CZ: Jaroměř – Town with a Fort
The first mention of Jaroměř from 1126 speaks about it as of a castle founded by Prince Jaromír. The first mention of Jaroměř as of town is from 1298. During the Hussite Wars the town leaned to Emperor Sigismund of Luxemburg however, it was conquered in 1421 and joined the Hussites. In the end of the 15th century there was a fire in the town that destroyed almost half of it and subsequent plagues killed many people.
Not even the Thirty Years’ War avoided the town. But the 17th century was also significant for town’s architecture it left it with renaissance and baroque architecture, a town hall, the Marian Column , the Crying lady statue or the decoration of St Nicholas church
During the rule of Joseph II (1780-1790) there was founded a fortress Ples in Jaroměř’s vicinity that was later renamed to Josefov. In the time the fortress was founded it was one of the finest fortresses in Europe. However, Josefov never experienced any fights. During the war of 1866 between Prussia and Austria the Hohenzollern’s army just avoided it. The fortress was closed in 1888.
The town of Jaroměř flourished in the 19th century as well as the rest of the Lands of the Bohemian Crown. Frist factories were founded there and also since 1857 there was established a regular railway connection with near Pardubice. The town experienced a period of fast growth during the first Czechoslovak Republic and in that time Jaroměř tried to be the capital of district. It achieved this goal in October 1945 and in 1948 the towns of Josefov and Jaroměř were due to their expansion unified. The communist nationalized its industry and built panel houses that contrasted with old architecture of the town.
Sights to visit
St Nicolas church was built during the 14th and 15th centuries and the oldest mention of the church is from 1325. The church is one of the finest pieces of late Gothic art. Inside are several important things such as a baroque altar or crypt with mummies of locals inside.
An object you wouldn’t miss is the Marian column built in 1723-1727 by M. B. Braun.
Jaroměř boasts with one of the first military cemeteries in in the Czech Republic that were founded outside the town. Not only soldiers but also people of Josefov were buried here.
You can also find the Town Theatre in Jaroměř. It is the most important Art Nouveau building designed by J. Podhajský. The building was constructed in the years 1901 – 1903 originally as a gymnasium but in the 1950s it had been rebuilt and a theatre was established there. Except the Town’s Theatre there also performs Bouček’s Puppet Theatre performing since 1928.
There are many museums in the town such as the Town’s Museum founded in 1883 now placed in Wenke’s house. Among its expositions you can see Jaroměř and Josefov as painters of the 19th and 20th centuries depicted them, furniture by an architect Josef Gočár and other things. Another museum is located in Fortress Josefov itself. There is an exposition that introduces military history of Josefov. In Jaroměř there is also a very interesting Museum of Magic devoted to the history of magic and decorated with posters and other requisites. Worth visiting is also the Railroad Museum Jaroměř that boasts with the oldest operable steam engine in the Czech Republic that was made in 1879
Text: Maxim Kucer
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