Trips around The Czech republic

cesky-krumlov-chateauIf you only have time for one trip outside Prague during your stay in the Czech Republic, Cesky Krumlov is the place for you. A UNESCO World Heritage site since 1992, south Bohemia’s Cesky Krumlov is one of Bohemia´s most picturesque towns, made up of elegant Renaissance buildings housing charming cafes, pubs, restaurants, shops and galleries. Along the way you can enjoy the picturesque countryside of southern Bohemia.

The highlight of the town, the Castle of Cesky Krumlov attracts visitors from all over the world who come to marvel at the architectural gem with five courtyards and 11 hectares of gardens. In 1302 the Rosenberg family inherited the Cesky Krumlov Castle, and it was their main residence for nearly 300 years. You are sure to be dazzled by the golden carriage. Constructed from gilded walnut in 1638, the carriage was used to transport gifts from newly-elected Emperor Ferdinand III von Habsburg to Pope Urban VIII. Cesky Krumlov Castle also boasts one of the oldest Baroque theatres in Europe, built from 1680 to 1682. It is one of only a few Baroque theatres in the world with its original stage machinery, costumes, scenery, and props. While touring the Old Town, you can eat lunch at a traditional restaurant near the Vltava River. You will have a magnificent view of the castle if you visit during the summer. In the winter we dine at a cozy, medieval- like restaurant with a fireplace, located in one of the romantic, winding streets. Do not forget to savor the local Eggenberg beer.
During the tour of the city, you can explore the narrow and romantic streets of the Renaissance Old Town, featuring 300 medieval buildings, enjoy views from a footbridge over the Vltava River and walk by the Egon Schiele Art Centre. At the Hotel Růže, a former Jesuit College with beautiful Renaissance sgraffiti, take note of the pictures of crowds saluting Hitler in the square during World War II. From the Regional Museum there are beautiful views of the medieval centre. You  can also visit Saint Vitus Church and the town square with its Renaissance town hall, Plague Column and fountain. Then it is time to visit Latrán Street with its colorful, medieval houses. After entering the first castle courtyard and seeing the bear moat where bears actually live, you can tour the second biggest castle in Bohemia. If you wish, we can also visit other sights on the way to Cesky Krumlov. Become mesmerized by the historical square in Ceske Budejovice, the capital of south Bohemia or by Hluboká Chateau , one of the most spectacular chateaus in the country.

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  • Trip duration: 12 hours
  • Suitable for: 1-4 people

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konopiste_1922Konopiste Chateau was founded in the late 13th century as a Gothic castle inspired by the style of French castles with seven stout, rounded towers and five gates. During the late 19th  century, Konopiste came into the hands of the 24-year old Franz Ferdinand d’Este, the oldest nephew of Austrian Emperor Francis Josef I and later heir to the Habsburg throne. He made many changes to the interior and remodeled the chateau so that part resembled a Renaissance residence in North Italian style while another section sported a medieval look. During World War II Konopiste Chateau became a SS headquarters. The state took over in 1945, and now the Central Bohemian Institute for Preservation of Historic Monuments in Prague looks after the chateau. Konopiste Chateau is well-known as the last residence of the heir to the Austro-Hungarian throne, Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria, whose assassination in Sarajevo triggered World War I. Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria bought Konopiste in 1887 and rebuilt it into a luxurious residence, suitable for the future emperor. Konopiste Chateau is located in the scenic countryside adorned with forests and a lake. You can also admire colorful peacocks and a bear in the fortification moat.

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  • Trip duration: 4-5 hours
  • Suitable for: 1-4 people

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mKrivoklat’s history is intriguing, though riddled with fires. First mentioned at the beginning of the 12th  century, the castle was completed in early Gothic style when the Premyslid dynasty ruled the Czech lands in the 13th   and beginning of the 14th  centuries. The upper courtyard and tower that can be climbed today hail as far back as the 13th century. Krivoklat Castle was reconstructed and expanded in the 14th  and 15th  centuries, when Czech king and later Roman king Vaclav IV reigned. Under his guidance Krivoklat Castle played a significant role in the country. Then dark days came as Krivoklat was conquered by both the Hussites and the Catholics during the Hussite wars in the 1400s. In the 15th  and 16th  centuries, Vladislav Jagollen, also known as Czech king Vladislav II, reconstructed it again, this time in late Gothic style. Once more, life at Krivoklat flourished. However, the castle was not well cared for during the 16th  and 17th  centuries when it only functioned as a prison. Later, in 1733, Krivoklat Castle came into the hands of the Fürstenbergs. A fire devastated the castle in 1826, but the Fürstenberg clan restored it in the 19th  and 20th  centuries. Then, in 1929, the Fürstenberg family sold Krivoklat Castle to the Czech state.  Historical figures spent time in the prison that is visited on the tour. The future emperor Charles IV was imprisoned here as a child for three years. During 1591 alchemist Edward Kelly was incarcerated at Krivoklat because he killed someone in a duel.

