýd (1913–1976), writer
  • Rolf Thiele (1918–1994), film director and producer
  • Haro Senft (1928–2016), film director
  • Marta Kubišová (born 1942), singer
  • Vladimír Remek (born 1948), cosmonaut, military pilot and politician
  • Pavel Tobiáš (born 1955), football player and manager
  • František Straka (born 1958), football player and manager
  • Zdeněk Tůma (born 1960), economist
  • Karel Roden (born 1962), actor
  • Karel Vácha (born 1970), footballer
  • Jiří Lerch (born 1971), footballer
  • Jaroslav Modrý (born 1971), ice hockey player
  • Radek Mynář (born 1974), footballer
  • Stanislav Neckář (born 1975), ice hockey player
  • Václav Prospal (born 1975), ice hockey player
  • Roman Lengyel (born 1978), footballer
  • Vladimíra Uhlířová (born 1978), tennis player
  • Josef Melichar (born 1979), ice hockey player
  • David Lafata (born 1981), footballer
  • Václav Nedorost (born 1982), ice hockey player
  • Filip Novák (born 1982), ice hockey player
  • Jiří Kladrubský (born 1985), footballer
  • Milan Gulaš (born 1985), ice hockey player
  • Tomáš Mertl (born 1986), ice hockey player
  • Martin Hanzal (born 1987), ice hockey player

Twin towns – sister cities

České Budějovice is twinned with:[14]

See also

  •  Czech Republic portal


  1. "Population of Municipalities – 1 January 2021". Czech Statistical Office. 30 April 2021.
  2. Graesse, Johann Georg Theodor (1861). Orbis Latinus. Dresden.
  3. Rene Schreiber, Budweis / Ceske Budejovice: Eine südböhmische Stadt, p. 1.
  4. České Budějovice website
  5. Jeremy King, 'Budweisers into Czechs and Germans', 2002
  6. The National Cyclopaedia of Useful Knowledge, Vol.III, London (1847) Charles Knight, p.914
  7. Historický lexikon obcí České republiky
  8. "Climate: Budweis". Retrieved 10 December 2013.
  9. See the entry for Monday, 4 February 2008 on 365 Amazing Trivia Facts (Workman Publishing, 2008).
  10. www.europeanbeerguide.net
  11. "Jihočeské muzeum vstoupí do další éry. S kavárnou i novým ředitelem". iDnes (in Czech).
  12. "Schema linek dálkových vlaků ČR" (PDF). České dráhy. Retrieved 4 November 2017.
  13. Kopáček, Jiří; Vondra, Václav. "Nádraží (železniční)". Encyklopedie Českých Budějovic. Retrieved 4 November 2017.
  14. "Partnerská města". c-budejovice.cz (in Czech). Statutární město České Budějovice. Retrieved 4 June 2020.
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