|o Mayor||Pavel Houdek|
|o Total||21.29 km2 (8.22 sq mi)|
|Elevation||406 m (1,332 ft)|
|o Density||230/km2 (590/sq mi)|
|Time zone||UTC+1 (CET)|
Bechyn? (['b?x] ; German: Bechin, Beching or Bechingen) is a town in Tábor District in the South Bohemian Region of the Czech Republic. It has about 4,900 inhabitants. The historic town centre is well preserved and is protected by law as an urban monument zone.
Villages of Hvoany and Seno?aty are administrative parts of Bechyn?.
Bechyn? is located about 19 kilometres (12 mi) southwest of Tábor. It lies in the Tábor Uplands. The town lies on a promontory above the confluence of the river Lu?nice river and Smutná brook. Another brook called ?idova strouha also flows into the river in the municipal territory.
The area of today's town was settled already in prehistorical era. The oldest evidence of settlement in this area comes from late Bronze Age (c. 1800-1600 BC). In the 8th or 9th century, a Slavic gord was built here.
The first written mention of Bechyn? is from around 1120 from Chronica Boemorum, when there was written about settlement of the Bechyn? gord in 993. In 1268, Bechyn? was boughts by King Ottokar II of Bohemia, who decided to have a stone castle built here. In 1323, King John of Bohemia promoted the market village around the castle to a town, redefined its borders and have the fortification built.
In 1422 and then again in 1428, the town was conquered and burned down by the Hussites. From 1340 to 1569, the town was alternately owned by various aristocratic families, including Sternbergs and Schwambergs. In 1569, Bechyn? was acquired by Peter Vok of Rosenberg, under whose rule the town experienced a renaissance boom and the reconstruction of the castle. In 1596, Peter Vok sold Bechyn? to Adam of Sternberg.
The economy is oriented to services. There are no major industrial employers.
Ceramic tradition in Bechyn? began in 15th century by small pottery shops. This ceramic tradition has evolved from pottery to a big sanitary ceramic factory of Schweizer Keramik Holding AG Laufen company.
Bechyn? Spa is one of the oldest spas in the country. The first mention of the healing spring is from 1576, and in 1647, the first spa house was built. In 1727, healing effects were proven by water analysis, and in 1939, healing effects of local peat were also discovered.
Today the spa is specialized in body treatment using therapeutic mud. It treats arthritis and osteoarthritis, ankylosing spondylitis, metabolic diseases affecting the joints, pre-operative and postoperative conditions, neurological disorders and many other diseases.
The town is the terminus of the Tábor-Bechyn? railway line. This railway was built in 1903 and was the first electrified railway in the Austria-Hungary. The original passenger train is preserved and operates several times each summer.
On the eastern part of Bechyn? is a unique rail and road arch bridge, the Bechyn? Bridge.
Bechyn? has a rich theatre tradition since 1855. Since 1990s there are five theatre festivals every year.
Bechyn? Castle is the main landmark of the town. The castle was built in the 13th century, although almost none of that original structure remains today. In 1581, Peter Vok of Rosenberg let the late gothic castle rebuilt into a comfortable Renaissance residence with a rich fresco decoration.
Bechyn? Monastery was founded in the 15th century and built in the late Gothic style, after the previous monastery was burned down by Hussites in 1422. It is still the property of the Franciscan Order. The monastery complex include the Church of the Assumption of the Virgin Mary and a monastery garden open to the public.
The Church of Saint Matthew is the landmark of the town square. It was built in the 13th century and rebuilt several times, most notably in the early 17th century. It has preserved interiors from 16th-18th centuries.
The Church of Saint Michael is an early Baroque cemetery church from 1670. Today it serves cultural purposes.
The Firefighter Museum is the oldest museum of its kind in Bohemia. It presents exponates up to 400 years old. The International Museum of Ceramics is located in the former brewery and in the adjacent castle bastions. It follows the history of the industry in Bechyn? and includes exhibitions of artists from around the world. The Tourism Museum is located in the former synagogue and reflect tradition of tourism in the Czech Republic and activities of Czech Tourist Club. In the castle complex there is the Vladimír Preclík Museum with works of this sculptor. In the town centre, there is the Town Museum Bechyn?, which presents history of the town.
In the United States state of Minnesota is a little town called Bechyn, probably established by people from Bechyn? who emigrated to the US to work there. They still say they have Czech origin and celebrate it every year by organizing "Czech Heritage Festival", where they keep old traditions.