The first written mention of the town of Louny comes from 1115 when it belonged to the monastery  in Kladruby. This Romanesque settlement was situated at the place of the present St.Peter´ Church by the ford across the Ohře River. As a royal town, Louny was located at the tongue of land above the river, approximately 1km of the eastern direction from the original settlement sometimes in the 1260´s during the reign of Přemysl Otakar II. Foundation of the city, motivated by the location on the important country road from Prague to Germany, was realised with a significant participation of Saxon colonisers. A Dominican monastery, which was destroyed in the Hussite Wars, was founded together with the town. In the Luxembourg times the city witnessed a great boom based on intensive craft and agricultural productions, growing cereals and wine especially. Louny together with Žatec made up a military union during the Hussite Wars. The famous warrior Jakoubek of Vřesovice became its captain in the 1420´s. Louny got hold of  a vast property left after the destroyed monasteries but it had to give it back during the reign of Jiří of Poděbrady. After the devastating fire in 1517, the town was rebuilt and a new St.Nicolas´ Church was built. A local municipal school became famous and a great boom in wine growing occurred in the 16th century. During the anti-Hapsburgs uprising between 1618-1620, Louny joined the rebel party; shortly before the Battle of White Mountain, Albrecht of Valdštejn occupied Louny, required a high protection money and established his headquarters here. Louny became an ordinary town of a local meaning after the Thirty Years´ War. Three monarchs of anti-Napoleon coalition were accommodated here in 1813. In the middle of the 19th century, Louny became the seat of the District Office. During the 19th century and the 1960´s and 1970´s there were carried out vast demolitions in the historical centre. That was the reason why many magnificent Renaissance houses, a town hall and city gates disappeared. Louny began to develop economically in the second half of the 19th century when railway workshops, a sugar mill, brewery, slaughter house, mills and financial institutions were founded. In 1896 the first secondary school - the grammar school - was opened, the Václav Hlavatý Grammar School today. Between 1872-1904, Louny became a railway crossroad with main directions to Prague, Most, Žatec, Libochovice and Rakovník. A great building of residential houses was carried out at the turn of the 20th century. Residential areas were situated at the places where agricultural land used to spread out originally. Industry in Louny was strengthened after 1945 when the factories like the Elektroporcelán, Praga, the dairy and meat processing plant were founded. During the 1970´s the original Žatec suburb was demolished and a panel housing estate was built instead. Louny has always been situated on the language border. E.g., the town of Postoloprty, lying 8km of western direction, was German already in the 18th century. But an unambiguous Czech character of Louny has prevailed during its whole history. Since the middle of the 19th century, Louny has been the seat of the District Office. In 1960 the Districts of Žatec and Podbořany were joined to it.
Louny area is the place of birth of several famous personalities: the poet Jaroslav Vrchlický (1853-1912 in Domažlice); Kamil Hilbert (1869-1933 in Prague), an architect who completed the building of St.Vitus´ Cathedral in Prague; Václav Hlavatý (1894-1969 in Bloomington, U.S.A), a world-known mathematician; the writer Karel Konrád (1899-1971 in Prague) were born in Louny. The neighbouring borough of Cítoliby is the architect Josef Mocker´s (1835-1899 in Prague) place of birth, the poet Konstantin Biebl (1898-1951 in Prague) was born in a close village of Slavětín.
St.Nicolas´ Church is the most significant architectural monument in Louny. Only a tower remained from an original Gothic building and a three-nave hall was built between 1519-1538. Benedict Rejt, its architect,  was also buried in the church but his grave has not been preserved. Also St.Peter´Church from the 14th century, God’s Mother Church from 1493 (the tower from 1612) and the Church of Fourteen Holy Helpers from 1716 can be named among other church buildings. The churches of the Bohemian Brethren and the Czechoslovakian Hussite Church are important constructivist monuments from the 1930´s. The house No.57at Mírové Square with Renaissance gables and a log-cabin room on the first floor has been preserved from the Middle Ages and is the seat of the District Archives. A late-Gothic hall with ribbed vaulting has been preserved in the house No.43 in Pivovarská Street. The building serves as exhibition premises of the District Museum. The town hall at Mírové Square was built in neo-Renaissance style and dates from 1887. A housing development for railway workshop workers from the beginning of the 20th century, which was designed by Jan Kotěra,  certainly has its place in the history of the present architecture. The town centre is surrounded by city walls with bastions and Žatec Gate. Louny fortification in its today’s shape is  a result of the gradual reconstruction in the second half of the 15th century.

Bohumír Roedl
Město Louny


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Městský úřad Louny
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