Rudolfov, Czech Republic

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Rudolfstadt/Rudolfov is a city in South Bohemia, about 5 km north-east of Budweis/České Budějovice.

The history of Rudolfstadt/Rudolfov is closely related to the discovery and exploitation of silver deposits in the area. The first mention of silver mining in the area is from 1385 and it reached its peak in the second half of the 16th century. Numerous mining encampments sprang up in the area near mining shafts and gradually developed into towns. Große Bergstadt and Kleine Bergstadt became one of the most important silver mining areas in all of Bohemia. In 1585 the Holy Roman Emperor Rudolf II renamed Große Bergstadt Kayser Rudolffstadt and made it a "Königliche freie Bergstadt".[1]

Ausbeutetaler[2] 1593
stamped by Rudolfstadt

At the end of the 16th century Rudolfstadt/Rudolfov was one of the largest cities in South Bohemia, even starting to rival Budweis/České Budějovice. Rudolfstadt/Rudolfov was predominantly Protestant whereas Budweis/České Budějovice was Catholic. Protestant merchants and craftsmen expelled from Budweis/České Budějovice settled in Rudolfstadt/Rudolfov and contributed to its economic rise.

The downfall of Rudolfstadt/Rudolfov began early in the 17th century. In 1611 a mercenary army under Princebishop Leopold von Passau, fighting for Rudolf II, attacked the city and destroyed the mining facilities. And a short time later, the Thirty Years' War found Rudolfstadt/Rudolfov and Budweis/České Budějovice on opposite sides, Budweis/České Budějovice supporting Emperor Matthias and his successor Ferdinand II, and Rudolfstadt/Rudolfov aligning with the Bohemian rebells. In 1619 the imperial general Charles Bonaventure de Longueval, Comte de Bucquoy, conquered Rudolfstadt/Rudolfov and had it razed and burned to the ground. Ferdinand II withdrew all privileges in 1620 and gave the city to his general Baltasar von Marradas as fief.

Rudolfstadt/Rudolfov was partially rebuilt during the remainder of the 17th century but never reached its previous importance again. A census of the parish in 1663 listed 58 houses of which 56 were inhabited with a population of 203.[3]


  1. A Bergstadt was a special municipal category endowed with privileges to foster the development of resource extraction.
  2. A coin stamped from the metal of a certain mine or region, usually for special occasions.
  3. Catalogus Parochianorum Ecclesia hujus Rudolphstadiensis Anno 1663. Státní oblastní archiv v Třeboni, Parish Register Rudolfov, Book 1, pages 291 - 300,, images 149 - 154

See also:

  • Böhnel Bedřich: Dějiny města Rudolfova, České Budějovice 1956.
  • Klabouch Vratislav: Rudolfovsko. Praha - Litomyšl 2008.
  • Rudolfov German Wikipedia
  • Rudolfov Czech Wikipedia

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Nice page! Can you add the category One Place Study?