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Děčín Cruises

About Děčín

Located at the confluence of the Elbe and Ploučnice Rivers, Děčín (pronounced “Tet-chen”) enjoys a pastoral and picturesque setting amid green hills. The German heritage of this border town dates to the 13th century, when King Ottokar II of Bohemia invited neighbors from the north to settle here. The town was destroyed and rebuilt many times over the centuries by those who coveted its strategic riverside locale at a major frontier. Its geography contributed to its commercial success when the Elbe Valley railway was completed in 1851, allowing metals, textiles and soaps to be exported and more goods to be imported. After World War II, the German population was expelled by order of the 1945 Potsdam Agreement. Today, Děčín embraces its rich heritage in many of its architectural treasures. The town’s namesake castle, grandly overlooking the Elbe River, was once home to Bohemian kings. Its elegant Renaissance and baroque beauty was inspiration for some of the music of Polish composer Frédéric Chopin. The buttercream- and azure-colored synagogue, built in 1906, is the only religious structure of its kind in the former Sudetenland to have survived World War II. The town is also home to two fascinating bridges rich in history and lore. The Renaissance bridge, completed in 1574, spans the Ploučnice River; its crenellated walls and arched design stand as a remarkable testament to its time. Less grand but equally interesting is the “Sheep Bridge” over the Jílovský Brook. This high-arched span, built in 1561, was constructed by a farmer who wanted to give his sheep more pasture in which to graze. The bridge’s steep incline prevented other farmers from crossing with their carriages.