1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Königinhof

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KÖNIGINHOF (Dvur Kralove in Czech), the seat of a provincial district and of a provincial law-court, is situated in north-eastern Bohemia on the left bank of the Elbe, about 160 kilometres from Prague. Brewing, corn-milling and cotton-weaving are the principal industries. Pop. about 11,000. The city is of very ancient origin. Founded by King Wenceslaus II. of Bohemia (1278-1305), it was given by him to his wife Elizabeth, and thus received the name of Dvur Kralove (the court of the queen). During the Hussite wars, Dvur Kralove was several times taken and retaken by the contending parties. In a battle fought partly within the streets of the town, the Austrian army was totally defeated by the Prussians on the 29th of June 1866. In the 19th century Dvur Kralove became widely known as the spot where a MS. was found that was long believed to be one of the oldest written documents in the Czech language. In 1817 Wenceslas Hanka, afterwards for a long period librarian of the Bohemian museum, declared that he had found in the church tower in the town of Dvur Kralove when on a visit there, a very ancient MS. containing epic and lyric poems. Though Dobrovsky, the greatest Czech philologist of the time, from the first expressed suspicions, the MS. known as the Kralodvorsky Rukopis manuscript of Königinhof was long accepted as genuine, frequently printed and translated into most European languages. Doubts as to the genuineness of the document never, however, ceased, and they became stronger when Hanka was convicted of having fabricated other false Bohemian documents. A series of works and articles written by Professors Goll, Gebauer, Masoryk, and others have recently proved that the MS. is a forgery, and hardly any Bohemian scholars of the present day believe in its genuineness.

The discussion of the authenticity of the MS. of Dvur Kralove lasted with short interruptions about seventy years, and the Bohemian works written on the subject would fill a considerable library. Count Lützow's History of Bohemian Literature gives a brief account of the controversy.