THE TOWN OF KOLÍN   Czech Deutch French

From numerous excavations both of skeletons in a crouching position and from various ornaments, pottery, and weapons it is possible to judge that the country of Kolín was inhabited in ancient times already. These finds are deposited for the most part in the Town Museum the prehistoric department of which is especially remarkable.

The town was founded at the beginning of the 13th century by German colonistes from Cologne on the Rhine and therefore many historians maintain that Kolín derives its name from that town.

Kolín is situated on the important junction of the two main railway lines (60 km east of Prague) going from Berlin-Dresden-Prague-Budapest and from Berlin-Dresden to Znaim-Vienna; it lies also on the main road going via Iglau to Vienna. It has 36.000 inhabitants.

The town itself dominates a picturesque plain on the left sidde of the river Elbe from a rocky terrace 30 m high (225 m above the sea level) and it is connected with the suburb of Zálabí by a new concrete bridge. From the top of the terrace the Cathedral of St. Bartolomew, an architectural relic in the Gothic style from the 13th century by Petr Parléř looks down upon the town. Behind this church there is an interesting charnel - house with bones forming an altar, etc. Beside the church there is the Museum with prehistoric and numismatic collections. Behind the charnel-house there aare remnants of ramparts dating from the 13th century. On the square we see the Town Hall, a modern stattue of John Hus by Francis Bílek, and a Plague Column of the Holy Virgin, dating from the year 1682, 5 well preserved baroque house and the building of the Municipal Savingsbank.

In the adjacent streets there is former Kolín Castle from the year 1437, nowadays the brewery and in the former Ghetto, where several bizarre houses survived, there is an ancient synagogue.

A charming nook is formed by an old Jewish cemetery beside the gymnastic hall or the Sokolovna (Sokol is a nation-wide organisation of physical culture). The Monastery of the Capuchin Friars dating from the year 1667 with the Church of the Holy Trinity, the Church of All Saints from the end of 13th century, the Church of St. John the Baptiste from about the beginning of the 14th century, and the Church of St. Vitus at Zálabí from 14th century.

Buildings from the recent time are the Theatre, the National Bank ,the Agricultural Savingsbank, etc. Moreover there are several monuments and commemorative tablets.

The favourable situation of the town has enabled the development of a great-chiefly chemical-industry, financial business, and trade.

Kolín is the seat of many authorities and the development of its public instruction (secondary and special schools) is remarkable.

Opportunity for walks on the Lower Island and in the park of Borky. In the distance of 5 km there is the Frederic's Hill and the village of Křečhoř, where in the year 1757 king Frederic the Great was beaten by general Daun.

Bathing in the Town Baths.

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