The Town History
The Town History
It is by no means easy to create a picture of the most remote history of the place we call Teplice today. Evidences from the period in which the first man emerged in this territory are very few and of course there are no written or similarly direct records. This period of human history is very remote indeed. The oldest evidence of man´s habitation in the territory of present-day Teplice are the flinty blades of hunters and pickers which date back to approx. 40 - 10 thousand years BC and which were found in Hudcov and on the slopes of the Doubravská mountain.
Permanent settlement in the present-day Teplice territory dates back to the 5th millenium BC, i.e. approximately 7000 years ago. This claim is supported by the evidences of settlements located on the Letná hillside as well as on the slopes of the Doubravská mountain and in the streets Pražská and U Soudu.
Another significant period was the Bronze Age (1800 - 800 BC), as evidenced by the findings of skeletal graves with rich fittings in Doubravice vicinity, which belong to the Unětická culture, and traces of a Lusatian culture settlement on the slopes of the Doubravská mountain. This evidence of the first bronze processors (tin and copper alloy) in this remote period is referred to in conjunction with possible mining of tin ore and tin in the area of the nearby Krušné mountains.
In the 4th century BC the first historically known nation - the Celts - settled down in this area. Multiple evidence of their presence was found in the Hálkova street, by the gasworks, by the Doubravice courtyard, in the vicinity of the catholic cemetery and in the streets U soudu, Dubská and Pražská. It is because of the Celts that Teplice are referred to as the oldest spa in Central Europe - when the Primordial Spring declined in 1879, Celtic coins with images of a boar and a horse were found there, which documents the knowledge of the Teplice springs and perhaps even their use for curative purposes in the period before Christ. At the same site Roman coins from the 1st to 4th century were found, documenting - besides the custom to make sacrifices to the gods of water - the knowledge of the place with the hot springs even by people from remote lands, perhaps merchants passing using the old pathway to the mountains and further to the Baltic Sea through the territory of today's Germany.
During the first five centuries after Christ the Celts were forced out of their habitations in Czech lands by the Germanic tribes of Markomans and Kuads. The foothills of the Krušné Mountains were habitated most likely by the Hermundur tribe. Traces of Germanic settlements were found in the cemetery precints, burials were found in the "V Lipách" street, by the theatre and in Trnovany. In the next period - entitled as the Migration of Nations - there are no documents so far of any settlements in the Teplice territory.
Neither have any documents of the original presence of the Slavs who came to Czech lands during the Migration of Nations been found. Traces of their early habitations originate rather in fertile sites along the Bílina river.
In the 9th century there were habitations in the Czech territory that were administered from centres - hillforts, and not based on tribal administration. At that time the Lemusians resided in the Teplice and Duchcov region and their centre of administration was the hillfort in Zabrušany. It is this period from which the first documents of Slavonian settlements directly in the city precints come: in Prosetice, Trnovany, in the "U soudu" street and the burial ground "V Lipách".
The newly built hillfort in Bílina became a strong point of administration of the whole Krušné Mountains foothill region in the second half of the 10th century, in which period the Czech lands were united under the reign of the Premyslid Dynasty. Chlumec became another important point in the whole region - it secured the entrance into Bohemia through the passes in Krušné Mountains where important business paths led.
"Plough land in Trnovany and with it Těšek the beekeeper" - the first settlement in Teplice surroundings and the first inhabitant called by his name in written records. Thus informs us one of the later versions of the memorial inscription from 1057 on the donation of the Litoměřice chapterhouse and the church of St. Stephen by prince Spytihněv II. No written records of other settlements exist, however, their remnants were found in Prosetice, in Pražská street, V Lipách, in Jalovčiny, near Dubská street, in Trnovany, Řetenice and Hudcov. Within the city itself such remnants were found in the "U Soudu" street, in the chateau garden, in the chateau courtyard, in the spa vicinity and in Krupská street.
The name Teplice itself is of Slavonian origin and it denotes a place where warm springs well out. The name in its Latin form "in Teplicz" first appears in the so-called Jarloch's chronicle from the beginning of the 13th century. We can however discover it with utmost certainty in the Latin phrase "ad aquas claidas" ("by the warm waters") which was used by the chronicler Vincentius in his account of the construction of a new nunnery. In his records for the years 1156 to 1164 he states that queen Judith founded a Benedictine nunnery dedicated to St. John the Baptist by the warm waters.