Thursday, April 1, 2010

CZECH REPUBLIC - Louny : the Pearl on the Ohře River



Louny is a town in the Ústí nad Labem Region of the Czech Republic. It is situated on the River Ohře.

The city was founded in 12th century (the first known written record comes from 1115). The Church of St Peter stands on the site of the original fort. The original name was Luna, which is preserved in the name of a park, Pramen Luna and accounts for the Moon as part of the emblem of the town. It grew up during the reign of Ottokar I of Bohemia. The Thirty Years' War depopulated the city. The second half of 19th century was the time of economic growth of the area.

It is at a railway junction and a factory for overhauling railway engines and rolling stock was established in 1873 which became a major employer and contributed to the town's expansion during the early 20th century. The former state company has now been privatized, but still remains the town's largest employer with a workforce of 750.

Other industries are a brewery (from the hops which grow in the region) and a factory making porcelain electrical insulators for power cables etc.

The architecture of the city was shaped mainly in 19th and 20th century when many old buildings were torn down. Nevertheless, the most important architectural sight is the Roman Catholic St. Nicholas Church, erected between 1517 and 1537 in the late Gothic style. One of the architects was Benedikt Rejt. It incorporates a tower from an earlier church which was otherwise destroyed along with most of the town by a major fire in 1517.

Parts of the city ramparts remain as does the Žatec gate which dates from 1500 but was reconstructed in 1872.


The Žatec gate
late Gothic, prismatic with a lancet arch from 1500, municipal coat-of-arms on a west front. By the sides of a carriage-way are stone memorials with Latin signs and a date 1500. The gate was in 1872 reconstructed (pseudo-Gothic parapet).

Church of St. Nicolas
build in the 16th century at the place of an original Gothic church, which was destroyed by a fire in 1517. An architect was apparently royal master builder Benedict Rejt. Triple gambrel roof with 60 m high prismatic tower in NW corner (municipal and country armorial bearings on a facade), groined vault converging to 6 rectangular butresses, plastered decorated late Gothic presbyterium, Baroque triptych carved prime-altar from the beginning of the 18th century.


Postcard sent by Lucie, as "bitldzus"
Private swap - Reference CZ001

Multiviews of Louny, the Pearl on the Ohře River :
Puppet Theatre, St-Nicolas church, Old stone wall around Louny,
Old mill,
Žatec gate, Town Hall, ...


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