Písek: small city with big history

Písek, a South Bohemian town of around 30,000 inhabitants, was an important town in the Middle Ages and has a well-preserved medieval centre with six churches and a partly preserved Gothic castle, rebuilt into the town hall and a brewery. Known as a centre of education, it also is home to a number of important schools.

Where is Czechia’s oldest bridge? You might be tempted to think it’s Charles Bridge in Prague – but you would be wrong. The oldest surviving bridge in what is now Czechia is actually located in the South Bohemian town of Písek, as Jaroslav Jiřík from the Prácheň Museum in Písek proudly tells me.

“We have here the oldest stone bridge in the Czech Republic. It’s older than Charles Bridge in Prague. It was founded in the 13th century and Charles Bridge was built by Emperor Charles IV, so only in the middle or late 14th century.”

The Písek Stone Bridge, one of the oldest preserved bridges in Europe, was the site of some colourful local traditions, says Jan Kouba, also from the Prácheň Museum.

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Authors: Anna Fodor, Zdeňka Kuchyňová