Česká Lípa (Czech pronunciation: [tʃɛskaː liːpa] (listen); German: Böhmisch Leipa) is a town in the Liberec Region of the Czech Republic. It has about 37,000 inhabitants and it is the most populated town of the Czech Republic without city status. The town centre is well preserved and is protected by law as an urban monument zone.
The villages of Častolovice, Dobranov, Dolní Libchava, Dubice, Heřmaničky, Lada, Manušice, Okřešice, Písečná, Stará Lípa, Vítkov, Vlčí Důl and Žizníkov are administrative parts of Česká Lípa.
Česká Lípa lies about 38 kilometres (24 mi) west of Liberec and 67 kilometres (42 mi) north of Prague.
The Ploučnice River flows through the town, approximately 40 kilometres (25 mi) from its source. The highest point of the municipal territory is Špičák with an altitude of 459 metres (1,506 ft).
The old town of Česká Lípa was built near a ford on the Ploučnice where a Slavonic colony existed from the 10th century. The current territory of the town was permanently settled around the 13th century. The first written reference of settlement comes from 1263 and is included in the Doksany Prior's purchase roll.A town was founded on the site of the older settlement, probably between 1310 and 1319. The first written mention of the town is from 1336.The history of the town is associated with Chvala from Zittau of the Ronovci family,: 7 who founded Lipý Castle, and his grandson Henry of Lipá (1270–1329), a significant royal aristocrat. As rolls have not been preserved, it is not clear who exactly founded the castle and surrounding settlement.
Thus Lipý Castle became another fortified seat in North Bohemia on the contemporary trade routes. There was a Slavonic colony near the castle, later renamed as Stará Lípa (now a neighbourhood of the town). There is a reference to Arnold, said to come from Stará Lípa, who was a citizen of Kravaře in 1263. Historians have deduced from the reference to Stará Lípa that Lipý Castle and accompanying settlement were established around that time.Henry of Lipá moved to Moravia in 1319, after he had sold the castle with its surroundings to his cousin Hynek Berka. According to other sources, in 1327 Hynek Berka z Dobé, also a member of the Ronovci ancestry, was the lord of Lipá and its wider surroundings. When he died in 1348, his son of the same name took the title, and after his death his second son Henry succeeded him. His nephew Hynek Berka of Dubá then ruled the area. The oldest town charter, which he issued on 23 March 1381, states that discretions were granted to the town of Lipá and that it was he who contributed the most to the growth of the town and the castle bearing the same name.
Town walls were constructed at the beginning of the 14th century as well as the parish Church of Saints Paul and Peter, which was destroyed by a fire in 1787. It was canonized by Peter of Aspelt, the Mayence archbishop, in 1312 in the presence of King John of Bohemia. The Dean's Office of Děčín was delegated to him in 1341.: 10 In the second half of the 14th century the Veitmile family was significantly involved in the development of the town. Members of this family used to hold the positions of reeve and parson. Petr z Veitmile was assigned as a witness on document by Hynek Berka of Dubá in 1381 granting the urban discretions.: 6 Development of the town was paused by the plague epidemic in 1389. At the end of the 14th century the castle was controlled by other members of lords of Lipá family, including a powerful individual named Hynek Hlaváč who was often mentioned in historical accounts, until the beginning of the Hussite wars, when in May 1426 it was conquered by Hussites led by Jan Roháč of Dubá, and became a stronghold until 1436. Between 1502 and 1553 a large part of the town and its surroundings belonged to the Vartenberks. Later, the lords of Dubá / Lipá regained the castle and it remained in their possession for over 100 years. The first evidence of Jewish settlement in the town dates from 1562. Albrecht von Wallenstein reunited the town in 1622 to 1623. He, and later Kaunitzs, contributed to another boom in the town by founding a monastery and school. Large parts of the town were destroyed in 1787 and 1820.
