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The oldest written proofThe oldest written proof about the existence of Pribram originates in 1216 when the archbishop of Prague Ondrej III had bought it. In the reigning period of the Czech King and Emperor of the Holy Roman Empire Charles IV the archbishop Arnost of Pardubice had in the original wooden stronghold site a stone small castle constructed, today's heart of Pribram's chateau (Zamecek). It is there where recently a ceremonial hall and an art gallery are to be found. Here there was a seat of educational mining equipment, then the Mining Academy and finally the College of Mining Engineering during 1849 - 1945. Not very far is situated the original Gothic church of Saint-James belongs to the most Coat of arms of the town Pribram of 1580ancient buildings with its foundations from the half 13th century which after many rebuildings is the dominating subject in T.G.Masaryk's Square.
Pribram entered the general awareness through its famous mining past. Mining activities have been existing here according to the archeological discoveries since 10th century. The oldest written source about the local metallurgical plant and mines is from 1311. Apart from the traditional silver mining also iron ore was extracted and treated in the region of Pribram during 10th – 19th centuries, in some periods it represented even nearly a half of the whole country capacity. Silver mining made up the first boom from the 30's till the 50's of 16th century. The economic development was noticed the by Emperor Rudolf II and he reacted by promoting Pribram in 1579 to a free royal mining town. Brezove Hory, once miners' settlement, remembered in written sources about 1526, got this title in 1897. In 1953 there was established the integration of Brezove Hory with Pribram. The biggest development of silver mining activities came in 19th century. In 1875 in the pit of Adalbert there was reached the world primacy of vertical dept of 1000 m with one cable.

 Pribram as seen by Mikolas Ales, a czech national painter

Silver, lead and other precious metals in the region of Pribram represented in the 80's and the 90's of 19th century 97.7 % of the total Austro-Hungarian production. But the activity in local mines brought also a tragic primacy. In 1892 it came to the worst mine disaster of that time in the world, which claimed 319 human lives. Silver mining extraction went on with different successes even during 20th century. The successor company "Rudne doly Pribram" (Metal mines of Pribram) closed the local ore field for reasons in 1979.

Sgraffito decoration of a Pribram municipal house of 1903

Mine catastrophe of 1892The most important industrial company in the history of the town and region was "Uranove doly Pribram" (Uranium mines of Pribram). The extraction of an extremely uranium ore field brought to Pribram since 1948 the rapid development, which impressed in a positive and negative sense the town as well the region. The uranium mines ended their mining activities for economic purpose in 1991. The former glory of Pribram's mining activities is remembered by the District Museum – Mining open-air museum in Brezove Hory.
Pribram can be proud of a certain number of other monuments, of rich cultural and sporting activities, association activities etc., which create a characteristic face of this important town in the heart of Bohemia.

------------- 31-I-1999 ------ Stanislav Pecha (c) mlha@post.cz ------------