Kouřim is a historical city located 45kms east of Prague. During the 13th to the 16th century, it used to be one of the most important cities in Bohemia. The first 300 years of existence of Kouřim as a city experienced bloom and prosperity that was seriously untouched even by the Hussite wars. In 1421, it surrendered without a fight to the approaching troops to remain spared. The end of the Hussite wars and the subsequent secularization of church property brought a huge economic boost to the city. At the turn of the 15th and 16th century, Kouřim stood in the zenith of power and wealth.
The first harbinger of the end of the “golden age” of the city was the year 1547, when Kouřim actively participated in the rebellion against the Emperor Ferdinand I of Habsburg. But that was suppressed and the town suffered severe punishment in the form of economic sanctions, especially the confiscation of almost all of its landed property. Horrible disasters followed including the Thirty Years War where the city was repeatedly looted by passing troops. Although in 1648 the Peace of Westphalia ends the greatest horrors, it is unfortunate that at the end of the 16th century, it was further decimated by religious oppression, plague and a series of fires.
Today, Kouřim stands as a favorite destination for history lovers.
Relative to the size of the city, it has a pretty big town square. In it is found the Statue of the Virgin Mary which was built in 1850.
Also found in the square is a huge rock, called Prokopu Velikemu to commemorate the battle of Lipan.
But perhaps the biggest attraction in Kouřim is the Church of St. Stephen, which has a unique Romanesque Gothic style, and is one of the oldest churches in Europe, built sometime during the 13th century.
So if you are visiting the Czech Republic and would love to know more about its history, Kouřim is definitely a “must see” spot for you.