Otázka: My town
Chomutov is a city in the Czech Republic, in the Ústínad Labem Region. Chomutov has been a statutory town since 1 July 2006. It occupies an area of 29,26 km² and has 50 782 inhabitants (2008), thereby making it the 20th largest town in the Czech Republic, the 4th largest in the Ústínad Labem region and the biggest in the Chomutov district. There are almost 80 000 inhabitants in the town’s wider metropolitan area.
LOCATION AND NATURAL CONDITIONS
The town with the historical heart on the left side of the river Chomutovka shore in altitude of 234m is extended in Chomutovsko-Teplice basin by the foot of the Ore Mountains. The surface is mostly flat only the parts in the north and southeast protrude to the hillside about several tens meters.
Chomutov was originally a Czech market town, but in 1252 it came into the possession of the Teutonic Order and was completely Germanised. The gothic church of St. Catharine built in this era still stands to this day. In 1396 it received a town charter and in 1416 the knights sold both the town and the lordship to Wenceslaus IV. On March 16, 1421, the town was stormed by the Taborites, sacked and burned. After several upheavals and changes of ownership, Chomutov was taken by Popel of Lobkovic in 1588, who established Jesuit rule, leading to trouble between the Protestant burghers and the town’s new overlord. In 1594 the lordship fell to the Czech crown, then in 1605 the town purchased its freedom and was made a royal city. After the Thirty Years’ War, Chomutov stagnated. Rapid development did not come until the second half of the 19th century with advancements in the mining and hardware industries. The town expanded yet further and by 1938 it had reached over 30,000 inhabitants. Industrial facilities and large high-rise housing projects were built to redevelop the area after the Second World War. In the late 1970s an urban settlement was built linking Chomutov with its neighbouringJirkov. After the Velvet Revolution of 1989, the hardware industry significantly decreased its activity, however the environment in and around the town has been visibly improved. The leisure facilities of the area were subsequently emphasised, notably the Alum lake, the ChomutovZoo and Bezruč valley recreational area.
The centre of historical town is oblong and it is edged by arcades. The Square of 1 May with its baroque Pillar of Trinity by AmbrožLaurentis from 1697, which is banked by seven statues of saints from years 1725-1732.
The Town Hall is situated in the northwest side and it used to be a commendam until 1607. Town Hall borders with the most valuable building in the town which is the church of St. Catherine built in early Gothic style and finished in 1281.
On the opposite side of the north direction there is the church of Assumption Virgin Mary in late Gothic style from years 1518-1542 and it borders with 53m tall Town Tower which was renovated after the fire in 1525 and which is used as an observation tower.
At the end of the south side there is a Baroque church of St. Ignatzwith two towers on the north frontage which was built for Jesuits by Carl Lurago in years 1663-1671. The building called Špejchar from the 17th century was used by Jesuits as earlier church and it adjoins the east side of the church of St. Ignatz. Nowadays it is used as a gallery. There is a Jesuitical dormitory in the south neighboring of the church of St. Ignatz from the 16th and 17th century which is nowadays a settlement of a town museum. The most important building from the Gothic citizens’ houses is the late Gothic house no.: 9, known as Collin’s which is at the bottom of the northeast side of the square.
Alum Lake is the water plane in altitude of 337m at the northeast edge of Chomutov. It was caused at the end of the 18th century by flowage after the mining of the space from the years 1558-1785. Its dimension is 240 to 676m and it occupies the area of 16, 3 ha, the maximum depth is 3,25m and its capacity is 285 000 m³. The high content (about 1%) of alum in the water from Alum Lake is as a small Dead Sea, because it prevents the lake from the growth of weed and anabaena. For that reason it is very frequently visited by many people in summer months.
The Ore Mountains Zoo borders with the Alum Lake at the north side. It is a Zoo concentrated mostly on breeding European and mainly domestic wild animals (wolf, European bison, etc.).
Bezruč Valley is 13 km long and 200m deep woody valley on the river Chomutovka at the northwestern side of the town and it is famous place for trips.
The Hill Strážiště(551) rises over the northern edge of Chomutov and on its peak there is a hotel with an observation tower.