View over the Elbe Valley
|Region||Ústí nad Labem|
|• Mayor||Jiří Anděl (ANO)|
|• Total||117.7 km2 (45.4 sq mi)|
|Elevation||135 m (443 ft)|
|• Density||410/km2 (1,100/sq mi)|
|Time zone||UTC+1 (CET)|
|• Summer (DST)||UTC+2 (CEST)|
Děčín (Czech pronunciation: [ˈɟɛtʃiːn] ; German : Tetschen, 1942–45: Tetschen–Bodenbach) is a city in the Ústí nad Labem Region in the north of the Czech Republic. It is the largest municipality and administrative seat of the Děčín District. From 1938 to 1945 it was one of the municipalities in Sudetenland, then controlled by Nazi Germany.
Děčín is located in northwestern Bohemia, at the confluence of the rivers Elbe (Czech : Labe) and Ploučnice. The Elbe cut through the soft sandstone mountains of the region, and the city lies in the transition zone between Bohemian Switzerland and the Lusatian Mountains in the north and the Central Bohemian Uplands in the south. It is made up of two towns, one on either side of the Elbe River; the old town of Děčín is on the right bank, and on the left bank is Podmokly (German: Bodenbach), which was incorporated in 1942 during the German occupation of World War II. The city's elevation of 135 metres (443 ft) in the river valley is one of the lowest in the country.
Nearby, there is an important border crossing of the Elbe Valley railway en route to Dresden in Germany. Děčín station is about 83 minutes north of Prague by rail. A parallel highway along the Elbe river across the border to Bad Schandau was laid out by the Germans in 1938. All cargo transported by rail, road, and water passes through the city. Products made in Děčín include sheet-metal, food, textiles, chemicals, soap, beer and preserved fish; the city is also home to printing and publishing companies.
The Děčín (Tetschen) area was settled by the Slavic tribe of the Děčané in the 9th century, whence its name. In the 10th century the Přemyslid dukes of Bohemia had a fortress built on the left bank of the Elbe ford, but after a flood, it was rebuilt on the right bank in 1059.A settlement on the trade route from the Ore Mountains in the west to the adjacent Upper Lusatia region was first mentioned in a 993 deed. King Ottokar II of Bohemia (1253–1278) had the town of Děčín laid out as an administrative centre of the surrounding estates after calling in German settlers. The population, history and culture was German until their forceful expulsion in 1945.
It was under the control of the Lords of Wartenberg from 1305 until 1534, when it was bought by the rich Lord Rudolf von Bünau. This family introduced Protestantism to the region and the town flourished; however the Protestant belief was suppressed by the Habsburg kings in the course of the Counter-Reformation, and the Bünaus were driven out upon the 1620 Battle of White Mountain. In 1628 they sold the town to the Barons of Thun;it was devastated several times during the Thirty Years' War.
In the 18th century, Tetschen followed fashion and became a spa town under Baron Johann Joseph Thun. He searched the area for a suitable spring and found one in the nearby village of Horní Žleb (Obergrund) in 1768. The centre of a busy trading hub was not, however, the ideal place to build a spa. The idea was eventually dropped in 1922. In the 21st century the town's spa past has been largely forgotten.
To promote trade, the Elbe Valley railway line was completed in 1851, which stimulated development along the left bank of the river. Soon, neighbouring Bodenbach (Podmokly) grew bigger than Tetschen and received town privileges in 1901. Upon the forced 1938 Munich Agreement, both towns were annexed by Nazi Germany, incorporated into the Reichsgau Sudetenland , and merged in 1942. After World War II, the ethnic German population was displaced and expelled under terms of the 1945 Potsdam Agreement and the Beneš decrees.
In August 2002, extreme weather conditions led to extensive flooding all across Europe, and Děčín was also badly hit. Water levels rose from their usual two meters to 12 meters; five barges broke loose from their moorings and threatened to break apart a town bridge and float toward Dresden before demolition experts sank them with explosives. At one point 1,600 people were evacuated. The historic center and also many of the tourist spots are at higher elevations, so they were left undamaged, preserving part of the city's economic base. But many lower lying buildings were ruined.
Děčín Castle is probably the most popular tourist attraction in the city. Built on a hill near the city centre and overlooking the Labe (Elbe) River, the castle has had an extremely varied history. In the twelfth century CE, it was constructed as a wooden fort, and replaced by a royal stone castle in the thirteenth century. In the sixteenth century, a grand Renaissance palace was constructed on the site, to be renovated in the Baroque style from the seventeenth century onward. A last major renovation was completed in 1803. An unusual feature of the castle is the long, straight-walled road leading up to it, known as the "Long Ride" (Dlouhá jízda).
Caspar David Friedrich sold his 1808 painting Cross in the Mountains (Tetschen Altar) to the Thuns; and Frédéric Chopin wrote his Waltz in A-flat major, Op. 34 No. 1 here in 1835.
Once the home of Bohemian kings (having been built by order of Premysl king Václav III), the castle has since functioned as the administrative centre of the Thuns. After being turned over to the Czechoslovak state in 1932, it was appropriated by occupying Germans as a military garrison during World War II. Lastly it was occupied by Soviet troops, who invaded from the east and rousted the Germans. They kept a garrison throughout the years of the Communist regime.
The Soviet Army departed in 1991, leaving the castle in a state of disrepair. In 2005 the government completed a restoration of a large part of the castle and opened it as a museum and venue for private gatherings and public events. The Thuns had removed most of the furnishings after they sold the castle to the Czechoslovak state in 1932. Much of the remaining period furniture was gradually stolen, but some pieces which had been kept at other museums were returned.
