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Most German: Brüx) is a city in Ústí nad Labem Region between the Czech Central Mountains and the Ore Mountains, approximately 77 km (48 miles) northwest of Prague along the Bílina River and southwest of Ústí nad Labem. The name Most means "bridge" in Czech. The town was named after the system of bridges over swamps that lay in this area in 10th century. The German name for Most is Brüx (derived from the German word for "bridge", Brücke). The Latin Chronica Boemorum mentions a Slavic settlement below the Gnevin Castle called Gnevin Pons (Czech: Hněvínský most) in 1040. Through the swamps was a trade route from Prague to Freiberg. The network of wooden bridges was built to provide comfortable passages through this territory. Hneva from the Hrabisic dynasty established a military stronghold to protect caravans. Under this stronghold the village that would become Most developed. "In 1227 Kojata, the last of the Hrabisics, passed his property to the cloister of the Knights of the Cross. Since 1238 the royal town was owned by the Přemyslids and became a rich city with many churches. The Bohemian kings Otakar II, John of Luxembourg, and Charles IV all granted Most city rights. In the 14th century, due to colonization, the city became predominantly German-populated and known as Brüx. During the 15th and 16th centuries the city was hit by several fires. Ca. 1517, city reconstruction began the foundations of several significant facilities, including the new dean's church and the Renaissance city hall. In 1526 Brüx and Bohemia passed to the Habsburg Monarchy. During the Thirty Years' War, the city was occupied by Swedish troops. Both in the early years and in the last years of the war it was captured. After the Thirty Years' War, the city lost much of its economic and political significance. ... former mining area ...new town. Brüx became part of the Austrian Empire in 1806 and the Austro-Hungarian Empire in 1866. ... second half of the 19th century emergence of industry and mining ...renewed importance to the city. In 1870 a railway line was built, heralding a population and building explosion (sugar works, porcelain factory, steel works, brewery, founding of city museum etc.). In 1895, the city was affected by quicksand that swallowed several houses, including some of their occupants. In 1901, an electric street car line linked Brüx with Kopitz up to Johnsdorf. The most modern theatre of its time within Austria-Hungary was opened in Brüx in 1911. The construction of a unique dam at Kreuzweg from 1911 to 1914 solved the city's problem with drinking water. ... became part of Czechoslovakia following World War I. The quick building activity continued into the 1930s. As part of the Sudetenland, Most was incorporated into Nazi Germany in 1938 according to the Munich Agreement, but was restored to Czechoslovakia in 1945 with the defeat of Germany in World War II. The German-speaking population of the city was subsequently expelled, mainly in 1946, and replaced with Czechs. The war brought to the city the destruction of housing estates under the castle Hněvín.  After 1964 ...Most's historic centre was completely destroyed to make room for the expanding lignite mines, a process that lasted until 1970. This process involved the destruction of many historic monuments, including a brewery dating from the 15th century and a theatre designed in 1910 by Alexander Graf, a Viennese architect who designed many theatres across Central Europe, including ones in Ostrau and Laibach. One building, however, was preserved: the Gothic Church of the Assumption of the Virgin Mary (built 1517 and 1594) .... In 28 days it was moved by train to the new town, 841 metres away, at the rate of roughly 30 metres per day. This building was mentioned in the Guinness Book of World Records as the heaviest building ever moved on wheels. ... The new city is well-designed (wide streets, many parks in the center), especially the infrastructure and traffic is quite good in comparison with cities of similar size. ...With the unemployment rate of nearly 25% (as of 2005) the locality is far the worst in the Czech Republic. This number is caused by huge workforce of aging unqualified miners. Also flat accommodation is quite cheap so it pushes more unemployed people from other regions to live there and raises this number. More recently, unemployment has been falling and government sources put the figure at around 15% in 2007. Due to heavy social and European Union funding and the development of local business and industry, Most is beginning to recover. Most is the heart of the northern Bohemian lignite-mining region and serves as an important industrial railway junction. Other industries in Most include textile, ceramics, steel, and chemicals. During the second half of the 20th century Most turned into a dusty and dirty miner town and in the communist era it was said to be one of the darkest cities of Czechoslovakia. The mining itself has a long tradition in the area. Extensive mining operations continued after the year 2000, but are completely under control of foreign companies. Many surrounding villages are planned to be abandoned due to surface mining. Unsurprisingly, heavy industry has shaped the image and development of post-World War II Most. As environmental conditions have improved in recent years, the growing of apples and grapes has developed. The neighborhood of Rudolice nad Bílinou, known as Chánov, a housing estate created during the communist era, has become a symbol of the poverty and ghettoization of many Roma people in the Czech Republic. Vtelno used to be a village near Most. When the new city was built near it, Vtelno became an integral part of Most. It has a church, a historical Baroque manor, and many monoliths and sculptures that have been collected during the era of demolition of villages in the region (due to coal mining).

Bilina used this cemetery before 1891.

Most region information [February 2009]

50°32' N, 13°39' E, 48 mi NW of Praha. Alternate names: Most [Cz], Brüx [Ger], Bruex, Mosti. In NW Bohemia, 11 miles SW of Teplice (Teplitz). 1910 Jewish population: 868. JewishGen map [February 2009]

Last Updated on Friday, 20 February 2009 23:31
 
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