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city, western Czech Republic. It lies in the fertile Plzen basin, where several tributaries gather to form the Berounka River. On a busy trade route between Prague and Bavaria, Plzen was first recorded in the 10th century, chartered in 1292, and fortified in 1295 by King Wenceslas II. It was a Roman Catholic stronghold in the 15th century during the Hussite Wars and withstood long sieges.