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20.10.2014 (aktualizováno: 17.12.2014 2:28), Information in English

The first trace of Sokolov dates to year 1279, when it was mentioned as the property owned by the Nothaft nobility of Upper Franconia. With the exception of the time period of 1938-1945 the town always belonged to the Bohemian territory. By their dialect and folklore the local German inhabitants belonged to the Cheb language region, so called Egerland. Even though the town had its city-walls and self-government it was always only a serf town and the center of the Sokolov dominion. 

In the period of 1435-1621 the town and the dominion of Sokolov used to belong to the Schlicks, a puissant noble family, who created an extensive domain in the region of the Ore Mountains and the Egerland. As a punishment for their involvement in the Battle of Bílá Hora their dominion was confiscated. In 1622 it became the possession of the Nostic nobility who were the owners of the town and the dominion up until 1850 and who kept the ownership of the castle until 1945. 

In the times of Jan Hartvik Nostic, the Supreme Chancellor of Bohemia, (1610-1638) the town of Sokolov went through an extensive reconstruction. The Capuchin Monastery with the Nostitc family crypt was founded in the so called New Town. In the Old Town the archdeaconry Church of St. Jacob the Greater and the Chateau acquired the major attributes of its recent appearance. The St. Mary's Column of 1701 standing in the Old Square is the masterwork of Wilhelm Felser, a sculptor of Cheb. The public fountain of the early 18th century is decorated by hopvines and the statue of Sebastian Wastl, a falconer who, according to a legend, founded Sokolov. The hopvines are there to remind that the region was once known for growing very good hops. The town's appearance has been severely influenced by the destructive fires of 1873 and 1874 and by the clearance of the old structures and the redevelopment of the area after 1945. 

The Chateau was built after 1663 in the late renaissance style on the groundwork of the former castle of the Schlick era surrounded by water canal, that was heavily damaged during the Thirty Year's War. To the time period of this reconstruction belongs also the fountain standing in the central courtyard bearing the coats of arms of Jan Hartvik Nostic and his wife Maria Eleonora Popel of Lobkowitz. Originally the Chateau had two gates and cupolas on the towers. It was encircled by a water canal, surrounded by a park decorated with sculptures and a deer-park. In 19th century it was remodeled in the classicist and later architectonic styles; that's when the towers got the recent typical spires. In 1619 the chateau hosted the so called "Winter King" Friedrich of Falconia, also the Emperor Joseph I with his wife Wilhelmina Amalia of Brunswick stayed here in 1702. In 1945 it was the headquarters of the American Army that liberated the region annexed to the German territory in the time period of 1938-1945. Since 1960 the Chateau is the seat of the Regional Museum which specializes in the history of the region, the history of mining and related geology and ecology. 

In 1948 the town changed its name from Falknov (from the German Falkenau) to Sokolov. It became the center of the brown-coal mining and the chemical industry. After 1989 the structure of the local industry started changing gradually. The locality is going under an extensive landscape recuperation process. Also the orientation of the chemical industry has been changing. The town and its surroundings is gradually becoming the center of the recreation, leisure time and it has much to offer in the area of outdoor activities. The first historical mention of Sokolov falls on 13th April, but the 725th anniversary was celebrated throughout the year 2004. An emission of a commemorative postal seal and additional post stamp coupons with the motives of the Sokolov town was made on the occasion. 

History in dates 

1279 13th April - the oldest written mention of Sokolov 
1313 Town privileges granted by King John of Luxembourg 
1397 28th August - King Wenceslas IV reconfirmed the town privileges destroyed by fire 
1435 Sokolov included in the Schlick dominion 
1540 Reconstruction of the old town hall was allegedly finished 
1619 The Winter King Friedrich of Falconia spent night in the Chateau 
1621 Town pillaged during the combat between the protestant and Emperor's troops 
1622 The Nostitz nobility became the new owner of the town 
1632 Town conquered by the Saxons and burned down 
1663 Castle rebuilt into a baroque chateau 
1667 Monastery of the St. Anthony of Padua finished 
1681 Reconstruction of the Church of St. Jacob the Greater 
1701 The St. Mary's column in the Old Square was built 
1702 The Emperor Joseph I and his wife spent night in the Chateau 
1760 25.8. - the first mention of the coal mining (According to the record in the Mining Registry of the Sokolov Dominion the ore and coal mining privilege was granted to Karl Joseph Kluge.) 
1770 Johan David Starck, the initiator of the mining development in the region, was born in nearby Loket 
1797 First hop field had to give way to the mining activity - the beginnings of the hops agriculture liquidation in the region 
1805 Chateau rebuilt in the style of classicism 
1822 One of the J.W. Goethe's visits 
1871 One section of the Buštěhrad Railroad running trough Sokolov opened for operation 1873 Rampant fire swept trough the town 1873 Another raging fire of the town 
1876 Railroad extended to Saxony by a sidetrack trough Kraslice 
1880 Last hop field yielded to mining 
1893 Toni Schönecker, an artist, painter and sculptor, born on 1.11. 
1894 Sokolov's first school, so called Central, was built 
1897 Karl May, a popular writer, spent the night of 12th September in Sokolov 
1897 Jewish synagogue consecrated 
1897 The Anniversary Fountain installed to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Emperor Franz Joseph I accession 
1904 Evangelic church built 
1907 Lookout tower built on the Hard Hill 
1925 The Miners' House opened for public 
1927 Beginnings of the chemical industry era - start of calcium carbide and nitro-lime production 
1940 October - the first air-raid on the town 
1945 17.4. - second air-raid 
1945 7.5.- town liberated by the American Army 
1945 28.11.- commemorative tablet installed to express gratitude to the American Army for the liberation (removed in the 50's) 
1946 Czech Lyceum opened for lectures 
1948 31.3. - Sokolov, the new name of the town replaced the former Falknov 
1960 Chateau conveyed onto a culture institution - the Museum 
1967 4.10. - Miloš Urban, the writer, was born here 
1974 Partnership treaty with the town of Saalfeld 
1989 End of the communist regime 
1990 American Army liberation commemorative tablet reinstalled 
1996 Finishing and grand opening of the new lyceum 
1998 Re-installation of the Anniversary Fountain in the Old Square 
1998 New theatre opened 
2000 Partnership treaty with the town of Schwandorf 
2001 Renovated Hard lookout tower opened for public 
2003 Monastery and its church rebuilt into a concert and art exhibition hall 
2004 1.5. Accession of Czech Republic, including Sokolov, to the European Union 
2004 Michal water resort with water attractions opened for summer season 
2005 a new golf course was opened