Jindřichův Hradec ([ˈjɪndr̝ɪxuːf ˈɦradɛts] (listen); German: Neuhaus) is a town in the South Bohemian Region of the Czech Republic. It has about 21,000 inhabitants. The town centre is well preserved and is protected by law as an urban monument reservation.
Town parts of Jindřichův Hradec I–V and villages of Buk, Děbolín, Dolní Radouň, Dolní Skrýchov, Horní Žďár, Matná, Otín, Políkno and Radouňka are administrative parts of Jindřichův Hradec.
Jindřichův Hradec lies on the Nežárka river, on the shore of Vajgar pond, which is one of the symbols of the town. It is a 49 hectares (120 acres) large fish pond established in 1399. There is a significant amount of other fish ponds in the municipal territory.
The predecessor of today's town was a Slavic gord. The first written mention of Jindřichův Hradec is from 1220, when a Gothic castle was built on the site of the former gord by owner of the manor Jindřich I Vítkovec, founder of the line of lords of Hradec. In the mid-13th century, a settlement was founded by the castle and named after founder of the castle. The current name Jindřichův Hradec is documented first in 1410.In the late 16th century, when Jindřichův Hradec was owned by last members of the Hradec family, the town has reached the peak of its development. The houses and the castle were rebuilt from Gothic into the Renaissance style, and the town spread beyond the town walls. After the Thirty Years' War in 1654, Jindřichův Hradec was the second largest town in the Kingdom of Bohemia with 405 houses. Soon after, however, it lost its political importance, and in the end of the 17th century, economic importance also declined.In 1773 and 1801 respectively, the town was damaged by large fires, and many houses have undergone building modifications. Part of the town walls was demolished and a new large park was established on the border between Old Town and New Town. In 1887, the town was connected by railway with Veselí nad Lužnicí and Jihlava.
The town's economy is focused mainly on services. The largest employer in the town is Jindřichův Hradec Hospital.
There is a narrow-gauge railway leading from Jindřichův Hradec to Nová Bystřice. It is operated by Jindřichohradecké místní dráhy company. It serves mostly as a tourist attraction.
A gymnasium, today known as Gymnázium Vitězslava Nováka, was founded in 1595, making it one of the oldest non-university schools in Central Europe.
The town's basketball club is GBA Lions Jindřichův Hradec. It played in the National Basketball League until 2018.
The historic centre of Jindřichův Hradec is formed by the Míru Square with adjacent streets and the castle. The landmarks of the squareare a former Gothic town hall, rebuilt several times, and Langer's house, originally a Gothic building, later rebuilt in the Renaissance style.The town castle and palace is the third largest in the country after those in Prague and Český Krumlov. It covers nearly 3 hectares (7.4 acres).The regional museum is located in a Renaissance building that was once the Jesuit seminary. It appeared in the town in 1882 and is one of the oldest regional museums in Bohemia. The most well-known item in the museum is the Krýza's crèche, the largest mechanical nativity scene in the world according to the Guinness Book of World Records.
There are several churches in the town, the most notable are the three in the historic centre: Church of Saint John the Baptist with the nearby building that once housed minorite monks and was later an infirmary, Church of Saint Mary Magdalene, and Church of Ascension of the Virgin Mary. The Church of Ascension of the Virgin Mary is known for its 68.3 metres (224 ft) tall tower open to the public, and marked 15° meridian that passes through the courtyard of the church.Other churches include Church of Saint Catherine with a Franciscan monastery, Church of the Holy Trinity, Church of Saint James the Great, Church of Saint Wenceslaus, Evangelical church, and former Church of Saint Elizabeth.
The Jewish cemetery was founded around 1400. The oldest preserved tombstone is from 1638.
Twin towns – sister cities
Jindřichův Hradec is twinned with:
Dunajská Streda, Slovakia