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Battle of 1866

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In 1866, a war broke out between Austria and Prussia, the result of which decided the development of European politics for many decades to follow. Saxony joined Austria and sent its army into Bohemia, alongside with the North Austrian Army.

The decision was made in Bohemia, on July 3rd, with the battle by Hradec Králové, where Austria suffered a crushing defeat. This battle, measured by the number of soldiers involved, was the largest in Europe in the 19th century. Engagements in east Bohemia followed. For the Prussian party, it was of further strategic importance to assert border crossings in north Bohemia, and the line created by the Jizera River. For this reason, majority of Prussian armed forces were gathered in north Bohemia. On 22nd June, 1866, the Elbe Army crossed the borders by Lobendava; the First Army entered Bohemia on 23rd June, by Hrádek nad Nisou – Frýdlant in Bohemia. Both armies joined on 28th June 1866, at battle of Mnichovo Hradiště, where they faced the First Austrian corps retreating to Jičín.

Nowadays, educational trails are being created in the battle fields of the 1866 Austro-Prussian War. These are chiefly aimed at introducing both visitors and local residents with the war history of a given place. The trails have been created in cooperation with the 1866 War Conservation Committee, and respective municipal authorities. So far, there are 13 trails with this topic. In 2008, the 13th educational trail from Mimoň to Boseň by Mnichovo Hradiště was instituted. The trail has 10 information boards, is 34 km long, and is suitable for bicycles. Paths between individual stops are barrier-free. The first information board of the trail is in Mimoň; there are three stops in Kuřívody. The next stop is by Ševčín; followed by two boards in a monastery in Hradiště nad Jizerou. The battle took place in this village on June 28th. One board describes phases of the battle directly connected with Prussian attack and consequent retreat of Austrian forces to Mnichovo Hradiště. The second board depicts Prussian occupation of the village; it points you to several other monuments to be found in the surroundings. A further stop is right in Mnichovo Hradiště. The first information board is opposite the entrance to the chateau premises.  It focuses on the events related to both the Wallenstein Chateau and Countess Maria Waldstein-Wartenberg, who had the known graves of the killed marked with crosses. Here you can also find the description of the final fights in the town, and other information. The second board in Mnichovo Hradiště is located by the stairs leading to St. James’ church. It has information on the Prussian occupation of the town, and about local field hospitals. The final information board is in Boseň. It includes navigation to an already created trail of the battlefield by Jičín. From this trail, it is now possible to follow another trail, all the way to educational trails intersecting the battlefield by Hradec Králové. Publicity materials have been published for this trail – a brochure, an expanding brochure, and a postcard.


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Created 2.12.2013 12:10:17 - updated 28.3.2014 14:17:45 | read 9220x | Jiří Třísko
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