Hradec Králové (IPA , Königgrätz; meaning Castle of the Queen) is a city of the Czech Republic, in the Hradec Králové Region of Bohemia. The city's economy is based on food-processing technology, photochemical, and electronics manufacture. Traditional industries include musical instrument manufacturing - the best known being PETROF pianos. There is the University of Hradec Králové and Charles University in Prague has a medical school and a pharmaceutical department in the city.
The city is situated in the centre of a very fertile region called the Golden Road on the confluence of Elbe and Orlice and contains many buildings of historical and architectural interest. The cathedral was founded in 1303 by Elizabeth, wife of Wenceslaus II, and the church of St. John, built in 1710, stands on the ruins of the old castle. During 1920s and 1930s the city grew rapidly and due to many buildings of modern architecture Hradec Králové became known as the Salon of the Republic.
The original name of Hradec Králové, one of the oldest settlements in the Czech Republic, was Hradec (the Castle); Králové (of the queen) was affixed when it became one of the dowry towns of the queen of Wenceslaus II, Elizabeth of Poland, who lived here for thirty years. It remained a dower town till 1620. Hradec Králové was the first of the towns to declare for the national cause during the Hussite Wars. After the Battle of White Mountain (1620) a large part of the Protestant population left the place. In 1639 the town was occupied for eight months by the Swedes. Several churches and convents were pulled down to make way for the fortifications erected under Joseph II. The fortress was finally dismantled in 1884. The decisive battle of the Austro-Prussian War took place, on July 3, 1866 near Hradec Králové.
Since around 1930, the town has been known as "The salon of the republic". This was a nickname given to it by citizens who were spellbound by the unique architecture of Josef Gočár.
There are two cooperating towns: