Jičín / 1866 Austro Prussian war battlefield
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If we were to briefly outline the causes of the turmoil experienced in the second half of the 19th century, then we would need to go back to the year 1815.

    WE RECOMMEND:
  • THE EDUCATIONAL TRAIL COMMEMORATING THE BATTLE OF JIČÍN OF 1866
  • MEMORIAL TO THE FALLEN AUSTRIAN AND SAXON SOLDIERS
  • THE CHAPEL OF ST. PETER (OSSUARY)
  • PRACHOV ROCKS
  • ŽELEZNICE

At that time, the Congress of Vienna established the German Confederation - a loose association of 35 states and four free cities. The confederation was the successor to the defunct Holy Roman Empire. Although Austria maintained presidency over the confederation, Prussia's first efforts to achieve the unification of Germany without Austria began to emerge in the mid-19th century.

Following the appointment of new prime minister Otto von Bismarck in 1862, Prussia began to push their demands regarding Austria more and more. A short war between the German Confederation and Denmark in 1864, in which the future allegiance of Schleswig and Holstein was decided, represented the last straw for Austria and she moved onto a war footing. When, on 7.6.1866, the Prussian army set foot on Holstein soil, Austrian convened the Bundestag and declared mobilisation against Prussia, which promptly withdrew from the German Confederation. On 16.6 the Prussian army entered Hannover, Saxony and Hessen and a day later Austria declared war on Prussia.

Jičín was to play an important role in the Prussian plan. The Prussian army was to enter Bohemia from 3 directions and then regroup at Jičín to face Austria's Northern army, which was approaching from Olomouc. In the face of Prussian pressure, many Austrian battalions which had become separated form the main battle force retreated to Hradec Králové. On 29th June 1866, just north of Jičín in the areas between Železnice and Kněžnice and across Prachov Rocks to Ostružno a divison of the Prussian army clashed with the 1st Austrian Army Corps and the Saxon Army Corps. The Battle of Jičín was one of the bloodiest battles of the 1866 war. Almost 5000 men fell on the Austrian side, while approximately 1500 fell on the Prussian side. Following defeat at Jičín, the Austrian and Saxon forces retreated to Hradec Králové, where they were defeated once more by the Prussians on 3rd July.

The war was ended when a peace treaty was signed in Prague on 23rd August 1866.

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