1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Saaz

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SAAZ (Czech Žatec), a town of Bohemia, Austria, 64 m. N.W. of Prague by rail. Pop. (1900) 16,168, mostly German. It lies on the Eger, which is spanned here by a suspension bridge, 210 ft. long, which is the oldest of its kind in Bohemia, having been constructed in 1826. It possesses several ancient churches, of which one is said to date from 1206, and a town hall built in 1559. Saaz is the centre of the extensive hop trade of the neighbourhood. In early times it was the seat of a royal count (Župan or gaugraf). A coat-of-arms was given to the inhabitants by Ladislaus for their courage during the storming of Milan; and the place is mentioned as a royal town under Ottokar II. From the outbreak of the Hussite Wars to the Thirty Years War Saaz was Hussite or Protestant, but after the battle of the White Mountain (1620) the greater part of the Bohemian inhabitants left the town, which became German and Roman Catholic.