January 24, 2022

Kolín (German Kolin, Köllein, Collin) is a town in the east of the Central Bohemian Region located on the river Elbe and a municipality with extended powers. It has a population of approximately 32,000 and has an area of ​​35 km2 with an average altitude of 220 meters. It lies about 60 km east of Prague on both banks of the Elbe. Kolín was founded before 1261, probably by Přemysl Otakar II., The preserved historical core is protected as a city monument reserve. In 1845, Kolín was connected to an important railway between Prague and Olomouc, this fact is very important for the further prosperity of the city, and since the second half of the 19th century, the city has undergone rapid industrialization. Cologne is an important railway junction. The chemical, automotive, engineering, food, printing and metallurgical industries operate here. In honor of the local composer František Kmoch, the international wind music festival Kmochův Kolín takes place in Kolín, and the photography festival Funke Kolín commemorates the work of photographer Jaromír Funke.


In the opinion of the linguist Milan Harvalík, the name Kolín is derived from the neighboring village of Starý Kolín, which was formerly called "Kolín" and was given the adjective "Starý" only later, after the establishment of today's town of Kolín; it used to be called "Nový Kolín" (in the German environment the adjective "Neu" lasted longer). According to Harvalík, the word "Kolín" is based on the personal name "Kola" (which was the domestic address of the bearer of the medieval name "Kolimír") or "Chola" (after the Old Czech term "choliti", today the word "chlacholit"), to which the possessive suffix was added. According to other sources (presented for example on the official website of the town), the name comes from the Old Czech word "koliti", ie "hammer pins, poles", and it is related to the location of Starý Kolín in the often flooded area at the confluence of the Klejnárka and Elbe rivers, in the vicinity of which the soil was strengthened with the help of wooden poles. Later, a more advantageous location on an elevated spot 7 km to the west was chosen for the developing market settlement. The new settlement (and later the royal city) retained the name of the original settlement. However, the linguist Harvalík rejects such a way of creating the name. There are other, less probable [source?] Interpretations. The name could also be derived from its location on an elevated place, the hill - Latin "colinus", which, however, contradicts the existence of Old Cologne. According to another theory, the Latin form of Colonia is related to the arrival of German colonists in Bohemia.


History of the city

Kolín was founded by relocation before 1261 (the first written mention) probably by Přemysl Otakar II. By order of King Přemysl Otakar II. the city fortifications were built from a double strip of stone walls. The medieval city was also protected by the mighty Elbe, but its opposite bank was fortified. The remnant of the fortification system is the Zálabská bastion, the so-called Práchovna, from the 15th century. In 1413 the town burned down and in 1421 it was conquered by the people of Prague together with the Orebic Hussites, who burned the Dominican monastery. Six years later, the town fell into the hands of the orphaned governor Jan Čapek of Sán, who held it until 1434. Then the town and the surrounding church estates were taken over by the priest Priest Bedřich ze Strážnice, who built Lapis refugii castle on the ruins of the monastery in 1437 and behind the Elbe a high defensive tower. The castle was later rebuilt into a chateau by the Žerotín family and from the 19th century it served only as farm buildings and beers

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