Plzeň: Wikis


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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

View at center with St. Bartholomew Cathedral
Coat of arms
Motto: In hoc signo vinces
Country  Czech Republic
Region Plzeň
District Plzeň-City
Rivers Mže, Radbuza, Úhlava, Úslava, Berounka
Center Náměstí Republiky
 - elevation 310 m (1,017 ft)
 - coordinates 49°44′51″N 13°22′39″E / 49.7475°N 13.3775°E / 49.7475; 13.3775
Highest point
 - elevation 452 m (1,483 ft)
Lowest point Berounka River
 - location NE edge of the city
 - elevation 293 m (961 ft)
Area 137.65 km2 (53.15 sq mi)
Population 163,362 (As of 2006)
Density 1,187 /km2 (3,074 /sq mi)
First documented 976
Mayor Pavel Rödl
Postal code 301 00 – 326 00
Location in the Czech Republic
Location in the Czech Republic
Wikimedia Commons: Plzeň
Website: [1]
Municipality with Extended Competence
Country Czech Republic
Region Plzeň
Area 261.47 km2 (100.95 sq mi)
Population 178,064 (2005-31-12)
Density 681 /km2 (1,764 /sq mi)
Municipality with Commissioned Local Authority
Country Czech Republic
Region Plzeň
Little District Plzeň
Area 164.94 km2 (63.68 sq mi)
Population 166,717 (2005-12-31)
Density 1,011 /km2 (2,618 /sq mi)

Plzeň (Cs-Plzen.ogg [ˈpl̩.zɛɲ] ; German: Pilsen) is a city in western Bohemia in the Czech Republic. It is the capital of the Plzeň Region and the fourth most populous city in the Czech Republic. It is located about 90 km west of Prague at the confluence of four rivers (Radbuza, Mže, Úhlava, and Úslava) which form the Berounka River.

Plzeň is also the seat of the Municipality with Extended Competence and Municipality with Commissioned Local Authority. The city is known worldwide for Pilsener beer.



Plzeň was first mentioned as a castle in 976, as the scene of a battle between Duke Boleslaus II of Bohemia and Emperor Otto II. It became a town in 1295 when King Wenceslaus II granted Plzeň its civic charter as a special "Royal City" and established a new town site, located some 10 km away from the original settlement, which is the current town of Starý Plzenec. It quickly became an important town on trade routes leading to Nuremberg and Regensburg; in the 14th century, it was the third-largest town in Bohemia after Prague and Kutná Hora. During the Hussite Wars, it was the centre of Catholic resistance to the Hussites: Prokop the Great unsuccessfully besieged it three times, and it joined the league of Romanist nobles against King George of Podebrady. In 1468, the town acquired a printing press; the Troyan Chronicle, the first book published in Bohemia, was printed on it.

Emperor Rudolf II made Plzeň his seat from 1599-1600. During the Thirty Years' War the town was taken by Mansfeld in 1618 after the Siege of Plzeň and it was not recaptured by the Imperial troops until 1621. Wallenstein made it his winter-quarters in 1633. The town was unsuccessfully besieged by the Swedes in 1637 and 1648. The town and region have been staunchly Roman Catholic despite the Hussite Wars.

At the end of the 17th century, the architecture of Plzeň began to be influenced by the Baroque style. The historic city center has been under historic preservation since 1989.

In the second half of the 19th Century Pilsen, already an important trade centre for Bohemia, near the Bavarian/German border, began to rapidly industrialise. In 1869 Emil Škoda started up the Škoda Works : this became the most important and influential engineering company in the country and a crucial supplier of arms to the Austro-Hungarian Army. By 1917 the Škoda Works employed over 30,000 workers. The second largest employer in this period was, after 1898, the National Railways train workshop with about 2,000 employees : this was the largest rail repair shop in all Austria-Hungary. Between 1861 and 1877, the Pilsen railway junction has been completed and in 1899 the first tram line started in the city. This burst of industry had two important effects : the growth of the local Czech (Slavic) population and the urban poor. Before 1860 the town was mostly German-speaking; after 1918 it was mostly Czech speaking. However much of the countryside to the west, north and south of the town continued to speak a local German dialect.

Following Czechoslovak independence from Austria-Hungary in 1918 the German-speaking minority in the region were unhappy with their change of status and unwisely allied themselves to the Nazi cause after 1933. In 1938 Pilsen became literally a frontier town, briefly, after the creation of the Sudetenland moved the Third Reich borders to the city's outer limits. During the Nazi occupation from 1939 to 1945 the Škoda Works in Pilsen was forced to work for the benefit of the Reich armaments and Czech contributions, particularly in the field of tanks, was noted.

