Monday, June 28, 2010

Belcanto explores Chlumec u Ústí nad Labem on Monday, June 28 - Overnight stay in host homes

Chlumec is a village and municipality in Ústí nad Labem District in the Ústí nad Labem Region of the Czech Republic. The municipality covers an area of 12.87 square kilometres (4.97 sq mi), and has a population of 4,402. Chlumec lies approximately 9 kilometres (6 mi) north-west of Ústí nad Labem and 76 km (47 mi) north-west of Prague. Ústí nad Labem is the 9th-most populous city in the country. Ústí is situated in a mountainous district at the confluence of the Bílina and the Elbe (Labe) Rivers, and, besides being an active river port, is an important railway junction. It is the birthplace of the painter Anton Raphael Mengs.
Ústí nad Labem was mentioned as a trading centre as early as 993. The city was founded by King Otakar II of Bohemia in the latter part of the 13th century. In 1423 it was pledged by Emperor Sigismund to Elector Frederick I of Meißen, who occupied it with a Saxon garrison. In 1426 it was besieged by the Hussites, who on June 16, 1426, though only 25,000 strong, defeated with great slaughter a German army of 70,000 which had been sent to its relief; the town was stormed and sacked the next day. After lying waste for three years, it was rebuilt in 1429. It suffered much during the Thirty Years' War and Seven Years' War. Not far from Ústí is the village of Chlumec, where, on August 29-August 30, 1813, a battle took place between the French Empire under Vandamme and an allied army of Austrians, Prussians, and Russians. The French were defeated and Vandamme surrendered with his army of 10,000 men. During the 19th century the city became heavily industrialized and due to the large-scale immigration the number of inhabitants grew from 2,000 to over 40,000 making Ústí one of the biggest cities in Bohemia. Mining, chemical industry and river transport were its most important assets. The local river port became the busiest one in the whole Austro-Hungarian Empire surpassing the seaport in Trieste. Nowadays it is the industrial city with chemical establishments, metallurgy manufacture, machinetool industries, textiles and nutriment industry. Ústí was a center of early German National Socialism. On November 15, 1903, the Deutsche Arbeiterpartei in Österreich ("German Workers' Party in Austria") was formed; it would become the basis for the Sudeten German National Socialist Party and Austrian National Socialism. Much of their literature and books were printed in Ústí. From April 17 to April 19, 1945 the city was bombed by the Allied Forces and over 500 people lost their lives. On July 31, 1945, the Ústí Massacre against German civilians occurred. In 1945 and 1946, over 53,000 ethnic Germans were expelled from the area. Emigrants from the Soviet Union, Slovakia, and Romania settled in the city, among them many Roma and Sinti. During the 1970s-1980s large numbers of paneláks were constructed in Ústí. After the fall of communism in Czechoslovakia in the Velvet Revolution of 1989, the city's heavy industry suffered economic troubles. The Střekov castle is located in a southern suburb of the city. Ústí is a center for tourism owing to the romantic landscape of the Bohemian Highlands (České středohoří) and the České Švýcarsko national park.
The picture shows Ústí nad Labem.

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