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Kolin

Kolín is a town in central part of Bohemia (Central Bohemian Region) situated on the river Elba about 55 km east from Prague. It covers the area of 35 square km and has population of about 31,000 inhabitants.

The town was first mentioned in 1261. It was founded by the king Přemysl Otakar II and named Colonia nova (which means New Colony). In 1437 Kolín castle was founded. On June 18, 1757 the Battle of Kolín, one of the cruelest combats of the Seven Years' War, took place there. A Prussian army consisting of about 32,000 soldiers fought an outnumbering Austrian army of 44,000 warriors and lost the battle.

Historical part of Kolín is mostly built in gothic and baroque styles. For instance, the rectory Church of St. Bartholomew constructed by Petr Parléř between 1360 and 1378 is a fine example of Late Gothic architecture. Town market (Karls Square) and a unique baroque synagogue in the former Jewish ghetto situated on the western suburb are also notable architectonic masterpieces of this town.

Today Kolín is an industrial town. A new automotive plant belonging to TPCA (Toyota Peugeot Citroen Automobile) consortium has been recently built there. It has production capacity of 300,000 vehicles per year.

Kolín is also famous for Kmochův Kolín, the largest festival of brass music staged in the Czech Republic in the beginning of June. Brass bands – both Czech and foreign (from Germany, Slovenia, Slovakia, Italy, Hungary and other countries) present their shows during the main three-day festival programme.

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