The German population was driven out of the city and region after the end of war in 1945 according to the Potsdam agreement.

On May 6, 1945, at the very end of World War II, Plzeň was liberated from Nazi Germany by the 16th Armored Division of General Patton's 3rd Army. Also participating in the liberation of the city were elements of the 97th and 2nd Infantry Divisions. Other Third Army units liberated major portions of Western Bohemia. The rest of Czechoslovakia was liberated from German control by the Soviet Red Army. Elements of Third Army remained in Plzen until late November 1945 assisting the Czechs with re-building from the war. After seizing power in 1948, the Communists undertook a systematic campaign to suppress all acknowledgement of the U.S. Army's role in liberating the city and Western Bohemia. This effort continued until 1989 when the Communists were removed from power. Since 1990, the city of Plzen has organized annual Liberation Festival taking place in May, which has already become a local tradition, and has been attended by many American and Allied veterans.

After the Communist takeover of February 1948, the totalitarian, Soviet-oriented Czechoslovak government launched a currency reform in 1953. This decision caused a wave of discontent throughout the society, while the events in Plzeň were more intense. On 1 June 1953 over 20,000 people, mainly workers of the Škoda Works began demonstrating against the communist regime. Demonstrators forced their way into the town hall and threw communist symbols, furniture and other objects out the windows. From the afternoon, the demonstration was violently suppressed by the communist officials.

Education and economy

Plzeň is a centre of academic, business, and cultural life for the western part of the Czech Republic. The University of West Bohemia in Plzeň is well known for its School of Law, School of Mechanical Engineering and School of Applied Science in particular.

Since the second half of the 1990s the city has experienced high growth in foreign investments. In 2007, Israeli mall developer Plaza Centers opened the Pilsen Plaza, a 20,000 square meters shopping mall and entertainment center featuring a multiplex cinema from Cinema City Czech Republic.

Plzeň produces approximately two-thirds of the Plzeň Region GDP, even though it contains only 29.8% of its population. [2] Based on these figures, the city of Plzeň has a total GDP of approximately $7.2 billion, and a per-capita GDP of $44,000. While part of this is explained by commuters (people who work in the city, but live elsewhere) it is one of the most prosperous cities in the Czech Republic.

The Škoda company, established in Plzeň in 1859, has been an important part of the Austro-Hungarian, Czechoslovak and Czech engineering. The company's production had been directed to the needs of the Eastern Bloc, and after the Velvet Revolution, it consequently ran into selling problems and debts. After huge restructuring process it has just two principal subsidiaries: Škoda Transportation (locomotives, tube-trains or trams, since sold to Portland, Tacoma, Seattle and Sardinia) and Škoda Power (turbines).

Many foreign companies now own manufacturing bases in Plzeň including Daikin and Panasonic. There has been much discussion of redeveloping those large areas of the Škoda plant which the company no longer uses.

Plzeň also has the biggest brewery (Pilsner Urquell) and the biggest distillery (Stock) in the Czech Republic. The former has given a name to an entire beer style (specifically, a pale lager), the Pilsener, arguably the world's most popular style.


The most prominent sights of Plzeň are the Gothic St. Bartholomew's Cathedral, founded in the late 13th century, the tower of which (102.26 m / 335 ft) is the highest in the Czech Republic, the Renaissance Town Hall, and the Moorish Revival Great Synagogue in Pilsen, the second largest synagogue in Europe, after the Dohány Street Synagogue in Budapest. There is also a 20 km historic underground tunnel/cellar network, among the longest in Central Europe. Part of this network is open to the public for tours of approximately 750 metres in length and up to a depth of 12 metres.

Plzeň is also well-known for the Pilsner Urquell (since 1842) and Gambrinus (since 1869) breweries, currently owned by South African Breweries. A popular tourist attraction is the Plzeňský Prazdroj brewery tour where visitors can discover the history of beer. The pilsener style of beer was developed in Plzeň in the 19th century.


Since 31 May 1993 Pilsen has been the seat of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Pilsen. The first and incumbent Bishop is Frantisek Radkovský. The diocese covers almost the entire territory of Pilsen region with a total of 818,700 inhabitants. The Diocese office is in St. Bartholomew's Cathedral on the Republic Square in Pilsen. The diocese is divided into 10 vicariates with a total of 72 parishes.


The Plzeň metropolitan area is largely served by a network of trams and buses operated by the PMDP. Like other continental European cities, tickets bought from vending machines or small shops are valid for any transportation ran by the city of Plzeň. For residents of the city, a Plzeň Card can be purchased and through a system of "topping up" be used on any public transport with no limitations, as long as it is paid up and valid.

