Pelhřimov is a town located approximately half-way between Prague and Brno. It is known as “the Gateway to the Highlands“ because of its location in the westernmost tip of the Czech-Moravian Highlands.
The earliest settlement, in the first half of the 13th century, was most probably near St Vitus church and in Hrnčiřská street. In 1289 it was raided by Vítek of Hluboká. In 1290 king Wenceslas II granted bishop Tobias of Bechyně a privilege to renew the town and to fortify it with ramparts. Everything seems to indicate that the town was the result of colonization, chiefly by German colonists.
Pelhřimov has been the birthplace of many notable personalities, such as the painter and engraver Vojtěch Benedikt Juhn, the sculptor and medallist Josef Šejnost, the historian Josef Dobiáš and Dean František Bernard Vaněk. The town also has had many enthusiasts working for the protection of historical monuments. The Museum association was set up in 1901 and ten years later a local branch of the Club for old Prague. Thanks to their activities Pelhřimov has preserved its exceptional appearance, despite the loss of some outstanding landmarks, such as the butcher’s hall, the synagogue in Rúžová Street, or a Baroque granary.