Located 180 km from Prague, it is one of a few towns that have still retained its own medieval nature. Cesky Krumlov is in the charming South Bohemian countryside nestles in a bend of the Vltava River. The town is called the pearl of Bohemia. Its historic centre was listed in the 1992 UNESCO World Cultural and Natural Heritage List. The town is dominated by two national cultural landmarks – the castle and the Gothic church of St.Vitus.
Thanks to its silver mines, which were open for 250 years, Kutna Hora was, after Prague, the second most important town in the Bohemian kingdom. During the 14th century its population was equal to that of Londons. Today it is just a small provincial town with just over 20.000 people.
Karlovy Vary is the Czech Republic’s most visited spa resort, though probably not as glamorous and famous as it once was in the middle of the 14th century. The city was discovered by Charles IV while he was hunting deer, and later in 1522 Dr Payer of Loket set out the properties of the waters in a medical treatise, and their fame began to spread. By the end of the 16th century there were more than 200 spa buildings, but the town’s present appearance dates mainly from the 19th century.
Terezin is former garrison town originally built by Emperor Joseph II. as an ingenious system of military fortresses for a protection of the kingdom at the end of the 18th century against Prussia – was completely changed and turned into Jewish Ghetto (and used as a transit camp for Jews whose final destination was Auschwitz concentration camp by the Nazis) during the World War II.
For many people, Plzeň means beer. This is true, at the very least, in the German form of the word. Pilsner Urquell, for lots of beer aficionados, represents lager style of beer. Many tourists that travel to the second biggest city in Bohemia do this to see its’ monuments and churches, but its’ safe to say that most do so because of the brewery, a small distance from the centre of the city.
Karlštejn was founded by Charles IV in 1348 as a treasury for the imperial regalia and his collection of relics. Today with an average of 300,000 visitors a year it is a prime choice for a short day trip from Prague. It is important to note that all excursions and independent drivers must park their vehicles at the foot of the hill, so be prepared for a 15-minute walk up to the castle entrance. As you walk up the hill you are rewarded by the view spread out in front of you over beautiful rolling hills, the town and river.
There are a few sights nearby Prague which are definitely out of the ordinary. First of them is Kutna Hora where you can visit Sedlec Ossuary (church decorated with some 40 000 bones) and Czech Silver Museum. Take a helmet and lamp and go to explore dark tunnels of medieval silver mine under the town.
Špilberk and Petrov are the 2 hills that characterise Brno: The cathedral sits atop of one; and on top of the other stands the imposing Špilberk castle. Even these days, the solemn fortress can make your spine shiver. While Brno is a bustling industrial heartland, the historical centre is intriguing.
Records mentioning the royal castle Krivoklat were first recorded around 1100 A.D. though today’s building dates from the late 13th century. It was enlarged and fortified at the end of the 14th century, thanks to all these renovations and continual rebuilding the castle shows all phases of the Gothic style. Castle is considered unique from architectonic point of view, also for being similar to the French castle conception.
Marianske Lazne is an elegant Neo-Classical and Art Noveau spa town (though less well-known than Karlovy Vary) with a wide spectrum of natural therapeutic resources and excellent climatic conditions, set among an amazing natural mountain panorama. The city is situated about 150km from Prague.
České Budějovice is a well-preserved medieval fortress town with an impressive history. It was founded in 1265 by Otakar II who wanted a stronghold at the confluence of the Vltava and Malše rivers to protect southern Bohemia from any advancing armies. Unfortunately, Otakar was killed in 1278 at the battle of the Moravian Field, and the town was subsequently ravaged by the rival Vítkovic family. Surprisingly, however, České Budějovice continued to be built as originally planned by Otakar.
Hluboká is a monumental Romantic chateau; originally a Gothic castle, it was remodelled in the Baroque style during the first half of the 18th century. It underwent a significant transformation in the 19th century, when it was remodelled in the English Windsor-style Gothic and became the official seat of the Schwarzenberg dynasty.