1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Königgrätz

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KÖNIGGRÄTZ (Czech, Hradec Králové), a town and episcopal see of Bohemia, Austria, 74 m. E. of Prague by rail. Pop. (1900), 9773, mostly Czech. It is situated in the centre of a very fertile region called the “Golden Road,” and contains many buildings of historical and architectural interest. The cathedral was founded in 1303 by Elizabeth, wife of Wenceslaus II; and the church of St John, built in 1710, stands on the ruins of the old castle. The industries include the manufacture of musical instruments, machinery, colours, and carton-pierre, as well as gloves and wax candles. The original name of Königgrätz, one of the oldest settlements in Bohemia, was Chlumec Dobroslavsky; the name Hradec, or “the Castle,” was given to it when it became the seat of a count, and Kralove, “of the queen” (Ger. Königin), was prefixed when it became one of the dower towns of the queen of Wenceslaus II., Elizabeth of Poland, who lived here for thirty years. It remained a dower town till 1620. Königgrätz was the first of the towns to declare for the national cause during the Hussite wars. After the battle of the White Mountain (1620) a large part of the Protestant population left the place. In 1639 the town was occupied for eight months by the Swedes. Several churches and convents were pulled down to make way for the fortifications erected under Joseph II. The fortress was finally dismantled in 1884. Near Königgrätz took place, on the 3rd of July 1866, the decisive battle (formerly called Sadowa) of the Austro-Prussian war (see Seven Weeks' War).