The town is located on the Litavka river and the foothills of the Brdy Range, 60 km (37 mi) south-west of Prague; the country’s capital. The town is well known for its mining history and more recently its new venture into economic restructuring.
The town is the third largest in the Central Bohemian Region and is a natural administrative and cultural center of the south-western part of the region, although it also tends to be largely influenced by the economy and lifestyle of Prague.
Příbram’s economy was determined by the mining industry and supplying companies for hundreds of years.
After 1989, the economy restructured because of the closure of mines and privatization. The nationwide important branch office of state enterprise Diamo is the successor of the Uranium Mines, the office is named the Administration of Uranium Deposits (Czech: Správa uranových ložisek). Several of the supplying companies continue their activities under new owners. The list of the Příbram’s biggest companies follows:
- ZAT, a. s. – production of control systems for power engineering and industry;
- ZRUP, a. s. – prefab buildings production;
- DISA Industries, s.r.o. – production of shot blasting equipment;
- Kovohutě Příbram nástupnická, a. s. – recycling and production of lead and precious metals;
- Halex-Schauenberg – steel buildings and steel construction;
- Vibros, s.r.o. – production of surface vibrators and vibrating machines;
- Průzkum Příbram, s.r.o. – mining and geological works;
- Ravak int. – the biggest producer of baths and shower-baths in middle and eastern Europe;
- Yoko, s.r.o. – plush toys;
- Stella Ateliers, s.r.o. – production of bed linen.
Several food industry companies or affiliates have also larger than regional importance (baking industry, beverages, meat-packing). Many services or trading companies have their seat in Příbram.
Landmarks and places of interest
- Svatá Hora – Baroque church and monastery at a pilgrimage site, connected to the town with unique roofed stairs;
- Tomás Garrigue Masaryk Square:
- The St. Jacob church (founded 1298, baroque aisle, 19th century Neo-Gothic tower),
- Former court building (decorated with sgraffiti from Mikoláš Aleš mining drawings),
- Town library and other historic buildings;
- Town Hall – Neo-Renaissance building from 1890, architect Václav Ignác Ulmann;
- Zámeček-Ernestinum – castle founded in the 14th century, later archbishop residence, now culture centre, original gothic bay
- Memorial of victims of World War I, statue of archbishop Arnošt of Pardubice (sculptor Ivar Kodym);
- Pražská street – precinct with shops and restaurants, on the top end, the St. Wenceslas square (Czech: Václavské náměstí) is located with a statue “St. Wenceslas” (in Czech sv. Vaclav)] of the granit-diorit (1998, sculptor prof. Stanislav Hanzik);
- Jiráskovy sady (English: Jirásek Parks) – the park in the center of the old town, surrounded by historical buildings:
- The convent (ecclesiastical school), former mining academy rectorate or Příbram district office, architect V. I. Ulmann,
- Statue memorial to Alois Jirásek literature work (sculptor Václav Šára), bust of general Richard Tesařík;
- Příbram cemetery – graves of many Příbram natives, memorial of 1892 St. Mary mine disaster victims (the duplicate one is located in the Zdaboř cemetery), memorial of the Red Army World War II victims;
- Antonín Dvořák bust on the Dvořák Front (Czech: Dvořákovo nábřeží).
Landmarks in the new town, built after 1945:
- House of Culture – built in 1959, architect V. Hilský, house of Příbram theatre,
- Near is a statue of Antonín Dvořák (sculptor Josef Wagner);
- Statue of a Miner (sculptor L. Lošák) at the Příbram gymnasium
Landmarks in Březové Hory:
- Five historical mines and other buildings of the Mining Museum Příbram;
- St. Adalbert church – Neo-Renaissance, built in 1889;
- St. Prokop church – found on a place of old wooden campanile in the 18th century;
- Church of Master Jakoubek of Stříbro Charge – built in 1936.
Due to the notable levels of education and cultural interactions in the town, Příbram was nicknamed Brdy Athens (Czech: Podbrdské Athény) at the end of the 19th century. The town’s culture was then largely influenced by the mining industry, which went on until the late 20th century.
Mining life was described by poets and writers Fráňa Kučera, Quido Maria Vyskočil and František Gellner, who lived or studied in Příbram.
Many books by Příbram’s most famous writer, Jan Drda, were inspired by Příbram and he used the names of the town’s neighbouring villages in his tales.
The town library was opened in 1900. The theatre in Příbram has a long history thanks to a long tradition of theatricals. The Příbram theatre is a permanent scene with a professional ensemble, its repertory is enriched by regular on-tour performances by Prague’s and other cities ensembles.
Musical life of Příbram is connected to the name of Antonín Dvořák, who had his summerhouse in near Vysoká u Příbramě and visited Příbram often.
The most important form of the town’s musical activities was the choir singing. The most important choir leaders were Antonín Vepřek and his son, Vladimír. In 1939, Antonín Vepřek founded Příbram Children Choir, which is one of the oldest children choruses in the Czech Republic.
The Příbram museum was founded in 1886 and after several changes of form it is now run by the Central-Bohemian Region and named Mining Museum Příbram. It is the biggest museum of its kind in the Czech Republic, it contains the objects of historical mine with old headstock, miner’s house, drift with a mining train, exhibition of mining history, geological collection and others.
High schools offer in Příbram includes two gymnasiums, technical school, business academy, medical school and training college.
Gymnasium Příbram was founded 1871 and serves as a general educational propaedeutics institutions for applicants for university studies. The Pod Svatou Horou gymnasium was founded in the 1990s. The technical school was derived from the preliminary courses of the Mining University, so called Mining School, founded already in 1851. In 2006 the school had 564 students.
Seven elementary schools are in Příbram, six of them with traditional educational program. The remaining one, found in 1991, stands on the Waldorf education program and it has also opened its own high school.
The town has 13 kindergartens and runs also two musical and art schools.