Welcome to the PragueTouristGuide.com online travel tourism information resource to Prague and the Czech Republic country. PragueTouristGuide.com features travel tourism information for both Prague tourist and business visitors alike who wish to travel to Prague and beyond.
The Czech Republic is a landlocked country situated in Central Europe. Its neighbors are Germany to the west, Poland to the north, Slovakia to the east and Austria to the south. The Czech Republic is comprised of three historically defined parts: Bohemia, Moravia and Silesia. These parts are futher devided:
Castles - Český Šternberk , Karlštejn , Kokořín , Konopictě , Křivoklát, Nelahozeves,
The Bohemian Paradise - the oldest nature reserve
Koněprusy Caves - an extensive system of caves in the Bohemian Karst Nature Reserve
Lidice National Memorial - on 10.6.1942 the Nazis wiped out the entire village
Kutná Hora - UNESCO listed town
Kolín - known for its "Kmoch's Kolín" festival of brass music
Park Průhonice is the most beautiful park in the Prague area. Průhonice is more of a botanical garden. Uncommon and rare flowers not usually planted in parks are scattered about in beautiful arrangements. This park is especially striking in the spring. To find the park, follow highway D 1 toward Brno. A few kilometers out of Prague you will see a sign for the road to Průhonice. If you follow the signs you will get to the city square in Průhonice. The entrance to this beautiful park is directly off the square. You will see a chateau that serves as an entrance. The park is open daily from 8:00 till 17:00. The entrance fee is 20,-Kč per adults and 10,-Kč per child. For more information, call 271 015 111 (Czech speaking only).
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Karlštejn is the most remarkable Czech castle and is one of the symbols of the Czech Kingdom situated 29km ( 18 miles) SW of Prague. Karlstejn Castle is an easy day trip for those interested in getting out of the city. In its early days, the king's jewels housed within enhanced the castle's importance and reputation. Vandalism having forced several of its finest rooms to close, these days the castle is most spectacular from the outside.
High 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 purist 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 up to the majestic five-storied Imperial palace and further up towards the Marian tower. And finally at the top 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 St. Wenceslas crown - the coronation crown of the Czech Kings as well as the unique castle well. The Chapel of the Holy Rood is open – it is necessary to order the visit ahead.
The castle is open Tuesday to Sunday: May, June, and September 9am to noon and 12:30 to 5pm; July and August 9am to noon and 12:30 to 6pm; April and October 9am to noon and 1 to 4pm; November, December, and March 9am to noon and 1 to 3pm; closed January and February.
A trip to Karlstejn can easily be combined with a visit to Krivoklát.
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set in the tranquil Berounka River Valley 43km ( 27 miles) W of Prague is less crowded and much less touristy than its neighbor Karlstejn.
A royal castle was founded in the 11th century and even the fortress was rebuilt several times over the years it keeps its Gothic style. The 13th-century Křivoklat Castle was a royal hunting lodge, and contains an exemplary late-Gothic chapel, impressive halls and the requisite prison and torture chambers. The area surrounding the fortress is protected by UNESCO as a biosphere preservation area, making it an interesting place for a nature walk.
Points of interest
Royal Chapel withthe intricate carvings at the altar. Krivoklát was once a prison for political criminals.
Kings Hall, a whopping 24m ( 80 ft.) long, is the second-longest secular hallway in the country after Prague's Vladislav Hall.
Furstenberg Picture Gallery is one of the country's largest castle libraries, with some 53,000 volumes on its shelves.
The castle is open to the public in March and November on Saturday and Sunday from 9am to 3pm. In October it's open Tuesday to Sunday from 9am to 3pm. In April, May, June, and September, hours are Tuesday to Sunday from 9am to 4pm. In July and August, hours are daily from 9am to 5pm. It is closed between noon and 1pm.
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This impressive fortress standing atop a hill and rising above the Sázava River is situated 48km ( 30 miles) SE of Prague Once one of Bohemia's most powerful fortifications. The structure was built in the Gothic style in the first half of the 13th century, during the reign of Wenceslas I. The Habsburgs put in some baroque additions and improved its defenses, leaving few Gothic elements in their wake.
The fortress is open Tuesday to Sunday: June to August from 9am to 6pm, and May and September from 9am to 5pm. In April and October it's open only on Saturday and Sunday from 9am to 4pm.
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A 17th-century castle-turned-hunting-lodge is situated 48km ( 30 miles) S of Prague. Konopiste was built by the Habsburgs. Here emperors and archdukes relaxed amid the well-stocked hunting grounds surrounding the castle. In 1887, the castle became the property of Archduke Franz Ferdinand, who often went hunting, until that fateful day in Sarajevo when he and his wife, Sophie, became the prey.
