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Plzeň (Czech pronunciation: [ˈpl̩zɛɲ] ), also known in English and German as Pilsen (German: [ˈpɪlzn̩] ), is a city in the Czech Republic. About 78 kilometres (48 miles) west of Prague in western Bohemia, it is the fourth most populous city in the Czech Republic with about 181,000 inhabitants. Founded as a royal city in the late 13th century, Plzeň became an important town for trade on routes linking Bohemia with Bavaria. By the 14th century it had grown to be the third largest city in Bohemia. The city was besieged three times during the 15th-century Hussite Wars, when it became a centre of resistance against the Hussites. During the Thirty Years War in the early 17th century the city was temporarily occupied after the Siege of Plzeň. In the 19th century, the city rapidly industrialised and became home to the Škoda Works, which became one of the most important engineering companies in Austria-Hungary and later in Czechoslovakia. The city is known worldwide as the home of Pilsner beer, created by Bavarian brewer Josef Groll in the city in 1842; today, the Pilsner Urquell Brewery is the largest brewery in the Czech Republic. Plzeň serves as the main business centre of West Bohemia and the capital of the Plzeň Region. The city is a cultural heritage zone known for its Baroque architecture, and was European Capital of Culture in 2015. Plzeň is home to football club FC Viktoria Plzeň, one of the most successful clubs in the Czech league, and ice hockey club HC Škoda Plzeň. Source: Wikipedia (en)

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