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Traveller’s Guide to Pardubice, A to Z

Basic Information about Pardubice

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Pardubice (German: Pardubitz) is a regional capital of Pardubice region, southern part of East Bohemia, Czech Republic, built on both banks of Elbe river about 100 kms to the East from Prague, the Czech capital, 20 kms to the South from Hradec Kralove. With about 90,000 inhabitants it is the second-largest city in the East Bohemia. The town Pardubice grew to a city in 19th century, when the constructor Jan Perner designed the railway from Olomouc to Prague. It was finished in 1845 and the train station was promoted to rail junction of Pan-European importance. The InterCity train going through that route is named Jan Perner in his memory.

Pardubice developed into major industrial city in the first half of 20th century. Nowadays it is known for its petroleum rafineries Paramo, the factory Explosia where the plastic explosive Semtex was created, but also for making ginger bread and pastry. It is also the home town of one of the collapsed factories of Tesla (now Foxxcon), which produced the Tamara passive sensor, followed by VERA passive sensor. These sensors later become known because they could detect stealth aircrafts.

The area was first mentioned in historical chronicles in connection with a new monastery built by the crusaders in the 1295. One of the first owners, Arnost of Pardubice, the first Archbishop of Prague and advisor to the Czech king and Holy Roman Emperor Charles IV., turned the village around the castle into a prosperous town. In 1491, it was purchased by a mighty nobleman William of Pernstejn, who was willing to aggrandize the city as much as possible. Under his rule, the castle in Gothic style was rebuilt into magnificent Renaissance chateau, still well defendable with the castle walls and the wide moat remaining unchanged. This unique combination is there to be observed up to this day.

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His offspring, Lords of Pernstejn, continued in his work and built the Renaissance square, and the Green Gate as the dominant site of the whole city. In 1874, the first steeple-chase cross country run Velka Pardubicka took place. Nowadays it is the most prestigious horse-race in Europe.

One of its famous urbanites was the constructor and aviator Jan Kaspar. He was the first pilot to accomplish the 100-kilometer flight from Pardubice to Prague in 1911 and thus he brought fame to the Czech tradition of aeronautics. Also many of today’s hockey players, native of Pardubice, are international stars, such as Dominik „The Dominator“ Hasek, Milan Hejduk and Otakar Janecky.