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ESN Pilsen
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The city of Pilsen
Pilsen is the fourth biggest city in the Czech Republic. Its metropolitan area covers 125 square kilometres and its population is 165, 000 inhabitants.

The city is situated in western Bohemia, approximately 90 km west of Prague. Pilsen is located on the confluence of four rivers - Uhlava, Uslava, Radbuza and Mze.

It is an important industrial, commercial, cultural, and administrative center. The city is known worldwide for Pilsner beer. In the 19th century the engineering complex Skoda and the Pilsen Brewery were established and so industrialisation took off. Nowadays, the modern industrial zone in Borska Fields represents an extraordinary project in the Czech industrial sphere.

The University of West Bohemia was founded in the city in 1991. The array of secondary schools, grammar schools, and art schools is impressive. There are also located several international institutions: Alliance Francaise, the British Library and the Austrian Library. The spiritual tradition of the city was strengthened when the Bishopric was opened in 1993. Performances in the J. K. Tyl Theatre belong among the most valuable traditions of the Pilsen culture.

Pilsen is a center of international cultural events and festivals that include the Smetana Days, the Theatre Festival, International Drawing Biennial, Skupa’s Plzen, and the International Big-Band Festival. The Pilsen Cultural Summer offers various open-air-stage concerts in the city center.

Pilsen was selected by an official jury to be put forward to join the Belgian city of Mons as the European capital of culture in 2015.

The rich architectural treasures here include:
Gothic St. Bartholomewʼs Cathedral
The building is located on the main square. The construction started in 1295 and was finished by the beginning of 16th century. The building is 58m long, 30m wide and the spires are 25m high. The tall spire is 102.6m high, being the highest in the Czech Republic. The building is a state-protected cultural monument and is open to the public.
Renaissance City Hall
Pilsen Town Hall is a jewel of Renaissance architecture. It was designed by Italian architect Giovanni de Statia and built in 1558. The building is decorated with sgrafitto depicting the heads of the Bohemian estates and Pilsenʼs coat of arms.
Franciscan Monastery
The Franciscan church and monastery are among the cityʼs oldest buildings and, for all the calamities of the Hussite era and Thirty Years War, have, in essence, preserved their original early Gothic form.
Great Synagogue of Pilsen
The Great Synagogue is the third largest in the world. It is one of Pilsenʼs most notable architectural landmarks. The synagogue was built in the late 1800ʼs. The reforms of new Emperor Franz Josef in the 1870ʼs gave the Jewish communities the security and confidence necessary for such grand community building projects.

Sources:
  • http://www.pilsen.eu/citizen/about-the-city/information-about-the-city/brief-introduction/
  • http://www.inyourpocket.com/czech-republic/Plzen/What-to-see/Activities-and-Sights/Renaissance-Town-Hall_112548v
  • http://web.zcu.cz/plzen/landm/francis-chr.html
  • http://www.outsideprague.com/plzen/plzen_synagogue.html