Czech RepublicsipkaRegion by regionsipkaWestern Bohemia (Karlovy Vary)sipkaSokolov district

The first written record of Sokolov is from 13.4.1279 when it was in the possession of the Nothafts. At the end of the 14th century, it became the royal chamberlain's property and the town rights were renewed as the original ones (from around 1313) had been destroyed in a fire.
For financial assistance to the Emperor and the Czech King Sigismund during the Hussite Wars, Sokolov was leased to the Sliks, who then in the mid-16th century acquired it as part of their hereditary holdings and had a stone castle built on the location of an older stronghold (1480). The last owner of the Sokolov estate from the Slik family was Jan Albin Slik, who was one of the leading representatives of the Estates opposition. After they lost the Battle of the White Mountain, he fled the country and his property was confiscated. In 1622, the Nostices bought the estate. Sokolov was badly disrupted by military events with pillaging by soldiers and a great fire in 1648. The fire also damaged the castle, which was subsequently reconstructed as a mansion. After the end of the war and the improvement in the economic situation, the Nostices had the Church of St. James the Great and a Capuchin monastery rebuilt. After the abolition of seigneurial administration in 1848, Sokolov became the political and judicial centre of the region. The town suffered two great fires during the 19th century (in 1873 and 1874) when a large proportion of the historical buildings on the square and in the vicinity of the monastery were destroyed. These fires resulted in a frenzy of construction work at the turn of the century, when a large new school was built (1894) as was a Jewish synagogue (1897) - destroyed in November 1938 - an evangelical church (1904) and a district hospital (1911) and other buildings. During the Second World War there was a military hospital in the town for Soviet prisoners of war. Sokolov was also bombed twice, first in October 1940 when it was not too seriously hit and then during the second raid of 17.4.1945, a large number of houses in the neighbourhood of the station were destroyed and there were also casualties.
After the Second World War the town changed its appearance, the old constructions that were often damaged by the events of the war were replaced by prefabricated blocks. In 1948, Falknov was renamed Sokolov. In addition to the municipalities detailed below, the territory of the now defunct municipalities of Davidov, Lesik, Novina, Ovcarna, Podlesi and Tyn now come under the administration of the town.
Economy - up to the 19th century, the municipality had a predominantly agricultural character and in the area surrounding Sokolov there were also hop gardens. This was changed by brown-coal mining which began to develop from the end of the 18th century. The start of this mining is often associated with the name of Johann David Starck. The new railway line to Sokolov in 1870 was also of importance for the development of industry and brown-coal mining. Nowadays the extraction, processing and trade of coal is dealt with by Sokolovska uhelna a.s. (Sokolov Coal Company).
At the end of the 19th century and the beginning of the 20th century, Sokolov also had a glassworks, electricity generating station and textile works and during the First World War chemical works were built for the production of lime-nitrogen and carbide for the armaments industry. Historical sights - the town hall from the mid-16th century in the Saxon Renaissance style; the castle built in 1480 on the location of an older stronghold and rebuilt in the mid-17th century (nowadays the seat of the Sokolov District Museum and Library); the Church of St. James the Great 1671 - 1681, which is a Baroque reconstruction of an older parish church; a Capuchin monastery with the Church of St. Antonin of Padua 1663-1667; the Chapel of the Blessed Trinity from 1719; on the square there is a Marian column from 1701; a public fountain with falconer - erected on the square in 1717 but evidently older, and in autumn 1998 a "Jubilee" public fountain from 1898, the Schrammova, which had been relocated and then dismantled after the Second World War, was re-erected. Other memorials include the two statues of Jan Nepomucky - one from 1728 standing by the bridge across the River Ohre and the other from 1746 standing by the Church of St. James the Great.

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