Points of interest
The main hall is a testament to the archduke, who reportedly bagged some 300,000 animals -- that translates to an incredible 20 animals a day, every day, for 40 years. Only 1% of his total hunting collection is on display, and it still ranks as one of Europe's largest collections.
The castle's parlors, which have been restored with great attention to detail and the handcrafted wooden Italian cabinets with wonderfully detailed inlays and the collection of Meissen porcelain.
The gardens where quails, pheasants, and peacocks roam freely. Children enjoy the moat, home to two bears who wander in circles for hours at a time. The castle is open in April Tuesday to Sunday from 9am to 12:30pm and 1 to 3pm (Sat and Sun 1-4pm); May to August from 9am to 12:30pm and 1 to 5pm; September from 9am to 12:30pm and 1 to 4pm; October from 9am to 12:30pm and 1 to 3pm (Sat and Sun 1-4pm); and November from 9am to 12:30pm and 1 to 3pm. The castle grounds are open 24 hours year-round.
Kutná Hora is a charming medieval silver-mining town only 60 km east of Prague. The dominant feature of the town is the Church of St. Barbara, a gothic cathedral dedicated to the patroness of miners. The town also boasts a permanent museum exhibition describing the history of silver mining and commerce in Kutná Hora, including a visit to the historic medieval mine. The Italian Court, the former mint and king's seat, is also a must-see. Today the town is a fraction of its old self, but is still dressed up in enough magnificent architectural monuments for it to have been added to UNESCO's World Heritage List in 1996.
Points of interest
St. Barbara's Cathedral (Chrám sv. Barbory)
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is the main attraction located at the southwestern edge of town. In 1380, Peter Parler began construction of the cathedral. The task was so great that it took several more Gothic masters, including Matthias Rejsek and Benedikt Rejt, close to 200 years to complete the project. From the outside, the cathedral's soaring arches, dozens of spires, and intricate designs raise expectations that the interior will be just as impressive.
On entering, you'll see several richly decorated frescoes full of symbols denoting the town's two main industries of mining and minting. The ceiling vaulting, with floral patterns and coats of arms, has made many a jaw drop.
The cathedral is open October and April, Tuesday to Sunday from 9am to noon and 1 to 4:30pm. May to September, it's open Tuesday to Sunday from 9am to 6pm; November to March, it's open Tuesday to Sunday from 9am to noon and 2 to 4pm.
Jesuit College the early baroque, built in the late 17th century by Domenico Orsi.
District Museum of Mining (Okresní Muzeum)
in a former a 15th-century castle Hradek. Tour one of the town's mine shafts. The museum is open Tuesday to Sunday: April and October from 9am to 5pm; May, June, and September from 9am to 6pm; and July and August from 10am to 6pm.
Italian Court (Vlasský Dvur)
constructed in 1300 as a royal mint . The Italian Court derives its name from its original occupants, who were brought in from Florence to mint coins. The building houses a museum of coins made here between the 14th and 18th centuries, including the Czech groschen, the currency of choice in the Middle Ages. It's open daily: April to September, from 9am to 6pm; October and March, from 10am to 5pm; and November to February, from 10am to 4pm.
The Bone Church in Sedlec
is located 1.6km ( 1 mile) down the road in Sedlec. All of the decorations inside of the church are made from human bones. The bones came from victims of the 14th-century plague and the 15th-century Hussite wars; both events left thousands dead, who were buried in mass graves on the church's site. In July and August, the Bone Church is open daily from 8am to noon and 1 to 6pm; the rest of the year, it's open Tuesday to Sunday from 9am to noon and 1 to 4pm.
Castles - Bechyně, Červená Lhota, Český Krumlov , Hluboká nad Vltavou, Jindřichův Hradec, Orlík nad Vltavou, Pelhřimov, Třeboň, Zvíkov
České Budějovice - beer town (Budvar )
Holašovice - folk architecture village (peasant baroque)
Lipno Valley Reservoir
Sumava - a large part of this nature formation declared a national park
Tábor - centre of the Hussite religious organisation
Třeboň - spa town
Vyšší Brod and Zlatá Koruna - Cistercian Monasteries
World Heritage Site UNESCO
One of Bohemia's prettiest towns known for its historic importance and physical beauty is situated 19km ( 12 miles) SW of Ceské Budejovice. Three hundred historical buildings, along with the castle complex and St. Vitus Church, form the core of this important and world-famous community. Ceský Krumlov's unique beauty is inextricably linked with the 300-year reign of the Romberks, who chose the town as the seat of their domain and contributed to the gothic and renaissance look of the town. They were succeeded by the Eggenbergs, who contributed the baroque theater and chateau gardens. For those with their own transportation, Ceský Krumlov makes an excellent weekend trip.