Following the compromise of 1867, the town became part of the Austrian monarchy until 1918, and seat of the Böhmisch Leipa district, one of the 94 Bezirkshauptmannschaften in Bohemia.In 1918, Česká Lípa became a part of independent Czechoslovakia. The town was ceded to Nazi Germany with the rest of the Sudetenland in October 1938 under the terms of the Munich Agreement and placed under the administration of the Regierungsbezirk Aussig of Reichsgau Sudetenland. It returned to Czechoslovak administration in May 1945 after the liberation of Czechoslovakia.
The modern urban development of the town was influenced by industrial production and uranium mining in the region. Residential neighbourhoods consisting of large amounts of prefabricated housing were built on the outskirts, while the town centre was preserved and declared as an urban monument zone.
Railways and stations have been built by various companies. The first railway was built in 1867 leading to the town of Bakov nad Jizerou. Another railway was opened in 1872 to the town of Benešov nad Ploučnicí and later extended to the city of Děčín. Another company then built the Česká Lípa město station, the first train route from which went to the town of Litoměřice, followed in 1903 by the railway leading from Česká Lípa to Řetenice (part of Teplice) and in the opposite direction via the town of Zákupy to Liberec.The railway from Česká Lípa to Česká Kamenice was completed and opened in 1903, and large railway workshops were constructed in the vicinity of the main station. The national Railway Repair and Engineering Workshops (ŽOS) corporation had its headquarters here until 1980. The railway leading to Česká Kamenice was closed in 1979, and its subsoil was used to build of a part of the Varhany Cycling Path. Railways in the town and peripheries were connected. The Česká Lípa město station built in 1898 is now out of service, and put up for sale by Czech Railways. The railway from this station leading to Vlčí důl has been demolished and its subsoil used for construction of cycle path no. 3054. Three short unused and blocked sidings lead from the central station to several former factory and industrial buildings in the Svárov neighborhood.
There was a parochial school in the town in 1391, but historical records mention the destruction of the school in 1515 during a large fire. The Latin school established in 1627, together with the Augustinian Monastery, were cancelled by Empress Maria Theresa. The facility was restored in 1806 as a high school. Education expanded in the town in the 19th century. In 1824 an evening school for working children was established, followed by a trade apprentice school in 1838, a business school in 1868, a practice school by the Monastery in 1869, a trade continuation school in 1879 and on 19 October the same year a high school of agriculture. In 1882 the State High School was established and in 1895 girls' and 1900 a boys' public school.
The emblem of the town originates in the urban seal from 1389. Above the town wall there is a coat of arms of the lords of Lipá with crossed fighting rods. The flag was designed by the Heraldic Committee, the State District Archives of Česká Lípa, in 1992 and adjusted according to historical artwork from 1937. The emblem proposal was discussed in the town government in June 1992, reviewed by the Subcommittee for Heraldics of the Chamber of Deputies in December, and on 15 July 1993 the Speaker of the Chamber of Deputies granted the emblem to the town.
There are several large automotive companies in the southwest part of the town, mainly in the Dubice industrial zone, where about 5,000 workers are employed in offices including those of Johnson Controls, VARTA and Bombardier Inc.
Česká Lípa hlavní nádraží (main railway station) is a junction of the Bakov nad Jizerou - Jedlová and Děčín - Rumburk lines. Three smaller train stops, Česká Lípa-Střelnice, Česká Lípa-Holý vrch and Vlčí důl-Dobranov are located in the suburbs of the town. The centrally located Česká Lípa město station closed in 1979, and the railway connecting it with the main station (at a length of three quarters of a mile) is no longer in use.
Trains leave the town's central station in four directions:
Route L4 - Railroad 080 Bakov – Česká Lípa – Rumburk, northwards bound
Route L2 - Railroad 081 Česká Lípa – Děčín, westwards bound
Route L2 - Railroad 086 Česká Lípa – Liberec, southeastwards bound then northeastwards bound
Route U11 - Railroad 087 Česká Lípa – Lovosice, leads southwardsRailways 081 and 086 are used by many trains, including ordinary passenger trains on routes from Liberec to Děčín and express trains from Liberec to Ústí nad Labem.
Regional and intercity transportation is mainly operated by ČSAD Česká Lípa, based at the town bus station from 1986, and provides connections to Mimoň, Nový Bor and Prague, as well as surrounding villages.
