Town of Rakovník

The royal town Rakovník was founded on an important trade route. For a long time, it was dependent on the status of the nearby royal castle Křivoklát. It attained its present form with a large historic town square around the year 1300. Rakovník is also the site of the first Czech realschule, a type of secondary school focused on practical subjects.

For a long time, the history of Rakovník was closely intertwined with events at the Křivoklát Castle – the town of Rakovník was directly owned by the king, and so it was heavily dependent on this royal residence for its governance. In 1588, it was finally granted the status of a free royal town, and thereby a degree of autonomy, by the emperor Rudolf II. One important milestone in the history of the town was the founding of the first Czech realschule in 1833; another was the founding of Otto’s soap-works in 1875. Its most important landmarks include Hus Square, one of the largest historic town squares in the Czech Republic, and the Church of Saint Bartholomew. The town's costliest and most ambitious building project was the construction of defensive stone walls, started in 1516, with two gates – the Prague Gate and the Tall Gate. The Museum of T. G. M. is a popular destination, featuring exhibitions that cover the entire history of the town and the region in general, from prehistory all the way to modern times.

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