The first written evidence of Kladno dates back from the eve of the 14th
century. A small village was owned by the family Kladensti of Kladno that time. After the last living male descendant of the family died out in 1543, the lords Zdarsti of Zdar took over the possession of Kladno. Under their rule the village was promoted a townlet, which gave Kladno a priviledge to use its own coat of arms - a blue escutcheon bearing both the half of a silver eagle and the lynx in natural colour.
In 1701, Anna Marie Frantiska, the Duchess of Toscana
, purchased Kladno estate from the heiresses of Zdarsti of Zdar. However, already in 1705, she sold it to the religious order of the Benedictines of Brevnov Monastery, in possession of whose the estate remained until 1848. The most significant baroque monuments of Kladno date from that period as well.
The rise and growth of coal mining and iron industry around 1850 led to a dramatic transformation of Kladno and its vicinity from an agricultural townlet to an important industrial region of Bohemia. Since the beginning of the 1850's, an unprecendented boom of the town was started, accompanied by an influx of labour force, which multipled its population in a short period of time.
A sharp growth of the townlet and its economic potential contributed to the change of its status; Kladno was promoted a town in 1870. At the end of the 19th
century, in 1898, the town was awarded a honorary title of royal mining town and, in 1914, at the outset of World War I., the Emperor Franz Joseph I. complemented its coat of arms with symbols of mining - crossed silver hammers wreathed by a golden ribbon.
In the early 1890s, under the management of the Mayor Jaroslav Hruska, M.D., Kladno gradually began to acquire a character of a modern town, mainly by the construction of its infrastructure and a number of imposing public buildings.
During the memorable autumn days of 1918, huge citizens' demonstrations took place to support the birth of the so much long-wished Republic. On the basis of the Czechoslovak Declaration of Independence, reported from Prague, a National Committee headed by its chairman Ignac Hajn, M.D., was established in Kladno on October 28th
, 1918.This historical event accomplished the aversion to wars, misery
and lack of food of Kladno inhabitants as well as the Czech nation desire for its national identity and self-determination, which was manifested by strikes, demonstrations and protests throughout all the year.
The period of prosperity and wealth of the town continued until the Nazi occupation in March 1939
. However, the foregoing period gave Kladno its specific and better image that attracts its inhabitants and visitors till the present times.
Kladno was also badly affected by the Nazi era; particularly by removing and inprisoning all the members of municipal authorities, which led to the later death of the then Mayor Frantisek Pavel. Kladno Gestapo played an important role in plundering Lidice
, its complete demolition, murdering its men and haling Lidice women and their children off to concentration camps or for re-education. The chapel of Kladno grammar school was the last place of stay for Lidice women and children prior to their transportation to the Nazi Empire.
A part of Kladno population was involved in several resistance movement groups of different political range; moreover, a lot of Kladno citizens fought bravely for the liberation of Czechoslovakia in allied forces in abroad.
During the war and post-war periods Kladno territory extended gradually. In 1941, Kladno and the neighbouring communities Krocehlavy, Rozdelov, Dubi, Drin and Ujezd merged in one municipality. Also Vrapice joined Kladno in 1950, followed by Svermov in 1980.
Unfortunately, the post-war history of Kladno also resembles some illegitimacies of the communist regime. The town development followed preferably extensive directions: An influx of labour force without any possitive relation to the town resulted in the mass construction of uniform, monstrous and dispossessed housing estates together with a freakish tendency to demolish the original housing of the city downtown. On August 21st
1968, Kladno was occupied for the second time during the past thirty years; this time by Soviet imperialism forces - the Red Army. However, some important and needed facilities for sporting, cultural and leisure activities and life of its inhabitants were built during 1960s and 1970s. On the other hand, the sphere of infrastructure and environment was omitted dramatically.