The Czech Republic, in Central Europe, is a country that’s known for its ornate castles, native beers and long history. Prague, the capital, is home to grand 9th-century Prague Castle, a preserved medieval old town and statue-lined Charles Bridge. Český Krumlov, a small town in the South Bohemia region, is notable for its wealth of Gothic, Renaissance and Baroque buildings, many of which house restaurants and shops.
The Czech Republic is not a geographically large country, but it has a rich and eventful history. From time immemorial, Czechs, Germans, Jews and Slovaks, as well as Italian stonemasons and stucco workers, French tradesmen and deserters from Napoleon’s army, have all lived and worked here, all influencing one another. For centuries they jointly cultivated their land, creating works that still command respect and admiration today. It is thanks to their inventiveness and skill that this small country is graced with hundreds of ancient castles, monasteries and stately mansions, and even entire towns that give the impression of being comprehensive artifacts. The Czech Republic contains a vast amount of architectural treasure, as well as beautiful forests and mountains to match.
Prague is the capital city and largest city in the Czech Republic. It is one of the largest cities of Central Europe and has served as the capital of the historic region of Bohemia for centuries. The city is famous for it’s unique medieval architecture, the historical centre of Prague is inscribed in the World Heritage List.
This magical city of bridges, cathedrals, gold-tipped towers and church domes, has been mirrored in the surface of the swan-filled Vltava River for more than ten centuries. Almost undamaged by WWII, Prague’s medieval centre remains a wonderful mixture of cobbled lanes, walled courtyards, cathedrals and countless church spires all in the shadow of her majestic 9th century castle that looks eastward as the sun sets behind her. Prague is also a modern and vibrant city full of energy, music, cultural art, fine dining and special events catering to the independent traveler’s thirst for adventure.
Brno is the second largest city in the Czech Republic and the largest city in the historical Moravian region. Founded around the year 1000, the city acted as one of historical capitals of the region, and today is home to many institutions related to Moravian history and culture. At the same time, Brno represents the administrative center of the contemporary South Moravian Region, and is the headquarters of the republic’s judicial system. With a population around 380,000, Brno is located in a beautiful natural environment between South Moravian vineyards and the Moravian Karst, and is an easy drive to the nearby Austrian border.
Contemporary Brno is a mixture of different architectural styles, ranging from the Gothic, Baroque, Art Noveau, and Socialist. Arguably the Czech Republic’s second most important cultural centre that often competes with Prague in prestige, Brno has the second largest historic preservation zone in the country
3. České Budějovice
České Budějovice (also known as Budweis in German or English) is in South Bohemia, in the Czech Republic. The town has since grown into the metropolitan centre. It is the largest town in South Bohemia region and it has got approximately 93,500 inhabitants.
The Square of Premysl Otakar II with its dimensions 133×137 m is one of the largest squares in Bohemia, with arcades and a range of Gothic, Renaissance and Baroque burgher’s houses. The other important town monuments include the originally renaissance Town Hall, the Samson’s fountain and 72 m high the Black Tower which provides a beautiful view of the town and surroundings.
The town is an excellent place to visit if you want to escape the large numbers of tourists in Prague or nearby Cesky Krumlov. It’s well developed transport links make it the perfect base from which to explore the surrounding region. There are many historic towns and villages nearby as well as numerous hiking trails and a vast cycle path network.
Český Krumlov is a city in the South Bohemia region of the Czech Republic. It’s bisected by the Vltava River, and dominated by its 13th-century castle. The castle has Gothic, Renaissance and baroque elements, an 11-hectare garden and an original 17th-century baroque theater. There are panoramic views of the old town and the river from the top of its round belltower.
