14. Hradec Králové and its surroundings
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14. Hradec Králové and its surroundings Hradec Králové is a city of the Czech Republic. This city lies at the confluence of the Elbe and the Orlice river and it’s close to Krkonoše. History This city is called Hradec because of the castle and Králové because it was one of the dowry towns of Elisabeth Richeza. She lived there for thirty years having been the second wife of two Bohemian Kings. Hradec Králové was the first town to declare for the national cause during the Hussite Wars in the first half of the 15th century. After the Battle of White Mountain a large part of the Protestant population left the place. In 1639 the town was occupied for eight months by the Swedes. Several churches and convents were pulled down to make way for the fortifications erected under Joseph II. The Battle of Königgrätz, the decisive battle of the Austro-Prussian War took place, on 3rd of July 1866 near Hradec Králové. Architecture The city contains many buildings of historical and architectural interest. For example on the Old Square is situated The Cathedral of the Holy Spirit that was built in 1303 by Elizabeth. There is also The White tower, which is named after its building material – white stone. In this building you can also find the famous Augustine Bell, which on special occasions rings even nowadays. Thanks to Jan Ladislav Pospíšil could Hradec Králové start developing as the cities like Liberec or Pardubice and because of him was the fort abolished in the year 1884. Then the mayor of Hradec Králové František Ulrich established collaboration with the architects Jan Kotěra and his pupil Josef Gočár. After that many buildings of modern architecture were built and Hradec Králové became known as the Salon of the Republic. Jan Kotěra designed the Museum building, the former District House and the Palm garden while Josef Gočár continued in the style of functionalism and made for example the Church of Priest Ambrosius, the District Office building, the School of Engineering building or the complex of school buildings in the Labská kotlina neighbourhood, which includes Gymnasium J. K. Tyla. Our gymnasium was built in a shape of open book and its typical building of Josef Gočár because of red brick, that he was used to use. The main sculpture of the Winner made a sculptor Jan Štursa. Important places of interest around HK From important places around HK I want to mention for example the Nativity Scene Museum in Třebechovice pod Orebem, where you can see the mechanical nativity scene by Probošt. The remarkable sight is also the romantic castle Hrádek near Nechanice that was built by the house of Harrach in the spirit of English Windsor Gothic.