CZECH REPUBLIC

Interesting places

Prague

Prague is the capital and the biggest city of the Czech Republic. It lies in Central Bohemia on the Vltava river. Its present form has evolved over eleven centuries. Today, its territory spreads over 496 square kilometres and has approximately 1,300,000 inhabitants. Without a doubt, Prague is one of the most beautiful historical cities in the world. It is rich not only in historical monuments but also in diverse cultural heritage. Prague is a city of unusual beauty. It has been called the ‘Golden City’, the ‘City of a Hundred Spires’ or the ‘Mother of Cities’.

Carlsbad

Carlsbad lies in the western part of Bohemia, roughly 120 km from Prague. It is the biggest and most famous spa city in the Czech Republic. The city was founded in the fourteenth century by Charles IV. Already in the sixteenth century, the spa enjoyed the favour of many aristocratic families and rich burghers. Most of its monuments come from the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries when the city was experiencing its golden age. In addition to the spa and an international film festival, several Carlsbad products – Becherovka, Moser and Thun – have also contributed to the international fame of the city.

Mariánské lázně

Mariánské Lázně lies near Carlsbad in a valley surrounded by forest. It is filled with a number of majestic buildings, spa colonnades and town parks. Mariánské Lázně has existed for ‘only’ two centuries. The first records of the healing springs date back to 1341. Goethe, Chopin, Thomas Edison, Wagner, Franz Joseph I, Tzar Nicholas II and many more have spent time in Mariánské Lázně. It is no surprise that this region was once considered one of the best spa towns in Europe.

Františkovy lázně

This picturesque spa town, founded in 1793, is located in Western Bohemia. The incomparable atmosphere of the early twentieth century, reflected by neo-classicism, was preserved here. Thanks to this, the town is rightly considered one of the most romantic in the country. The spa is characterised by a mild climate, exceptionally clean air and its distance from noise and the rush of big cities. The surrounding parks are ideal for peaceful walks to the sound of music coming from the surrounding colonnades. All of this intensifies the beneficial effects of the mineral springs.

Kutná Hora

Kutná Hora is a town in Central Bohemia and an important urban conservation area on the UNESCO World Heritage List. As a result of silver mining, it was one of the most important sovereign towns of the Middle Ages. The historical cores of Kutná Hora are the late Gothic Church of Saint Barbara and the Church of the Assumption of the Virgin Mary in Sedlec, which represent unique preserved medieval urban structures with a whole range of Gothic, Renaissance and baroque houses.

Pilsen

Pilsen is the fourth-biggest city in the Czech Republic. It lies in Western Bohemia at the confluence of four rivers – the Mže, Radbuza, Úhlava and Úslava – which together create the Berounka river. Many businesses have been maintained by the footsteps of the legendary Pilsen Škoda company. It is on the other side of the region’s metropolis, however, that famous brands of beer, such as Prazdroj and Gambrinus, are brewed. Bottom-fermented light lager, which is designated as a pilsner-type beer (pilsner or pils, according to the German name of the city), has been brewed here since 1842.

The Bohemian Switzerland Park

This Czech national park was founded in 2000. Its goal is to protect the wealth of a unique complex of majestic sandstone towns and rock walls and unique native fauna and flora. In practice, this particularly means trying to return the natural character of the landscape, which has been significantly changed by people. Thanks to the establishment of the national park, native white firs and peregrine falcons are returning to Bohemian Switzerland along with salmon. The regulation of consistent dumping has allowed the return of adult salmon from the Atlantic Ocean back to the waters of Kamenice.

Lower Vítkovice

Lower Vítkovice is a national site of industrial heritage located near the centre of Ostrava. It includes an extensive industrial area, the Vítkovice ironworks and a unique collection of industrial architecture. There are three sites known as ‘Ostrava’s Hradčany’: a coal mine, coke ovens and blast furnace operations. The area is registered on the list of European cultural heritages. The Lower Vítkovice region was established in the decommissioned part.

Mikulov

This town and its surroundings will appeal to everyone with an active lifestyle. The area is threaded by a more than 1,200-km long network of cycling routes. The nearby Nové Mlýny reservoirs offer lagoons for swimming, fishing and water sports. Mikulov is also situated in the heart of Czech viticulture, so there are many wine trails with stops at local family wine cellars and tastings at wine bars and shops.

Karlštejn Castle

Karlštejn was originally a medieval royal castle and is located approximately 30 km southwest of Prague. It also lies in the middle of the protected landscape known as Bohemian Karst. The castle has been accessible to the public since 1905, making it one of the longest accessible monuments in the Czech Republic. Annual attendance to Karlštejn has not sunk below two hundred thousand visitors since the ‘60s. From a long-term point of view, Karlštejn is one of the ten most visited monuments in the Czech Republic. It is the second-most popular castle.

Hluboká Castle

A bit of Windsor England in the middle of South Bohemia, Hluboká is a fairy tale chateau. It took shape in the nineteenth century after a Neo-Gothic reconstruction. In addition to the romance of this aristocratic residence, the Schwarzenbergers also founded a landscape park in the middle of the nineteenth century. With its 140 rooms and 11 towers, the chateau offers several variants of tours.

Český Krumlov

Český Krumlov is a town in South Bohemia 22 km southwest of České Budějovice. The heyday of this picturesque town is connected to the reign of the Rosenberg family (1302–1602). To this day, the town’s historical centre has been preserved. Winding alleys, romantic nooks, a unique complex of townhouses with an impressive castle dominant above the meandering Vltava, splendid exhibitions of world-famous artists, concerts, music festivals, theatre, pubs, cafés, (or in medieval terms) taverns, a colourful mixture of tourists from all around the world – these are what make up Český Krumlov.

Telč

Telč is a town in the Jihlava district of the Vysočina region. The inner town – the historical core of Telč – belongs to the most valuable urban conservation areas in Moravia, which in 1992 was added to the UNESCO World Heritage List. The dominant and most important architectonic monument of the town is a chateau, a jewel of Moravian Renaissance architecture. It is even more attractive thanks to the sensitive approach of the owners to its historical heritage; the original interiors have been preserved and are in very good shape.

Konopiště Castle

Originally a castle from the thirteenth century, it was built following the pattern of French castles. It is today inextricably linked with its last aristocratic owner Franz Ferdinand d’Este. Archduke Franz Ferdinand had the castle reconstructed in a pseudo-historical, romantic style. The beautiful castle park, through which several educational trails pass, and the glasshouses for rare thermophilic plants, are definitely worth a visit.

Punkva Caves

The Punkva Caves are located in the northern part of Moravian Karst in a canyon called Pustý Žleb. The caves are a part of the longest and most extensive cave system in the Czech Republic, with the world-famous Macocha Abyss. The total length of all known corridors is about 4 km with a range in height of over 187 m. The dry part of the caves was made available to the public in 1909, and water boating has been possible since 1920.

Terezín

Terezín is a garrison town built in a checkerboard design with a baroque fort built in the pure style of a French fortification school of the same time period. A small fortress and the Terezín monument commemorate the period of German occupation, when Terezín became an interchange station for Jews from all parts of Europe on their route to extermination camps.

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