Hradec Králové (translated: Koninginneburcht, also known as Königgrätz) is the capital of the Czech Hradec Králové region and also of the Eastern Bohemia region (Východočeský). The city, with around 100,000 inhabitants in 2000, is one of the oldest cities in the region, but also has an important role for modern culture.
Hradec Králové originated from a castle that was built in the 10th century at the confluence of the Elbe (Labe) and Orlice rivers. In the 13th century it took on the allure of a city. In the 14th century it became the dowry for Bohemian queens, hence the name (Hradec Králové means "Castle of the Queen"). In the 18th century the baroque style flourished, and until the 19th century there was a fortress. In July 1866, the Battle of Königgrätz took place between Austria and Prussia.
In the 20th century, Hradec Králové became an important center for Czech urban planning, with architects such as Jan Kotěra and Josef Gočár. After the Second World War, an industry of mechanical engineering, chemicals, textiles and musical instruments, including Petrof pianos, was introduced.
In 2000 the pedagogical college got the status of university. Hradec Králové also houses some faculties of the Prague Charles University, including a medical faculty with its own hospital.