Strakonice, Czech Republic, twinned with Calderdale
Strakonice District (1,032 sq km) is one of the smaller districts of the Ceské Budejovice region. It lies between the foothills of the Šumava and Brdy hills in the valley of the gold-bearing River Otava, and enjoys a continental climate. 65 per cent of the land area is given over to agriculture, somewhat above the national average of 59 per cent. Deposits of limestone, clay, and sand are exploited commercially.
Population and local government
There are 70,000 inhabitants living in 107 villages and the towns of Strakonice, Blatná, Vodnany, Volyne and Bavorov, with almost 60 per cent of the population being concentrated in the towns.
The District has a mixed agricultural and industrial economy, the main industries being engineering, food and textiles centred mainly in Strakonice, Blatná and Volyne.
The town was established at the confluence of the Rivers Volynka and Otava. The 12th century castle was built by the Bavor family and was declared a national, cultural monument in 1997. An exhibition there traces the history of the town from the earliest Celtic settlement, the development of bagpipes (Strakonice being home of the biennial International Bagpipe Festival), and the production of fezzes and the famous CZ motorcycles.
Blatná lies on the river Lomnice, surrounded by the Brdy forests. The area has been inhabited since the 4th century BC. It grew in importance and prosperity during the 15th and 16th centuries and was granted a town charter by Emperor Rudolf II. Today, it is renowned as the "Town of Roses" thanks to an enterprising rose grower, J. Bohm, who created plantations here after WWI. Fish farming has traditionally played an important part in the local economy. . Pretty Blatná Castle is a moated chateau set in a landscaped Deer Park and is well worth a visit.
Lying midway between Strakonice and Ceské Budejovice and surrounded by water, Vodnany has a long tradition of fish farming. By the late 15th century, the network of ponds, which characterises the area, was well established. The original town walls are still to be seen.
Volyne is known as the "Gate to Šumava" due to its position sitting astride the River Volynka, on the centuries-old route from Vimperk to Strakonice. The local museum has archaeological finds, which indicate a Slavonic settlement dating from the 7th century.
Czech language website of Strakonice Council.
English language website for Vodnany.
Volyne in Czech Language
Czech language website of Volyne Council.
English language website about the region of South Bohemia.