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Břeclav ( ; ) is a town in the South Moravian Regionmarker, Czech Republicmarker, approximately 55 km southeast of Brnomarker. It is located at the border with Lower Austriamarker on the Dyjemarker River. The nearest large town on Austrian territory is Hohenau an der Marchmarker. Břeclav also lies 10 km northwest of the Slovakianmarker border at Kútymarker.

History

Pohansko

In the area of the town several localities have been discovered which were settled in prehistory. Of these the most is important one called Pohansko (meaning "a paganish (place)") southeast of the town, which became a significant grad in Great Moravian times. In the 10th century it was abandoned; today there is an archaeological site with an exhibition.

Břeclav Castle

In 11th century a border castle was established by Duke Bretislaus I which took his name (in Czech BřetislavBřeclav). The castle served as one of the ducal administrative centres in medieval Moravia, later becoming a manor house. The Zierotins rebuilt it in Renaissance style. In 1638 the House of Liechtenstein gained it, but the family did not reside there and in the early 19th century they rebuilt it to artificial ruins as a part of the Lednice-Valtice cultural-natural complexmarker.

Town

There was originally a market town by the castle, which was destroyed in the 15th century and then refounded closer to the castle (which is in the area of today's town centre); the original spot has been called Old Břeclav (Stará Břeclav) since that time. Both the (new) market town and village of Old Břeclav were badly damaged in battles during the 17th century.

The opening of a railway to Viennamarker and Brnomarker in 1839 (and subsequent extensions to a junction) represented an important event, that brought industrialisation and population growth: from 2,952 inhabitants (of Břeclav and Old Břeclav together) in 1834 to 13,689 in 1930. As a consequence, Břeclav obtained town status (1872), becoming the seat of the judicial (1850) and political (1949) district. In 1919 three original municipalities merged (Břeclav, Old Břeclav and Jewish Municipality of Břeclav); in 1974 another two - Poštorná and Charvátská Nová Ves (both were parts of Lower Austriamarker until 1920) - were joined. In 1938-1945 Břeclav was a part of Nazi Germany, although the town's population was mostly Czech-speaking. Local Jews (4,3 % in 1930) and Germans (11,6 %) were expelled both during and after World War II.

Transport

Břeclav today is an important hub in the railroad network (the first junction in Austria-Hungary). It is located at the intersection of the routes to and from Brnomarker - Praguemarker, Ostravamarker - Krakówmarker/Katowicemarker (Polandmarker), Kútymarker - Bratislavamarker (Slovakiamarker) and Hohenau an der Marchmarker - Viennamarker (Austriamarker).

Sights

  • A Renaissance castle from the 16th century with an arcade on the courtyard; during the first half of the 19th century it was completely rebuilt as Neo-Gothic "artificial ruins"
  • St. Wenceslas parish church in the Masaryk Square - a contemporary architecture from 1992-1995 on the spot of a Baroque one destroyed in World War II
  • Synagogue - Neo-Romanesque building from 1868 with Neo-Moorish elements inside; nowadays it serves as a part of the town museum
  • St. Mary parish church in Poštorná - a unique Neo-Gothic construction with a cupola, built in 1895-1898 with use of special bricks from local factory
  • Jewish Cemetery with tombstones from the 18th century and a Neo-Gothic morgue from 1892
  • Resurrection Chapel from 1875 in an area of the former cemetery in the Sovadina street


Close to the train station there are:
  • St. Rochus Chapel (in front of the Gymnasium) - built in 1892 in memory of a cholera epidemic
  • St. Cyril and Methodius Chapel (in a park in front of the station) - built in 1853-1856 in memory of a recovery of Prince of Liechtenstein, local lord; it served as a place of worship for local Catholic parish before the St. Wenceslas Church was built


In the surroundings:

Gallery

Image:Břeclav Castle.JPG|Břeclav CastleImage:Kostel sv. Václava (Břeclav).JPG|St. Wenceslas ChurchImage:Břeclav, Synagogue.JPG|(Former) synagogueImage:Břeclav, Church in Poštorná.JPG|Our Lady Church in PoštornáImage:Břeclav, Dyje.JPG|River Dyje in the town centreImage:2007-05 Břeclav 18.jpg|St. Cyril and Methodius ChapelImage:2007-05 Břeclav 06.jpg|St. Rochus ChapelImage:Areal muzea v prirode pohansko.jpg|From the archaeological site of Pohansko

International relations

Twin towns — Sister cities

Břeclav is twinned with:

See also



External links




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