In the river Labe (Elbe) near the left bank stands a 6 m2 (64.58 sq ft) basalt stone, which is visible only when water levels are low. This is usually an indicator of drought in the region. It is known as the Hunger Stone, because in olden times, when it appeared, all boat traffic on the river had to come to a halt because of low water levels.
The interruption of trade meant that people would suffer a lack of food and other supplies. The lowest water levels have been marked on the stone since 1417, and the markings from 1616 on are still legible. The stone carries the inscription, in German, "If you see me, then cry" (Wenn Du mich siehst, dann weine).
Děčín is twinned with:
Ústí nad Labem is a city in the Czech Republic. It has about 93,000 inhabitants. It is the capital of its eponymous region and district. It is a major industrial centre and, besides being an active river port, is an important railway junction.
Ústí nad Labem Region or Ústecký Region, is an administrative unit of the Czech Republic, located in the north-western part of the historical land of Bohemia, and named after the capital, Ústí nad Labem. It covers the majority of the former North Bohemia province and is part of the broader area of North Bohemia.
Mělník is a town in the Central Bohemian Region of the Czech Republic. It has about 20,000 inhabitants. It lies at the confluence of the Elbe and Vltava rivers, approximately 35 km (22 mi) north of Prague. The town is part of the Prague larger urban zone. The region belongs to the most important agricultural areas of the Czech Republic. The main agricultural produce are fruits, vegetables, potatoes, corn, sugar beet and wine.
Roudnice nad Labem is a town in the Ústí nad Labem Region of the Czech Republic. It has a population of about 13,000. It lies on the left bank of the Elbe river, 40 kilometres (25 mi) north of Prague. The town is situated near the site of Říp, the hill connected with the legend of Praotec Čech.
The Thun und Hohenstein family, also known as Thun-Hohenstein, belonged to the historical Austrian and Bohemian nobility. One branch of the family lived at Děčín (Tetschen), Bohemia, for more than 200 years.
Bohemian Switzerland, also known as Czech Switzerland, is a picturesque region in the north-western Czech Republic. It lies on the Czech side of the Elbe Sandstone Mountains north of Děčín on both sides of the Elbe River. It extends eastward into the Lusatian Mountains and westward into the Ore Mountains. Its highest elevation is the mountain Děčínský Sněžník at 726m above sea level. It has been a protected area since 1972.
Děčín District is one of seven districts (okres) located within the Ústí nad Labem Region in the Czech Republic. Its capital is the city of Děčín.
Polabí is the traditional and informal name for a lowlands region located mainly in the Central Bohemian Region of the Czech Republic, just north from Prague. The name comes from Czech po Labi, meaning "along the Elbe". The same linguistic construction gave its name to the extinct Polabian Slavs in today's Germany.
Josef Wilhelm Freiherr von Löschner or in Czech Josef Vilém z Löschneru was an Austrian physician born in Kaaden, Bohemia. He studied at Gymnasium Kadaň.
Vrchlabí is a town in Trutnov District in the Hradec Králové Region of the Czech Republic. It has about 12,000 inhabitants. It lies at the foot of the Krkonoše mountains, on the upper part of the river Elbe.
Jílové is a town in the Ústí nad Labem Region of the Czech Republic. It has about 5,200 inhabitants.
Schreckenstein Castle or, less commonly, Strekov Castle, is a well preserved ruined castle perched atop a cliff above the River Elbe near the town of Ústí nad Labem in the Central Bohemian Highlands in Czechia. It was built in the 14th century to protect the waterway and collect duties on transported goods, the castle is renowned for its impressive views. It has enchanted a variety of visiting artists, most notably Goethe, Richard Wagner, and Karel Hynek Mácha.
The Děčín–Dresden railway, also called the Elbe Valley Railway is an electrified main line in Saxony and the Czech Republic. Formerly called the Saxon-Bohemian State Railway, the line is part of the Dresden to Prague route and is one of Europe's most important trunk routes (Magistralen). It runs along the Elbe Valley from Děčín via Bad Schandau and Pirna to Dresden. The first section of the line was opened in 1848 and is one of the oldest lines in Germany.
Bílina is a town in the Teplice District in the Ústí nad Labem Region of the Czech Republic. It has about 17,000 inhabitants. It is known for its spas and as a source of the strongly mineralized water, Bílinská kyselka.
North Bohemia, is a region in the north of the Czech Republic.
The Pastýřská stěna, also Ovčí stěna, is a sandstone rock massif on the shores of the River Elbe in the borough of Děčín (Tetschen) in the Czech Republic.
A hunger stone is a type of hydrological landmark common in Central Europe. Hunger stones serve as famine memorials and warnings and were erected in Germany and in ethnic German settlements throughout Europe in the 15th through 19th centuries.
Johann Münzberg was an industrialist in Austrian-era Bohemia. His textile factories, Textilwerke Johann Münzberg & Co., were at the time leading companies in Bohemia. He was also influential in the building of the Empress Elisabeth Bridge across the Elbe at Tetschen, a railway, a brewery on his estate in Libotschan, schools and a savings bank.
The Empress Elisabeth Bridge was a chain bridge that spanned the Elbe between Tetschen on the east bank with Bodenbach in northern Bohemia. It was opened in 1855, named after Empress Elisabeth of Austria, and connected Tetschen to the major railroad from Dresden to Prague. The bridge was demolished in the early 1930s, but its piers were used for the modern bridge replacing it.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Děčín .|
|Wikivoyage has a travel guide for Děčín .|
|Wikisource has the text of the 1911 Encyclopædia Britannica article Bodenbach .|