Plzeň is important center of Czech railway transport, crossing of 5 main railway lines:


Renaissance Town Hall
The Great Synagogue
American Liberation Monument at the top of Americká, the main commercial boulevard.

Notable people

Twin cities

Plzeň is twinned with the following cities:


External links


Pilsen may refer to:



Old World

  • Plzeň (German: Pilsen) a Czech-Bohemian city from which most other things called Pilsen take their name
    • Plzeň Region of the Czech Republic, with its capital in Plzeň
    • Plzeň Plaza, a shopping centre in Plzeň
  • Pilzno (German: Pilsen), Poland

New World


Travel guide

Up to date as of January 14, 2010
(Redirected to Pilsen article)

From Wikitravel

Center of Pilsen with the St. Bartholomew Cathedral
Center of Pilsen with the St. Bartholomew Cathedral

Pilsen (Czech: Plzeň) [1] is in Bohemia, in the Czech Republic in Central Europe. It is the home and birthplace of the Pilsener (or pilsner) beer variety which is derived from the city's name.

It is the 4th largest city in the country and the largest city in West Bohemia, being a convenient base for exploring this region of the Czech Republic.

Get in

From Prague, bus and train are the easy options of getting there. Trains leave from Prague's main train station (Praha - Hlavní nádraží ČD) on an hourly basis during daytime. Buses leave frequently from Prague's terminus metro station Zličín (line B). The trip takes approximately an hour and 40 minutes by train and about an hour by bus.

From Germany, Pilsen is easily accessible by train, being located on the Prague - Munich track.

Pilsen's main train station (Plzeň - Hlavní nádraží ČD) as well as the main bus station (Plzeň - Centrální autobusové nádraží) are both located within walking distance of the very center of the city.

For information on schedules and rates, visit the official transport website [2].

Get around

To get around the compact city center, it is best to walk. To get around the whole city, the services of the public transport operator PMDP are recommended. The PMDP operate trams, buses and trolley-buses in Pilsen.

For information on lines, schedules and rates, visit the PMDP's official website [3].

  • St. Bartholomew's Cathedral - the Gothic St. Bartholomew's Cathedral was founded in the late 13th century, its tower (102.26 m / 335 ft) being the highest in the Czech Republic.
  • The Town Hall - this Renaissance masterpiece was built in 1554-1559, based on the designs of an Italian architect, Giovanni de Statia.
  • Historical underground network - a sophisticated system of cellars and tunnels of up to three levels under the whole Old Town area. It is accessible from the house in the street Perlová 4.
  • The Great Synagogue - the second largest synagogue in Europe and third largest in the world (after synagogues in Jerusalem and Budapest).
  • Pilsner Urquell Brewery, U Prazdroje 7, +420 377 062 888, [4]. Daily from 12:30PM. Founded in 1842, home to the Pilsner Urquell, the original Pilsener. Tour: 150 Kč.  edit
  • Pilsen Zoo - home to over one thousand species of animals in natural conditions without bars.
  • West Bohemian Museum (Kopeckeho sady 2) - regular exhibitions
  • Ethnography Museum of the Pilsen Region (nam. Republiky 13) - regular exhibitions
  • Brewery Museum (Veleslavinova 6) - history of brewing in Pilsen
  • Pilsen City Art Gallery (Dominikánská 2)
  • West Bohemian Art Gallery "Masné krámy" (Pražská 18)
  • Jiří Trnka Art Gallery (nám. Republiky 40)


There are several events during the year that are even more suitable for visiting the city than others.

  • The Liberation Festival [5] - around May 6th, when the city of Pilsen was liberated from Nazi Germany by the George Patton's 3rd Army in 1945. The city is full of music and other culture.
  • The In The Streets Festival - generally in the first half of August. Small stages around the city center, a big stage on the Square of Republic. Music, theater and street performances.
  • Walk through the city parks that circumfuse the historical city center on its two sides.
  • Enjoy the view of the city and its surrounding areas from the church tower of the St. Bartholomew's Cathedral.
  • Enjoy a drink of Pilsner Urquell in the city that gave its name to all the pilseners in the world.
  • Na Spilce, U Prazdroje 7, +420 377 062 755 (), [6]. M-Th, Sat 11AM-10PM. F 11AM-11PM. Sun 11AM-9PM. The biggest restaurant in the Czech Republic with 550 seats. Within the grounds of the Prazdroj brewery  edit
  • Potrefená Husa (Martinská 1) - a big restaurant, good selection of meals and drinks
  • Plzeňská bašta (Riegrova 5) - a stylish Czech restaurant, good meals
  • U Salzmannů (Pražská 8) - the oldest beer restaurant in Pilsen serving Czech traditional cuisine
  • Jadran (Bezručova 9) - both Czech and international (especially Mediterranean) cuisine
  • Slunečnice (Jungmannova 4) - healthy bio cuisine including vegetarian and vegan cuisine
  • Vegetka (Americká 13) – vegetarian dishes, vegetable salads and soups
  • Anděl Vegetarian Restaurant (Bezručova 5) - a creative and stylish vegetarian :)restaurant
  • La Tartelette (nám. Republiky 18) - French fast food (soups, salads, quiche ...)
  • Stará sladovna (Malá 3) - Middle-Age-style restaurant
  • Na Parkane (Veleslavinova 4) - the pub to get unfiltered Urquell