Small transport companies provide transport for commuters to large local companies, or offer alternative transport for Czech Railways in case of lockouts etc. Nevertheless, the municipal transit company BusLine a.s. has taken over most such services. BusLine a.s. is the only transit carrier in Česká Lípa. The municipal transit runs exclusively within the town while further parts of the county are covered by regional bus services.
Česká Lípa municipal transit has been a member of the IDOL regional integrated transport network since July 2009. IDOL is based on the integrated tariff and the OpusCard contactless smartcard as a uniform fare carrier.
The town's main road transport connection is the straight superlevel I/9 Road leading south to north from Prague to Nový Bor, from 1987. From west to east there is the II/262 Road from Děčín to Zákupy.
The Crystal Culture Center contains a cinema, halls and a restaurant. An organization named Crystal Culture House was established by the town after 1990 to manage the center and organize summer events in Lipý Castle. The organization was renamed as Kultura Česká Lípa (Česká Lípa Culture) on 1 January 2011, and a new organization, Lipý Česká Lípa, was established, with responsibility for the castle and the nearby historic Textile Print Center, which opened on 16 February 2011. The center had also housed the Municipal Information Center before it was moved to the Town Hall.
The Česká Lípa Art School was established in a building called the White House, which had housed the Communist Party District Committee until 1990. The large hall on the ground floor is the home of the Rainbow Dancing School, and the facility is also used for exhibitions and by other external music groups.
The Homeland Museum and Gallery is located in the grounds of a former Augustinian Monastery. There is a permanent Animal World exhibition, and a Loretan courtyard which is used for temporary exhibitions. Other buildings, including a Loreta building, have art collections, and a chapel in the grounds is used for concerts. This museum has a regional character and features many objects related to the Česká Lípa District area. The museum also owns the Village Magistrate in the town of Kravaře, and the Karel Hynek Mácha Memorial in the town of Doksy including the Fisher and Pond Culture of Česká Lípa exhibition. It is also in charge of the Breda Summerhouse in the grounds of Lemberk Castle.
There is a three-floor municipal library on T. G. Masaryk Square, which has three smaller branches in Špičák, Lada, and Holý vrch.
The town organizes the Municipal Summer Festival at the beginning of every summer. This event first took place in the town park in 2000, to celebrate the park's 125th anniversary, moving to T. G. Masaryk Square the following year. After Lipý Castle was renovated in 2003 the festival moved to its grounds, where it has been held since. The festival includes an antique fair, concerts, fireworks, and theater performances, and the Town Awards are presented.
The first annual International Lípa Music Festival was held in 2000, primarily featuring classical music. By 2008 there were 10 locations in the Ústí nad Labem and Liberec regions organizing concerts. In Česká Lípa the opening and closing events of the festival are held in the All Saints Basilica, part of the Augustinian Monastery.
The Reggae Ethnic Session music festival, featuring reggae, ska and world music, was established in 2000 in Žízníkov, an outer suburb of the town, and has since moved to a larger site in the nearby Heřmaňičky district.
After 1850 the Leipaer Zeitung was released in German for the Česká Lípa area, and its competitor Deutsche Leipaer Zeitung from 1884, both twice a week.Today, local press includes the Českolipský deník (Česká Lípa Daily), established in 1993 and now part of Vltava Labe Media, and Městské noviny (Municipal Journal) issued by the municipal council.
Hitradio FM Crystal broadcasts to the Česká Lípa and Děčín districts.
Sport Česká Lípa, a contributory organization established by the town, manages local sports facilities including: the municipal stadium, which includes an open soccer pitch, tennis hall, outdoor tennis courts, hothouse and solarium; a sports hall (Lokomotiva); a sports complex featuring a reconstructed winter stadium and indoor pool with water slide, and a nearby skatepark; and the Sever Swimming Pool.
Other facilities include: the Olympia Relax Centre; the TJ Lokomotiva football grounds; the Lada Airdrome; the Sosnová motor-racing circuit which hosts many motor sports competitions including the National Championship; several bowling alleys; and Boating Ploučnice on the river, used for canoes and kayaks from Stráž pod Ralskem.
