14 Town of My Studies
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14. Town of My Studies
Písek is a town on the Otava river in South Bohemia. It is a centre for education, culture and industry. The town recently celebrated its 755th anniversary.
In the Middle Ages, the Otava left sand here with contained gold. This is how Písek gets its name. The local museum has an exhibit on how gold was mined then. Under Charles IV, King of Bohemia, South Bohemia’s gold mines became famous across Europe. The gold was used to make money in Kutná Hora.
The Písek castle, its walls, the Gothic church and the stone bridge all date from the 13th century. The castle was built by Přemysl Otakar II. It is surrounded by a wall, which used to have three gates, including the famous Putim gate in the song. The church, which has a 74m steeple, was built on the highest place in the town. The stone bridge is the oldest in Central Europe and the second oldest in Europe. It is 111 m long and has 7 spans. There is an old tradition that people walk on the left side.
Písek’s population was active in the Hussite movement. Later during the 30 Year’s War, much of the city was destroyed by fire and almost all the population was killed. The Baroque town hall dates from 1740 and has two towers and a clock.
In the 19th century, Písek became a centre of education and culture. Several important schools were founded here: the real school in 1885, the agricultural institute in 1870 and the forestry school in 1885. Our school was founded in 1941, so it is more than 60 years old.
Some famous people lived in Písek at the time, including the artist Mikoláš Aleš, the historian August Sedláček and the famous violin teacher Otakar Šefčík.
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