The town Renaissance festival--the Festival of the Five-Petal Rose--is an enormously popular attraction held every summer in June. Be sure to reserve a hotel room months in advance if you hope to stay in Ceský Krumlov the weekend of the festival.
Points of Interests
Ceský Krumlov's hills and alleyways cry out for hours of exploration, but you can see everything in 1 day. No cars are allowed in the historic town. The town is split into two parts -- the Inner Town and Latrán, which houses the castle.
A walk through the center of this South Bohemian town is a wonderful experience. Gothic and Renaissance houses, the large Renaissance town hall on a sloping square, connected to narrow and winding streets, as well as dignified monasteries and churches were preserved without disturbing reconstruction and as a whole it represents a treasure of world wide importance.
However, not only the picturesque town, but also the castle (the second largest in Bohemia after the Prague castle) belongs among the most often visited places in Bohemia. You'll feel that time has stopped as you look from the Lazebnický Bridge and see the waters of the Vltava below snaking past the castle's gray stone. At night, by the castle lights, the view becomes even more dramatic.
Ceský Krumlov Castle
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was founded by the nobility of Krumlov before the middle of 13th century. Petr of Rožmberk later built a new section known as the Horní Hrad (Upper Castle). Substantial structural adaptations took place in the course of the forty year rule of Vilém of Rožmberk (+1592) and according to the plans of Baltazare Maggi both castles Horní Hrad (Upper Castle) and Dolní Hrad (Lower Castle) were connected by new structures. Valuable Renaissance and Baroque rooms and halls with many works of art and crafts of the last five centuries have been preserved in the Český Krumlov castle. There is a beautiful Rococo chapel and a large Masquerade Hall, decorated with paintings by J. Lederer. A gilded equipage is listed among the many curiosities. There is a splendid view in castle garden of a large Baroque theater with original furnishings and fixtures. There is also a summerhouse and a cascading water fountain in its surroundings. Since the end of the 16th century bears have been kept in the castle moat.
Few dared change the appearance of Ceský Krumlov over the years, not even the Schwarzenbergs, who had a flair for opulence. At the turn of the 19th century, several facades of houses in the town's outer section were built, as were inner courtyards. Thankfully, economic stagnation in the area under Communism meant little money for "development"
Okresní Muzeum (Regional Museum )
is at the top of Horní ulice. Once a Jesuit seminary, the three-story museum now contains artifacts and displays relating to Ceský Krumlov's 1,000-year history. The highlight of this mass of folk art, clothing, furniture, and statues is a giant model of the town that offers a bird's-eye view of the buildings. Admission is 50Kc. The museum is open May to September, daily 10am to 5pm (till 6pm in July and Aug); October to December, Tuesday to Friday 9am to 4pm; and March and April, Saturday and Sunday 1 to 4pm.
St. Vitus Cathedral
is the impressive late Gothicdown the street Horni ulice. The church tower offers one of the most spectacular views of both the Inner Town and the castle across the river. The church is open daily from 8am to 8pm.
Radnice (Town Hall)
at námestí Svornosti 1, is open daily from 9am to 6pm, its Gothic arcades and Renaissance vault inside are exceptionally beautiful.
Egon Schiele Foundation and the Egon Schiele Centrum
in Inner Town, Siroká 70-72. One of Ceský Krumlov's most famous residents was Austrian-born artist Egon Schiele. He was a bit of an eccentric and his stay was cut short when residents' patience ran out. The museum documents his life and work, housing a permanent selection of his paintings as well as exhibitions of other 20th-century artists. Admission depends on the exhibitions being displayed; hours are daily from 10am to 6pm.
Hotels With the rise of free enterprise after the fall of Communism, many hotels have sprouted up or are getting a "new" old look.
is located 24km ( 15 miles) E of Ceské Budejovice.
The town slowly grew from the 12th to the mid-14th century, when four of the Rozmberk brothers (also known as the Rosenbergs) took over, making Trebon a home away from their official residence Ceský Krumlov. Trebon quickly flourished, attaining key brewing and salt customs rights. Fish master Stepánek Netolický and his successor, Mikulás Rathard built more than 5,000 fishponds around the town. During the 17th and 18th centuries Trebon was rebuilt into it´s Renaissance face. Under Communism, Trebon was awarded spa rights, which kept money flowing in and buildings in good repair.
