Písek through history
The castle and town of Písek on the banks of the Otava River was established by Bohemian kings in the middle 13th century. The first written mention of the town is from 1243. The name of the town (písek = sand) comes from the river sand which used to contain gold. It's due to this gold-mining activity, as well as the energetic trading and manufacturing, that the town quickly grew and enjoyed the favour of the rulers Přemysl Otakar II, Karel IV, and Václav IV, all of whom were frequent guests to the town. The town became the center of the vast Prácheň Region in the 14th century.
In the first half of the 15th century the town held an important location for the Hussites. The period following the Hussite Wars was generally prosperous for the town, but the beginning of the Thirty Years' War was catastrophic for Písek. The town was captured three times, the last being 30 September 1620 when Empirical forces destroyed it completely, and a large part of the population died.
Renewal came slowly and was hindered by many fires, epidemics, and passing armies, like in the years 1741-1742. The town completely changed its appearance from the 19th century – emerging from the town walls, entire streets of rented houses grew in the outskirts, the Czech language became dominant again in the town hall, and cultural institutions and clubs emerged.
Nowadays Písek is known as a town of schools and students as well as retirees. It is also known as a mecca for violinists. As a town in the midst of a forest, it is becoming a sought-after summer resort and favourite destination for visitors.