The District Committee of the Czech Union of Physical Education was previously an original administrative association, and is now the Česká Lípa District Sports Union. The town is home to Arsenal Česká Lípa, a football team, and various other clubs for different sports.
Augustinian Monastery on Svobody Square, founded by Albrecht von Wallenstein in 1627, took 150 years to complete, and once contained a school and printhouse. The Homeland Museum and Gallery of the town of Česká Lípa is now located here.
Loretan Chapel, built in 1698 in the monastery cloisters
All Saints Church, after construction of the monastery, completed in 1710
Church of the Nativity of Mary on Palackého Square, originally a gothic church from the 14th century, reconstructed in baroque style between 1706 and 1710 by Josef Abondius.
The Church of Saint Mary Magdalene was built in gothic style in the middle of the 13th century, but later damaged by Hussite and Lusatian armies. Jindřich Berka, brother-in-law of George of Poděbrady, had it repaired and reconstructed around 1460, and 30 years later it became a part of the provost seat. It was reconstructed in Late Gothic style in the 16th century.
The Cistorian Provost, today Deanery of the Roman Catholic Parish, is adjacent to the church and was completed in 1756.
The Church of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross, built in the second half of the 14th century, was subsequently reconstructed in Late Gothic style, and then in 1897 adjusted to neo-Gothic style by Josef Mocker.
The Evangelic Church was built in 1927 and 1928 by local Protestants and taken over by the Czechoslovak Hussite Church in 1945.
The Holy Trinity Column at T. G. Masaryk Square was built part by part in 1683 after the plague pandemic, which hit the town and surroundings in 1680.
The site where a synagogue stood until it was destroyed in 1938 by Nazis is marked with a historical memorial stone, installed ceremonially in 2008.
Near the Střelnice train stop there is an enclosed Jewish Cemetery.
Lipý Water Castle (also Lipá, Lipý) was built in the 13th century by members of the Ronovci lineage, who later called themselves the Lords of Lipá. The original building was made of wood and built by the Ploučnice river. The river was later rerouted. A stone guard tower was built in the 14th century. It was captured by Hussites and Swedes and fell into disuse over time. There was a sugar refinery in the castle in the 19th and beginning of the 20th century, and the castle was finally demolished after 1945. In 1990 the town began a gradual reconstruction and organizes cultural events in its grounds. The town has established an organization, Lipý, Česká Lípa, to manage the castle, and the neighbouring recently-renovated "Textile Print Centre" historical exhibition was placed in its care in February 2011.
The Red House is in the vicinity of Lipý Castle and was built as a hunters' chateau by Jetřich Jiří Berka z Dubé in 1583.: 162 This building, in an Italian renaissance style, is decorated outside with sgraffito and had been used for many purposes, such as a dye-house, a tavern, and a town museum branch in 1933. It is now unused.
The Neo-Renaissance Town Hall in T. G. Masaryk Square, originally built in 1823, was reconstructed in 1884. The basements are built in Gothic style as the town hall had existed previously to several devastating fires. The building once partially served as a saving house, a court and by 1900 also as a museum.
The fountain on T. G. Masaryk Square from 1837 is fully functional during summer until today.
Špičák Observation Tower is a 14-metre tower built on Špičák hill in 1885 at a cost of 5,000 guilders, which was partially burnt down two years later. However, it was soon renovated and by 1906 there were 2,500 tourists recorded in its memorial book. It was used for anti-aircraft patrols in World War II. In 1997 it was renovated and converted into a radio and cellular phone networks transmitter, inaccessible to the general public.: 178
Hugo Salus (1866–1929), doctor, writer and poet
Leopold Moll (1877–1933), Austro-Hungarian paediatrician and court counsellor
Erwin Sembach (1879–1919), opera singer
Rudolf de la Vigne (1920–2004), footballer
Angela Jursitzka (born 1938), Austrian journalist and writer
Petr Kellner (1964–2021), businessman
Luboš Bartoň (born 1980), basketball player
Twin towns – sister cities
Česká Lípa is twinned with: