Historical Information

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Historical Information

Post by Ac1ds0ld13r on Tue Jul 07, 2009 4:57 pm

From around 900 until 1306, Czech Přemyslid dynasty rulers had most of Bohemia under their control. The first Bohemian ruler acknowledged by historians was the Czech Prince Bořivoj Přemyslovec, who ruled in the second half of the 9th century. He and his wife Ludmila (who became a patron saint of Bohemia after her death) were baptised by Metodej, who (together with his brother Cyril) brought Christianity to Moravia in 863. Bořivoj moved his seat from the fortified settlement Levý Hradec to a place called Prague (Praha). Since Bořivoj's reign the area has been the seat of the Czech rulers. Prague Castle became one of the largest inhabited fortress in Europe. Today, it is the seat of the Czech president.

Bořivoj's grandson, Prince Wenceslas, initiated friendly relations with the Saxon dynasty. Wenceslas wanted Bohemia to become an equal partner in the larger empire. (In a similar way, Bohemia had belonged to Great Moravia in the 9th century and to Samo's empire in the 7th century; both of these empires had been founded to resist the attacks of the Avars[citation needed]). Orientation towards the Saxons was not favoured by his brother Boleslav, and it was the main reason why Prince Wenceslas was assassinated on September 28, 929. He was buried in St. Vitus' Rotunda, the church which he founded. (It stood on the ground where St. Wenceslas' Chapel in St. Vitus Cathedral now is). A few years later Wenceslas was canonised and he became Bohemia's most beloved patron saint. (He is "Good King Wenceslas" from the Christmas carol.) In 950, after long war, Boleslav was forced accept supremacy of Otto I the Great from the Saxon dynasty, who later became the emperor. From 1002 (definitely 1041) onward Bohemian dukes and kings were vassals of the Holy Roman Emperors and Czech lands appertained to Holy Roman Empire as autonomous territory.

By the early 10th century, the area around and below Prague Castle had developed into an important trading centre, where merchants from all over Europe gathered. In 965, a Jewish merchant and traveller, called Ibrahim ibn Ya'qub wrote: "Prague is built from stone and lime, and it has the biggest trade centre. Slavs are on the whole courageous and brave... They occupy the lands which are the most fertile and abundant with a good food supply."

In 973, a bishopric was founded in Bohemia with the bishop's palace located on the Prague castle grounds. The first Czech bishop was Adalbert who became a Czech, Polish and Hungarian patron saint after he was canonised in 999.

Next to the Romanesque fortified settlement of Prague, another Romanesque fortified settlement was built across the river Vltava at Vyšehrad in the 11th century. During the reign of Prince Vratislav II, who rose to the title of King of Bohemia Vratislav I in 1085, Vyšehrad became the temporary seat of Czech rulers.

Prince Vladislav II rose to the title of King of Bohemia Vladislav I in 1158. Many monasteries and many churches were built under the rule of Vladislav I. The Strahov Monastery, built after the Romanesque style, was founded in 1142. The first bridge over the river Vltava — the Judith Bridge — was built in 1170. (It collapsed in 1342 and a new bridge, later called the Charles Bridge was built in its place in 1357).

In 1212, Bohemia became a hereditary kingdom when Prince Přemysl Otakar I rose to the title of King by inheritance from Frederick II (Emperor from 1215), which was legalised in the document called the "Golden Bull of Sicily". The king's daughter, Agnes, became another Bohemian saint. Agnes preferred to enter a convent rather than marry Emperor Frederick II. During the reign of King Premysl Otakar I, peaceful colonisation started. The German colonists were invited both to Bohemia and Moravia. For hundreds of years this duality of population did not cause any problem - before nationalism had become a world force.

In the 13th century, towns started to increase in size. Three settlements around the Prague Castle gained the privilege of a town. The settlement below Prague Castle became the New Town of Prague in 1257 under King Otakar II, and it was later renamed Lesser Town (or Quarter) of Prague — Malá Strana (Prager Kleinseite). The Castle District — Hradčany (Hradschin) which was built around its square, just outside Prague Castle, dates from 1320. Across the river Vltava, the Old Town of Prague — Staré Město (Prager Altstadt) had already gained the privilege of a town in 1230.

In the 13th century, King Přemysl Otakar II was the most powerful king in the Holy Roman Empire during his reign, known as the "Iron and Golden King". He ruled in seven other countries, and his reign stretched from Silesia to the Adriatic coast.

The Premyslid dynasty ruled until 1306 when the male line died out. The inheriting dynasty was the Luxembourg dynasty when Eliška Premyslovna, sister of the last Přemyslid ruler, married John of Luxembourg.

Ripped off the Wiki http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_Prague#Medieval

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