The gem of the tour is one of the best preserved Gothic chapels in Europe, with an altar hailing from 1490. Statues of the 12 apostles hover high on the walls. Saint Peter grips a golden key and dons gold drapery, while Saint Andrew wields a sword. Jesus, flanked by two angels, is on top of the altar with two side wings. It is almost possible to see Jesus’ scant clothing blowing in the wind. The angels are adorned with golden wings. The altar celebrates the crowning of the Virgin Mary, who wears gold drapery, and the four panels show the Virgin Mary and Christ in various scenes. Take advantage of the spectacular views from the ramparts and the 42-meter high tower. It takes 72 steps on a narrow, winding staircase to get to the top of the 13th century structure.

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  • Trip duration: 4-5 hours
  • Suitable for: 1-4 people

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640px-Sedlec_Ossuary_-_Kutná_HoraKutna Hora (together with Cesky Krumlov) ranks among the most visited UNESCO sites in the Czech Republic. Kutna Hora is a picturesque, former silver-mining town located 90 minutes east of Prague. During the Middle Ages, profits from the Kutna Hora silver mines brought fame to the lands of the Czech Crown, and Kutna Hora became the second richest town in the Czech lands after Prague. The legacy of this glorious epoch can be seen in the fine Gothic and Italianate buildings that line the cobblestone streets. The town began in 1142 with the settlement of the first Cistercian monastery in Bohemia,Sedlec  Monastery, brought from the Imperial immediate Cistercian Waldsassen Abbey. By 1260 German miners began to mine for silver in the mountain region, which they named Kuttenberg, and which was part of the monastery property. The name of the mountain is said to have derived from the monks' cowls (the Kutten) or from the word mining (kutání in old Czech). Under Abbot Heinrich Heidenreich the territory greatly advanced due to the silver mines which gained importance during the economic boom of the 13th century.
The highlight of Kutna Hora  Saint Barbara’s Church is one of the most famous Gothic churches in central Europe and it is a UNESCO world heritage site. St Barbara is the patron saint of miners (among others), which was highly appropriate for a town whose wealth was based entirely upon its silver mines. Construction began in 1388, but because work on the church was interrupted several times, it was not completed until 1905. The outside appearance is fascinating. Originally there were eight radial chapels with trapezoidal interiors. Later on, the choir was constructed, supported by double-arched flying buttresses.

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  • Trip duration: 4-5 hours
  • Suitable for: 1-4 people

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terezin-jewish-memorialBy 1940 Germany assigned the Gestapo to adapt Terezín, better known by the German name Theresienstadt, as a ghetto and concentration camp. It held primarily Jews from Czechoslovakia, as well as tens of thousands of Jews deported chiefly from Germany and Austria, as well as hundreds from the Netherlands and Denmark. More than 150,000 Jews were sent there, including 15,000 children.  Although it was not an extermination camp, about 33,000 died in the ghetto. This was mostly due to the appalling conditions arising out of extreme population density, malnutrition and disease.
Part of the fortification (Small Fortress) served as the largest Gestapo prison in the Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia. It was on the other side of the river from the ghetto and operated separately. Around 90,000 people went through it, and 2,600 died there. The complex was taken over for operation by the International Red Cross on May 2, 1945, with the Commandant and SS forces fleeing within the next two days. Some were later captured. The camp and prison were liberated on 9 May 1945 by the Soviet Army.

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  • Trip duration: 4-5hours
  • Suitable for: 1-4 people

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KarlstejnHigh Gothic castle founded in 1348, which has a unique position among Czech castles. It was built by Czech King and Roman Emperor Charles IV as a place for safekeeping of the royal treasures, especially Charles's collection of holy relics and the coronation jewels of the Roman Empire. The first stay of Charles IV in the castle is documented in 1355 when he came to supervise the building works as well as the decoration of interiors, especially the castle chapels. The construction of the castle was finished in 1365 when the Chapel of the Holy Cross situated in the Great tower was consecrated.

At the outbreak of the Hussite wars the castle became the place for safekeeping of the Czech coronation jewels, which were kept here, with the exception of several short-time breaks, for nearly 200 years. The castle was reconstructed in late Gothic style after 1480 and in Renaissance style in the last quarter of the 16th century. The present appearance of the castle comes from the last reconstruction, which was carried out in the puristic neo-Gothic style by architect Josef Mocker at the end of the 19th century.

Very impressive is the original step-like order of buildings. From the Well tower and Burgrave's palace located as the lowest you walk up to the majestic five-floored Imperial palace and further up towards the Marian tower. And finally at the top of the headland stands the monumental 60m high and separately fortified Great tower.

 

Points of interest:

Entirely unique is the original decoration of wall paintings dating back to the 14th century, collection of 129 panel paintings by Master Theodoric in the Chapel of the Holy Cross (the world largest if its kind), the largest portrait gallery of Czech rulers in the country, exhibited replica of crown of the Holy Roman Emperors and St. Wenceslas crown - the coronation crown of the Czech Kings as well as the unique castle water well.

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  • Trip duration: 4-5 hours
  • Suitable for: 1-4 people

FOR MORE INFORMATION PLEASE VISIT OFFICIAL WEBSITE HERE