Crumlaw is a beautiful town of 13,300 inhabitants located in Southern Bohemia in the Czech Republic. Like Prague, the town is situated on the Vltava River and is full of Baroque buildings housing cafes and bars, features a spectacular castle (the second largest in the Czech Republic), and an old-town square. The town’s appearance is little changed since the 18th century and the buildings have been well maintained and restored. In 1992 Český Krumlov was added to the UNESCO World Heritage List. The town is very popular among tourists, who outnumber the local population in the summer
5. Karlovy Vary
Karlovy Vary (Carlsbad) is a spa town in the west Bohemia region of the Czech Republic. Its numerous thermal springs have made it a popular resort since the 19th century. The riverside spa district is home to several colonnades with columned walkways. The modern Hot Spring Colonnade houses the Pramen Vřídlo geyser, which spouts up to 12 meters high
Karlovy Vary, meaning “Charles’ Bath” was named after Charles IV, King of Bohemia and Holy Roman Emperor, who founded the city in 1370. It is famous for its hot springs and its colorful and whimsical architecture. For these reasons, it was a popular tourist destination in the 18th century with guests including, Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, Tsar Peter the Great, Emperor Franz Josef I, Beethoven, Wagner, Brahms, Tolstoy, and Marx. Tourist visitors ceased completely during World War I and the city never regained its former glory. After WWII, the largely German speaking city was cleared of its original inhabitants and replaced with Czech settlers. Czech remains the major language today but the signs of German culture and heritage are still very evident.
6. Kutná Hora
Kutná Hora is a city east of Prague in the Czech Republic. It’s known for the Gothic St. Barbara’s Church with medieval frescoes and flying buttresses. Also notable is Sedlec Ossuary, a chapel adorned with human skeletons. On the site of a former Cistercian monastery is the Gothic and baroque Cathedral of the Assumption. The Czech Museum of Silver recalls the city’s silver-mining history with a replica medieval mine
Kutná Hora was a silver mining town in medieval times: once the second Czech city to Prague in terms of population. Today it is home to about 21000 people.
Although Kutná Hora has some comparatively drab modern architecture, it was enscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List in 1995 for the Historical Town Centre, including the Church of St Barbara and the Cathedral of Our Lady at Sedlec. At both ends of the town there are some beautiful buildings, and the higher points of the town are home to restored older architecture, with Medieval, Gothic, Renaissance and Baroque buildings.
Olomouc has the second largest and second oldest historic preservation zone in the Czech Republic (after Prague). Olomouc lies astride the Morava River and is surrounded by the fertile Haná plain. It was the capital of Moravia until 1641 and is the six-largest city in the country, with approximately 99,500 inhabitants.
Olomouc is a city in the eastern province of Moravia in the Czech Republic. It’s known for its 6 baroque fountains and the 18th-century Holy Trinity Column, a monument adorned with religious sculptures. On Wenceslas Hill are the Gothic St. Wenceslas Cathedral and the Romanesque Bishop’s Palace. The Town Hall is a former merchant’s house with vaulted rooms and an astronomical clock.
Pilsen is a city in the western Czech Republic. It’s known for the Pilsner Urquell Brewery, specializing in bottom-fermented beer since 1842, with brewing cellars and a bottling plant. Ringed by parks, the old center has the 19th-century Great Synagogue, which also hosts concerts. The Cathedral of St. Bartholomew, completed in the 16th century, has Renaissance paintings and a tall spire with a viewing gallery.
Pilsen is in Bohemia, in the Czech Republic in Central Europe. It is the home and birthplace of the Pilsener (or pilsner) beer variety which is derived from the city’s name.
Telč is a town in the southern Czech Republic. It’s known for its Italian Renaissance architecture including the chateau, formerly a Gothic castle, with carved wood ceilings. The Highlands Museum includes a model of the city. Colorful houses with arcades and ornamental gables ring Zachariáš of Hradec Square. In the square are the 18th-century Marian Column and St. James Church, the latter with Gothic frescoes.
Telč is a charming, rather sleepy town. It is certainly worth a stop if you are passing nearby, but there is not enough there to warrant more than a short stay unless you are particularly interested in history or architecture – it is the best preserved of all the Bohemian and Moravian Renaissance towns and the historical heart of the town was registered in 1992 on the UNESCO’s List of World Cultural Heritage sites. It is astonishingly beautiful thanks to the surrounding fish-ponds that prevented the town spreading, thus preserving the perfect town square, built in the sixteenth century. There is also an interesting chateau from the same period.
Zlín is a city in southeastern Moravia in the Czech Republic, the seat of the Zlín Region, on the Dřevnice river. The development of the modern city is closely connected to the Bata Shoes company and its social scheme, developed after the First World War. From 1949 to 1990, the city was renamed Gottwaldov.
Zlín is a city in the South Moravia region of the Czech Republic. The Bata shoe company started and developed here before the Second World War and it has interesting functionalistic architecture.