12. - 19. 2. 2011

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City of Liberec

Liberec has the population of 100,000; it lies in the northern part of the Czech Republic, in a valley between the Jizerské Mountains and Ještěd Ridge. This mountain range was named after the city's unmistakable dominant feature – the 1,012 meters high Ještěd Mountain, the top of which is crowned with an architectural jewel: a hotel in the shape of a rotary hyperboloid.

The city lies 374 meters above the sea, on the rivers: Lužická Nisa, Černá Nisa and Harcovský potok, on which a dam: Harcovská přehrada is to be found.
The first known reports of settlements in this city date from 1352. Yet, probably as early as the end of the 13th century, on a trade route from Čech to Lužice, a settlement started to grow at the crossing over Harcovský Creek. Here, the tradesmen could rest after a demanding pass across the mountain range. The year 1577 represents an important historical date for Liberec; that year, the emperor Rudolf II promoted it to a town.
Velvet Impulse for Development
From the beginning of the 20th century, the town’s strategic position, together with highly developed glass and textile industries, were crucial for its prosperity. This was the period during which: the tram transport was built; the oldest ZOO in the Czech and Moravian area was founded, which now takes pride in its unique breeding of white tigers; and the Botanic Gardens and the Liberec University of Engineering were founded.
After the Velvet Revolution, which took place in the former Czechoslovakia in November 1989, the city experienced a remarkable development. New industrial zones were built, offering many investment opportunities, and the entire economic structure of the city was changed. Textile plants were replaced with new companies focused on glass, clothing, machine, automobile, electro-technical, and chemical industries.
The city’s historical core was restored, including the neo-Gothic town hall and Dr. Edvard Beneš town square. Other institutions of above-regional character are chiefly represented by the North Bohemian Museum; Region Gallery; National Science Library, the Theatre of F. X. Šalda; or the multi-functional Tipsport Arena.
Burian, Šalda, and Porsche
The most famous natives of Liberec include such people as: Vlasta Burian, the Czech King of Comedy; Ferdinand Porsche, an automobile designer; František Xaver Šalda, a literary critic and journalist; and composers: Kamillo Horn, Johannes Christoph Demantius, and Karel Vacek.

Today, Liberec is a modern agricultural and cultural centre of the entire region. If you take the highway, you will drive for less than an hour to get to Prague (the capital); the German and Polish borders are both within 30 minutes of Liberec.



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