Encyclopædia Britannica, Ninth Edition/Leitmeritz

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LEITMERITZ (Boh., Litoměřice), an episcopal see and chief town of Leitmeritz district, Bohemia, is situated on the right bank of the Elbe, crossed there by an iron bridge 1700 feet in length, and on the Austrian North-Western Railway, about 35 miles north-north-west of Prague, in 50° 33′ N. lat., 14° 10′ E. long. Leitmeritz is the seat of the judicial, fiscal, and military authorities for the district, and has a fine cathedral (founded 1057) and several other Roman Catholic churches and ecclesiastical establishments, also a training institute for teachers, classical, mercantile, and industrial schools, two hospitals, and an old-fashioned town-hall dating from the 16th century. The town is noted for its breweries, producing, according to the latest returns, 1,056,420 gallons of beer annually; it also possesses glass-works, tile-kilns, potteries, and metallic ware factories. The principal agricultural products of the surrounding country, which on account of its fertility has been called the “Bohemian Paradise,” are corn, fruit, hops, and wine. Population in 1880, 10,854.

At a very early date Leitmeritz enjoyed special privileges, which were extended and confirmed in 1325 by King John of Luxemburg. In 1421 the town was ineffectually besieged by Ziska. Royal diets were held there in 1494 and 1547, but subsequently the commune was deprived of several of its ancient rights, and its importance declined. In 1631, during the Thirty Years' War, Leitmeritz was captured and forcibly occupied by Saxon troops, who were, however, obliged to relinquish it in 1632 to the imperialists. In 1639 it was taken by the Swedes, who did irretrievable damage to the town. In 1742 the suburbs were burnt by the French.