Pilsen is the city where the pilsner beer was invented. Pilsner Urquell is the famous beer brand of Pilsen. In a few pubs (Senk Na Parkanu) and at the brewery itself, you can get the unfiltered, unpasteurized version of Pilsner Urquell, which tastes even better that the common filtered version. Another brand made in the same brewery is Gambrinus. Gambrinus Light (desitka) is probably the most common beer in the Czech Republic, and it's cheaper and weaker than Pilsner Urquell.

  • Měšťanská beseda (Kopeckého sady 13) - a luxurious Art Noveau style café
  • CrossCafe (Jungmannova 5) - good coffee and some small stuff to eat (sandwiches, salads, yogurts ...)
  • Sky Bar Café (Anglické nábřeží 1) - coffee and something to eat as well
  • Kajetánka (Sedláčkova 2) - a winehouse
  • Anděl Café (Bezručova 7) - coffee and chocolate house with music
  • Kačaba (Prokopova 17) - café and teahouse employing people with disabilities as part of a therapy
  • Nebeská čajovna (Sady Pětatřicátníků 2) - a stylish New Age-like teahouse
  • Zach’s Pub (Palackého nám. 2) - Irish pub with music club, regular music production
  • House of Blues (Černická 10) - regular live concerts, nice millieu
  • Buena Vista Club (Kollárova 20) - regular live music, movie projections, theater performances
  • Jazz Rock Café (Sedláčkova 18) - a place to chill, live music, groovy-jazzy-funky
  • Anděl Music Bar (Bezručova 7) - good music, projections
  • Ubytovna Zahradní, Zahradní 21 (Slovany neighborhood, southeast of city center), +420 377 443 262, [7].  edit
  • Hotel Slovan, Smetanovy sady 1, 301 00 Plzeň, +420 377 227 256, [8].  edit
  • City, Sady 5. Května 52 (city center), +420 377 326 069.  edit
  • Stará Plzeň, Na Roudné 12 (outer city center), +420 377 259 901 (), [9].  edit
  • Morrison, Thámova 9 (outer city center), +420 377 370 952, [10].  edit

Tourist information

There are two official tourist information offices in Pilsen. Start your visit of Pilsen by visiting them (choose the main one on the náměstí Republiky, if possible), finding out about the current events and collecting a free map of the city. Both offices are open daily from 9.00 to 18.00 (until 19.00 between April and September).

  • Informační centrum města Plzně (the main city tourist office), náměstí Republiky 41, 301 16 Plzeň (to the left of the Rennaisance city hall), +420 378 035 330 ().  edit
  • Informační centrum města Plzně Hlavní nádraží ČD (the smaller city tourist office), Nádražní 102, 301 10 Plzeň (at the main train station).   edit
  • Jet fighter flight in Czech Republic, MiGFlug & Adventure GmbH, Badenerstrasse 286, 8004 Zurich, +41 44 500 50 10 (), [16]. Very nice but rather expensive experience. Starting from an Airbase close to Plzeň. The customer can fly the jet under watch of the pilot. €1999 for a flight including all preparations.  edit


You may find Internet connection in many hotels, so better ask at the reception first. In case of needing an Internet cafe, there are several options in Pilsen.

  • Aréna - Internet Cafe - Františkánská 10
  • Nico - Internet Cafe - Koperníkova 25
  • Marriott - Internet in the lobby - Sady 5. kvetna 57
This is a usable article. It has information for getting in as well as some complete entries for restaurants and hotels. An adventurous person could use this article, but please plunge forward and help it grow!


Up to date as of January 15, 2010

Definition from Wiktionary, a free dictionary


Czech Wikipedia has an article on:

Wikipedia cs

Proper noun


  1. Pilsen (the Bohemian city)

Simple English

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