Austerlitz ôˈstərlĭts, Ger. ouˈ– [key], Czech Slavkov u Brna, town, S Czech Republic, in Moravia. An agricultural center, the town has sugar refineries and cotton mills. It became a seat of the Anabaptists in 1528. At Austerlitz, in the “battle of the three emperors,” Napoleon I won (Dec. 2, 1805) his most brilliant victory by defeating the Russian and Austrian armies under Czar Alexander I and Emperor Francis II. The “sun of Austerlitz” (it was a cloudless day) became synonymous with the peak of Napoleon's fortunes. An armistice with Austria, concluded (Dec. 4) at Nikolsburg (now Mikulov), was followed by the Treaty of Pressburg. Russia continued the war but had to withdraw all troops from Austria. There is a famous description of the battle in Tolstoy's War and Peace. The town has an 18th-century castle, a 13th-century church, the Renaissance Church of the Resurrection, and the Monument of Peace (built 1910–11).

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2024, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

See more Encyclopedia articles on: Czech Political Geography