Czech Republic Attractions
Jewish Quarter Třebíč
You can still get an impression of the life of the Jewish community in southern Czech Republic in the 19th century in the town of Třebíč (German: Trebitsch). A Jewish quarter had existed since 1338, but only a few in the quarter survived World War II. The neighborhood has been restored and is now the only UNESCO Jewish monument outside of Israel. Two synagogues from the 17th century, the Gothic St. Prokop Basilica, more than 100 houses in the district, the Jewish cemetery and the central Charles Square in Třebíč have been preserved.
Narodní Podyjí National Park
The Národní Podyjí National Park is right on the border with Austria. Due to this location, nature was able to develop undisturbed during the Cold War. This circumstance gave rise to a protected area with rare wood species and 77 protected plant species. Whiskered bats and over 60 other species of mammals live in Národní Park Podyjí. One can find otters, kingfishers, white-tailed eagles and nesting black storks on the banks of the Thaya River, which forms a beautiful river valley in the south of the national park.
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Wallachian open-air museum
On the border with Slovakia is the place Rožnov pod Radhoštěm (German: Rosenau unter dem Radhoscht), which is known for its open-air museum. In the Rožnov town park there is a part of this museum dedicated to the Romansh-speaking Wallachians: the life of the Wallachians from earlier times is presented in old wooden houses, including residential buildings, a church and a school. In addition to the old schoolhouse and the village inn, where old recipes are still used today, you can admire the forge, the sawmill and the hammer mill in the Mühltal. A trip to Rožnov pod Radhoštěm is particularly worthwhile in August, because then the entire town is transformed into a single medieval market and there are countless entertainment offers.
Prague’s Charles Bridge
The most famous sight of the Czech capital is the Charles Bridge, which connects the two halves of Prague. It was built in the 14th century and spans the Moldau over a length of more than 500 m. Baroque sculptures were added to the arched bridge, including the statue of the martyr St. John of Nepomuk. Many original sculptures can be seen in the rock garden of Letná Park. The Charles Bridge is one of the oldest stone bridges in Europe. Along the bridge there are small stalls selling handicrafts and street musicians, which give it a very special charm.
Paddling on the Berounka River
The Berounka River is a tributary of the Vltava River and flows through western Czech Republic. The river is 140 km long from its source – a confluence of smaller rivers near Pilsen – to its mouth in Prague’s Lahovice district. The Berounka is a magnet for paddlers. Sections are also highly recommended for beginners and family excursions, since the river has hardly any rapids. There are boat rental companies in the towns along the river, such as in Bilá Hora. The place can be reached by bus from Pilsen within ten minutes. A paddling tour on the comfortable Berounka takes you past the Krivoklat Fortress and through beautiful landscapes. The historic old town of Beroun (German: Beraun) invites you to take a nice stroll through town.
Brno (German: Brünn), the second largest city in the Czech Republic, was founded in the 13th century. The historic center tells a story that is almost a thousand years old. Spilberk Castle towers over the city as a landmark. Other sights of Brno are the Church of St. Peter and Paul with a crypt from the 12th century open to tourists, the old Reduta theater and the Tugendhat villa. The villa was built by architect Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is open to the public. It stands for the timeless and creative architecture of the pre-war period. Other sights in the city center are the old town hall from the 13th century and Freedom Square.
Sumava Nature Park
Sumava Nature Park (website: www.npsumava.cz) is a mountain range and the largest national park in the Czech Republic. It consists of 80% forest area and numerous lakes, brooks, waterfalls, mountain bogs and swamps. The Sumava Nature Park, also known as the Bohemian Forest, together with the Bavarian Forest on the German side, is referred to as the “green roof of Europe”. Both forest areas have been declared a biosphere reserve by UNESCO. There is a large and informative visitor center in Svinná Lada. The mountainous Sumava Nature Park offers ideal conditions for recreational athletes in particular: including winter sports centers with over 300 km of cross-country ski trails and well-developed hiking and biking trails. Many boat rental companies can help organize canoe tours on the Vltava.
Castle and Park Kremsier
The Kroměříž Castle (German: Kremsier) was once an archbishop’s palace. Today, the property with the adjoining park and flower garden is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. One of the most important music archives in the Czech Republic is located in Kremsier Castle and various paintings by artists such as Titian are exhibited here. The castle garden was originally a vegetable garden and was redesigned into an impressive park in the 19th century. Sculptures and numerous pavilions can be found in the park as well as rare trees, free-roaming peacocks and a small zoo.
The city of Kutna Hora owes its development to the political, cultural and economic center of Bohemia to the discovery of silver ore in the 14th century. The legacy of this glorious era is reflected in the numerous and impressive sights of the city, which has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1995. In the district of Sedlec there is the Church of the Assumption of the Virgin Mary and in the town cemetery there is an ossuary (translated: ossuary) under the cemetery chapel. The historic old town is best known for the 15th-century Gothic Cathedral of Saint Barbara. Also worth seeing are the historical paving, the silver museum of the medieval mine and the Welsche Hof, the former central treasury of the city.