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History of Kadaň

There are legends accrediting the beginnings of the town to Celtic tribes. Others talk about a castle on Úhošť hill that might have been called Wogastisburg where a battle between Franks and Slavs occurred in 631. The battle of Canburg in 805 is also often mentioned in connection with the town, but is a mistake because locality of this name (Canburg - Kanina) is in Middle Bohemia.

The first written record is, though, from the end of the 12th century - the Czech prince granted the "market town" of Kadaň to the Knights of St. John. The Knights Hospitaller built the first church in Kadaň - St. John the Baptist - which still stands in the part of town called Hospitaller Suburb, but is now in the Baroque style. In the 13th century, the town was promoted to a "Royal City". It began to thrive and a new town was built on the heights above the river, with a castle and Franciscan monastery. There was a big fire in 1362. However, Emperor Charles IV who twice visited the city (1367 and 1374) granted it several municipal rights (home rule, a vineyard, and an annual market) that made it flourish again. The reign of Wenceslaus IV (Václav IV) produced the skilled clockmaker Mikuláš of Kadaň (Mikuláš z Kadaně), who, together with mathematician and astronomer Jan Šindel, designed the Prague Orloj.

Interesting Facts about places in Kadaň

The Castle

It was founded around 1260 during the reign of King Přemysl Otakar II. on the adge of a rocky steep slope above the River Ohře. Only cellars and parts of circumferential walls of the ground floor have been preserved from the residentil buildings of the early Gothic castle after all adaptations. Empress Marie Teresie allowed to rebuild the castle in 1750. From then the castle served as military barracks and completely lost its medieval character. Nowadays the inhabitants can use a library and a reading room, internet café and a ceremonial hall in the castle. The Gallery of Josef Liesler was opened in September 2000. Another part of the castle is used as a community care service house.

Municipal Fortification

The main wall was built probably in the end of the 13 th abd ub tge begububg if tge 14 th century and it was breached from all cardinal points by a gate. None of them was preserved in full. Only a solid Gothic, later only a little altered in a Renaissance way, tower of the Holy Gate is still standing. On the other side of the town, in the east, the tower of Žatec Gate used to stand. It was also called the Prague Gate or the Blacksmith´s Gate. But only the Late Gothic barbica remained from that gate.

Katova ulička

The Headsman Lane, connecting the Old Town with the Hospital suburb, was built with so-called Headsman Gate at the same time at the beginning of the 14th century as a part of the first line of the city walls and remembers a number of important personalities who visited the royal town Kadaň during centuries (Venceslav II., Charles IV., Ferdinand I., Joseph II.). It used to serve as a sewer of superfluous water from ponds and fountains in the main square and by means of this lane to water used to be drained away into the Bytřický stream. The lane was also used during protection of Kadaň as a quick connection of the city center with the fortification gate (parkán). According to the tales a blasphemous nun was alive walled in the Lane who always haunts at midnight with last headsman of Kadaň Ignac Kayl who used to live in the near Headsman House (N.190) at the end of the 18th century and who was interested in natural medicine.

The Franciscan Cloister

Due to its historical value the Ministry of Culture of the Czech Republic ranked the cloister among the national cultural monuments in 1995. The cloister with the Church of Fourteen Saint Helpers are situated outside the area of the municipal preserve. The town has been gradually reconstructing the whole complex including its garden. The Municipal museum situated in the premises of the cloister has been housing a permanent exhibition of mineralogic and archaeologic objects of interest, examples of mining and processing of raw materials and also minig activities in Kadaň area since 1999.

The Town Hall

The original Gothic town hall originated from the first half of the 14 th century and its original town hall tower has been preserved since this time. Four huge pillars carying a pointed arch create the entrance premises of the town hall. There was vuilt a bay chapel with Gothic windows on the entrance (1400 - 1404). The top of the tower is crowned with a gallery and an eight-side helmet decorated with crabs on its sides. The tower is 53,7 m high and was built by the builder Petr Hündt who left his signature in a form of statue of a dog.

Bird Houses

Bird houses on the fortification of the town - lovely, very intact, and in our surroundings unique little houses in gardens originated most probably shortly after 1800 as an expression of the style of life of a certain class of population at that time. The monumental significance of these objects goes over the limits of the area of the town of Kadaň even without reference to their picturesque symbiosis with a bail raising their appeal.