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About the Foundation of New Pilsen

The burghers of Old Plzen were trying to find out how to enlarge their town, now called Plzenec.

When Schiebl was collecting legends about the foundation of New Pilsen, he found a rare manuscript by Kaspar Ladislav Stehlik /1571-1611/ in the archives of the National Museum in Prague. The manuscript contained a written entry based on the narration of a Pilsen burgher Jakub Stehlik, born in 1480. He used to hear about the foundation of New Pilsen from his father Bartholomew and from his grandmother Marketa. Before the old man died in the age of 105 in 1585, Kaspar Ladislav Stehlik recorded his narration in the following words:

The burghers of Old Plzen were trying to find out how to enlarge their town, now called Plzenec. It was not easy because the place is situated among hills and numerous other protrusions. There was therefore no solution for making the town bigger and the burghers stopped their attempts.

Later on, two wanderers were imprisoned in the town, be it for whatever reason. The men asked for an audience with the town elders. They told them they knew a place which would be convenient for establishing a new town. The Old Pilseners agreed and let the two men tied in chains lead them to the place. The journey took the travelers to a small church of St. Barbara. Not too far from there, there was a pub by a road (nowadays the house in Zbrojnicka 115).

When the company reached the place, the two prisoners talked up to the Pilseners. They told them to found a town there. They also foretold its great fame and reputation. Many nations would know the town and the Lord would always protect the good mores of its citizens, they promised. At these words, the prisoners disappeared leaving no trace, not even the chains.

People of the area spread the news and started building the town in only few days.

The place was covered with woods, bushes and alders, here and there, rocks showed on the ground surface.

They called the town New Pilsen and Old Pilsen became called Plzenec. It is also said that the name is due to a great population of slugs on the place where the new town was established. The slugs were also numerous in Old Plzen and at the court of Radous. (slug = plz in Czech).

The Golden Book of Pilsen Legends by Vladimir Havlic was published by the publishing house Vesely in 1995. The book was written at the base of Schiebl’s collection Pilsen in Tale, Legend, Tradition, and Wit. The book by Vladimir Havlic was published with the financial support of Ceska sporitelna, a.s., Pilsen dept., at the occasion of the celebrations of the 700th anniversary of foundation of Pilsen.