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Brief history of the town of Slaný

The settlement of Slaný was founded according to the record in the Chronicle of Václav Hájek from Libočany in 750 by Duke Nezamysl´s servant Holot who found a salt spring below the hill. Another reason for its foundation was the presence of an old commercial path leading from Žatec and Louny to Prague which has been proved by many archeological excavations. Probably in 1136 a hospital and St. Gothard´s Church were established here by Benedictines.

Pražská brána ve Slaném - painting from 1855 The first well-preserved written mention about Slaný dates back to the year 1239 in the document of the Pope Řehoř IX. There are two dates of promoting Slaný to a town by the king Wenceslas II.: 1295 and 1305. The town of Slaný was surrounded by town walls with gates at that time. In 1371 a big fire broke out at the marketplace sweeping all the houses in the square. About 2 000 people died and nearly all the town was reduced to ashes.

The town recovered after the fire thanks to Charles IV. who gave it new privileges and funds.

During the Hussite movement Slaný paid for dispute between Taborites and Praguers. In 1425 Slaný decided to co-operate with Praguers but Taborites approached the town and after a 12-day-siege captured the town by betrayal. Slaný remained the Taborite town till the Battle of Lipany in 1434. After Taborites had been defeated, Slaný together with Louny and Žatec became towns subject to the king Jiří of Poděbrady who was held in high regard here.

In the years 1461 - 1472 the town walls were renewed and other gates and towers were built. In 1547 the town of Slaný participated in the ´Šmalkald´ uprising and consequently it was punished and deprived of manors in 15 neighbouring villages and obliged to pay a fine.

Events after the Battle of Bílá Hora had the worst impacts on the town. In 1618 Slaný participated in a rebellion and provided ´winter king´ Fridrich Falcky with wine and dine. The proconsul of the king Jaroslav Bořita from Martinic, lord of Smečno, abused the opportunity to get the dominion of Slaný. During the Thirty Years´ War Slaný was almost destroyed. Due to its location on the road leading from Germany to Prague the town was visited by Swedes and emperor´s army who robbed its suffering inhabitants of everything. Three crosses were raised on the Slaný Hill during the period of counterreformation as a proof of being catholic. They remind us of immense suffering of the town after the Battle of Bílá Hora. The successor of Bořita from Martinic - Jiří Bořita - gave back the town some freedom in 1651. Bernard Ignác from Martinic founded Franciscan monastery in 1655 and Piarist college in 1658.

Since 1794 the town of Slaný has been free again. In 1787 Slaný gained back the establishment of a regional centre that it had lost in favour of Rakovník. In the years 1884 - 1918 it used the title ´the Royal town of Slaný´and after the November revolution in 1989 the town can boast with this title again.

(Information source for this page are promotional materials published by the town of Slaný)

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