Aerial view of the historic centre
City of cars
|o Mayor||Raduan Nwelati (ODS)|
|o Total||28.90 km2 (11.16 sq mi)|
|Elevation||235 m (771 ft)|
|o Density||1,500/km2 (4,000/sq mi)|
|Time zone||UTC+1 (CET)|
|o Summer (DST)||UTC+2 (CEST)|
Mladá Boleslav (Czech pronunciation: ['mlada: 'bol?slaf]; German: Jungbunzlau; both meaning "New (or literally Young) Boleslav") is a statutory city in the Central Bohemian Region of the Czech Republic. It has about 44,000 inhabitants. It lies on the left bank of the Jizera River about 50 kilometres (31 miles) northeast of Prague.
Mladá Boleslav is the second most populated city in the region and a major centre of the Czech automotive industry (?koda Auto) and therefore the Czech industry as a whole. The city name abbreviation MB became eponymous for colloquial naming of ?koda cars (especially in the communist era) as "embé(?ko)".
Mladá Boleslav is made up of city parts and villages of Mladá Boleslav I (locally called Staré M?sto, i.e. Old Town), Mladá Boleslav II (locally called Nové M?sto, i.e. New Town), Mladá Boleslav III (locally called Podolec), Mladá Boleslav IV (locally called Pták), Bezdín, ?ejetice, ?ejeti?ky, Chrást, Deb?, Jemníky, Michalovice, Podchlumí and Podlázky.
Mladá Boleslav was named after its founder, the duke Boleslaus II, who was called "The Young One" to distinguish him from his father. Because there already was a town known as Boleslav near Prague, this new town was called "M?sto Boleslava Mladého" (The Town of Boleslav the Young), later abbreviated to "Mladá Boleslav" (Young Boleslav) to distinguish it from the older town of Boleslav, which became known in the 15th century as Stará Boleslav (Old Boleslav).
In the second half of the 10th century a gord was founded by King Boleslaus II on a promontory, in the area of today's historic centre. The first verified written mention of the gord is from 1130, when it was also called "New Boleslav" for the first time. Probably in the 11th century a settlement was founded under the promontory, on an important site on the road from Prague to northern Bohemia, Lusatia, and Brandenburg.
A new stone royal castle was built on top of a promontory next to the gord in the half of the 13th century and the gord was abandoned. In 1548 and after a fire in 1555 renaissance reconstructions was made. In 1600 Mladá Boleslav was promoted to a royal town by Rudolf II, Holy Roman Emperor.
In the 16th century the city was a leading centre of the Moravian Church, hosting the Brethren's bishop, a Renaissance church, and a printing house. In 1518, the very first map of Bohemia was printed by Mikulá? Klaudyán in Mladá Boleslav. After the Thirty Years' War in the 17th century, the city's population declined by 40% and the castle was in ruins.
In the beginning of the 18th century the former castle was rebuilt into barracks. During the World War II it was an internment centre of Jews. Since 1972 the castle serves as the Regional Museum and as the seat of the district archive.
In the 19th century new prosperity came: the city became an important regional centre as new schools, theatres, museums and factories (including the automobile factory Laurin & Klement, today ?koda Auto) were founded. Since the 1990s the factory has made it one of the richest and most prosperous Czech cities.
The first written mention of the presence of Jewish community in Mladá Boleslav is from 1471. In 1634, Jacob Bassevi von Treuenberg, the first ennobled Jew in the Habsburg monarchy, was buried in the Jewish cemetery in Mladá Boleslav.
In the 17th and 18th centuries, Mladá Boleslav (called Bumsla by Jews) was an important Jewish centre. In the 19th century (in fact, the period of decline of the Jewish community), Mladá Boleslav was dubbed "Jerusalem on Jizera".
The synagogue was demolished in 1962.
The population rapidly increased between 1960 and 1980 because of the rapid growth of production in the ?koda Auto factory and the construction of housing estates for its employees.
Mladá Boleslav became an industrial centre already in the 19th century. The main factor of its success was its location next to the Jizera River, which was a water source for newly founded factories. The most significant was the textile industry - its largest representative, the ?esana factory, had more than 2,000 employees in the end of the 19th century. Another industry in the Jizera valley included mills, breweries, distillery, soaps and perfumes factory, and production of artificial fertilizers. Most of the factories was gradually shut down during the 20th century, mainly due to World War II and politics of the socialist republic.
In 1895 the predecessor of ?koda Auto, the Laurin & Klement company, was founded, and the automotive industry became the main pillar of the city's economy. In 1925 Laurin & Klement was acquired by ?koda works. During the 20th century many car parts manufacturers were established in the city, including the producer of accumulators for motor vehicles, AKUMA (founded in 1903), now a part of FIAMM company.
Since its inception, ?koda Auto is the most important and most influential industrial company in the Czech Republic. As of 2017, the company had 32 thousand of employees worldwide, out of which 23 thousand worked in Mladá Boleslav.
The historic city centre is well preserved and is protected by law as urban monument zone.
The local football team FK Mladá Boleslav has played in the Czech First League since 2004. They were runners-up in 2005-06, have been Czech Cup winners twice (2011 and 2016) and have qualified for the European cups for multiple times.
The city also has one of the Czech Republic's top floorball teams, national champions in the 2017-18 season.