Czech Republic Attractions
The Vltava meanders through the Bohemian town of Český Krumlov (German: Krumau or Krummau) (Internet: www.krummau.de ) with its historic old town. It has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1992 and impresses with its well-preserved town houses and the castle, the core of which dates back to the 13th century. Many remarkable buildings have been preserved during the war. Strolling through the picturesque town, you can stroll along the city walls, through medieval streets, past the castle and the Gothic St. Vitus church, the armory and along the banks of the Vltava River.
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Once upon a time, the well-known city of Karlovy Vary (German: Karlsbad) (Internet: www.karlovyvary.cz) a health resort of the wealthy. The list of famous spa guests includes Johann Wolfgang v. Goethe, Friedrich Schiller, the Russian Tsar Peter the Great, Johann Sebastian Bach and Otto v. Bismarck. Even today, the place in western Czech Republic with its hot springs is a magnet for visitors – especially for older tourists. Many historical buildings were destroyed by floods and fires, but today tourists can still find beautiful baroque architecture and a lively cultural scene. Sights worth seeing include the Moser glassworks located on the outskirts of the town, the Brezova porcelain factory (museum), green parks and the picturesque castle in the direction of the town of Loket. It towers high above the river Ohre (German: Eger). A tasting of the famous Becherovka should not be missed, nor should the Karlovy Vary wafers.
The capital city of Prague is also known as the “city of a hundred thousand towers”. It is picturesquely situated on the Moldau. The cityscape reflects different architectural style epochs. Romanesque rotundas alternate with Gothic towers and Renaissance-style pavilions, the historic city center with its 1000-year history is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The numerous sights include the National Gallery, National Theatre, Old Royal Palace, Charles Bridge, City Hall, St. Vitus Cathedral, St. George’s Monastery and Lobkowicz Palace. Not far from there is the golden lane where Franz Kafka lived for a while. The view across the Vltava River, spanned by the medieval Charles Bridge, reveals Prague’s time-honored city centre. The Town Hall from 1338 stands on the Old Town Square. On the south side of the town hall is the astronomical clock from the early 15th century. Other sights include the three-aisled Tynkirche (Tyn Church), the Gothic city palace Haus an der Steinglocke and the Kinsky Palace (Rococo). The Baroque Church of St. Nicholas is located in the Malá Strana district. The Jewish ghetto was located in the Josefov district until 1896. Today you can visit the Jewish cemetery, the synagogue, which is one of the oldest in Europe, the Jewish town hall (16th century) and five other synagogues. The passive resistance that ended in the Velvet Revolution began in 1989 on Wenceslas Square in the New Town, a long boulevard. The National Museum and the Monument to the National Saint Wenceslaus are also located here. The new town hall, the Jesuit Church of St. Ignatius and the abbey and church of Na Slovanech are also worth seeing. Prague is a popular city for filmmakers and artists. Every year from May 12th the international music festival “Prague Spring” takes place.
Caves of the Moravian Karst
The area north of Brno is called the Moravian Karst. Here wooded hills dominate, alternating with deep gorges. The river Punkva flows underground through the rocks, creating a breathtaking cave landscape at a depth of 100 m. Of the 400 caves and cave systems, the Punkevni stalactite caves are the most visited. In a guided tour, visitors pass the Macocha Gorge after one kilometer. Here the sky appears far away above the steep walls. Only after a half kilometer boat ride on the underground Punkva River does one get to see the daylight again.
The city of Terezin (German: Theresienstadt) is located in the northeast of the country and is an old fortified city. The historic center is now a municipal monument reserve. The town’s small fortress once served as a military prison and was used as a Gestapo prison from 1940 to 1945. Terezin was known as the Theresienstadt concentration camp during this period. Around the fortress there is a memorial with numerous exhibition sites and museums. The isolation cells, execution sites, Jewish cemetery and barracks give visitors a sense of the horrors of the Holocaust.
Prague’s castle town of Hradcany
In the beautiful city of Prague, the Hradcany district with the famous Prague Castle rises up on a hill not far from the Vltava River. From here there is a beautiful view of the UNESCO city of Prague. The entire castle complex includes St. Vitus Cathedral, in which most of the heads of Bohemia are buried, the Gothic-style royal palace, the basilica, the Romanesque St. George’s Monastery and the Lobkowicz Palace. The palace dates back to the Renaissance and today houses part of the Lobkowicz art collection.