Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
The town was founded in 1420 by the most radical wing of the Hussites, who soon became known as the Taborites. The town is iconic for the years in which it flourished as an egalitarian peasant commune. This spirit is celebrated in Smetana's Song of Freedom, made famous in the English-speaking world by Paul Robeson's recording in Czech and English.
The town is situated on the summit of an isolated hill separated from the surrounding country by the Luznice stream and by an extensive pond, to which the Hussites gave the biblical name of Jordan. The historical importance of the city of Tabor only ceased when it was captured by King George of Podebrady in 1452.
Though a large part of the ancient fortifications has been demolished, Tabor (or Hradiste Hory Tabor, the castle of the Tabor Hill, as it was called in the Hussite period) has still preserved many memorials of its past fame. In the centre of the city is the Zizka Sqare. Only very narrow streets lead to it, to render the approach to it more difficult in time of war. First-time visitors may not even suspect that there is an ingenious labyrinth of tunnels under the houses and streets here. The townspeople dug cellars under their houses and these were subsequently interconnected; a section of the tunnel system is open to the public.
In the centre of the square is the statue of Jan Zizka, the greatest of the Hussite leaders. Here also is the Dean Church of Lord's Conversion on Mount Tabor, built in 1516 in the style of the Bohemian Renaissance, and the town hall, in connection with which a museum has been founded, which contains interesting memorials of the Hussite period, such as farm-carts which doubled as battle waggons. Some parts of the ancient fortifications and the ancient Kotnov tower still exist.
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