Watch for posters or ask at the information center about the historic Knight Tournament, which, if it occurs, can be a lot of fun. Unfortunately, there's no set date for it and it isn't an annual event.
Svinenská brána the southern gate and the the oldest of the town's three gates.
Regent Brewery just outside the gate founded in 1379.
Masarykovo námestí, with the beautifully colored Renaissance facades.
Zámek Trebon (Trebon Castle)
The original Gothic castle was destroyed by fire and reconstructed several times, most recently in 1611. It has splendidly decorated rooms that provide a terrific backdrop to the 16th-century furnishings and very popular an exhibition on pond-building. Admission is 50Kc . May to September, hours are Tuesday to Sunday from 9am to noon and 1 to 5pm. April and October, hours are Saturday, Sunday, and holidays from 9am to noon and 1 to 5pm.
Augustinian monastery and the 14th-century St. Giles Church next to it. Inside the church are replicas of some of the finest Gothic works in central Europe. The church and monastery are open Monday to Saturday from 9am to 7pm and Sunday from 9am to 6pm.
Rybník Svet, a large pond to the south of the Old Town.
Schwarzenberská hrobka (Schwarzenberg Mausoleum). Built in 1877, this neo-Gothic chapel and crypt is the resting place for most members of the Schwarzenberg family.
For large, tranquil forests, unpolluted and undamaged by acid rain, you can't go past the Šumava Mountains, which stretch along the border with Austria and Germany. The only wildlife left behind by past hunting are birds, though deer have been re-introduced. Wildflowers abound throughout the range. The oldest mountains in the Czech Republic, the Šumava - two rounded ranges with high plains and moors between them - are ideal for walking or trekking, and although the mountainous terrain rules out cycling on most hiking trails, the many dirt roads are good for an adventurous and challenging ride
Castles - Karlova Koruna, Kuks, Lipnice nad Sázavou, Litomyšl, Opočno, Trosky
The Adršpach-Teplice Cliffs - national nature reserve
Broumov - monastery complex
Dvůr Králové nad Labem - zoological gardens built in style of safari park
Havlíčkův Brod - former silver mine
Jičín - an urban conservation area
Pardubice - known with Pardubice gingerbread and the Great Pardubice Steeplechase
Krkonoše andSněžka - the highest mountain in the Czech Republic
The highest summits are Snezka 1,602 m a.s.l., Lucni hora 1,555 m a.s.l., Studnicni hora 1,554 m a.s.l. and Vysoke kolo 1,509 m a.s.l
Source area of the following rivers - CZ: Labe, Upa, Jizerka and Mumlava
Glacier pools - CZ: Mechove jezirko
Waterfalls - CZ: Labsky vodopad, Pancavsky vodopad, Mumlavsky vodopad, Horni Upsky vodopad and Dolni Upsky vodopad
Climate is cold and very humid; dominant direction of winds - west winds from the Atlantic; average temperature is from +6oC to 0oC
Permanent snow cover - app. 7 months; average height of snow cover - 150- 200 cm; number of avalanche trails - app. 50
Castles - Bezděz, Děčín, Duchcov, Frýdlant, Litoměřice, Ploskovice, Zákupy
Novy Bor, Jablonec nad Nisou – world famous crystal factories
The Czech Switzerland
Říp - the Czech national mountain
Teplice - oldest spa town in Bohemia
Terezín - the baroque fortress used as a Nazi concentration camp 1940-45
is situated 48km ( 30 miles) NW of Prague.
Joseph II, the son of Maria Teresa, decided to build Terezín to ward off further offensives. More than 50 years later, the fortifications were just what occupying Nazi forces needed.
At the so-called Paradise Ghetto, there were no gas chambers, no mass machine-gun executions, and no medical testing rooms. Terezín wasn't used to exterminate the Jews, gays, Gypsies, and political prisoners it held. Rather, the occupying Nazi forces used it as a transit camp. About 140,000 people passed though Terezín's gates; more than half ended up at the death camps of Auschwitz and Treblinka. Russian forces liberated Terezín on May 10, 1945, 8 days after Berlin had fallen to the Allies. Today, the camp stands as a memorial to the dead and a monument to human depravity.
Points of interests
Terezín stands as a memorial to the dead and a monument to human depravity.
Museum of the Ghetto
chronicling the rise of Nazism and life in the camp. It's open daily: October to March from 9am to 5:30pm and April to September from 9am to 6pm.
National Cemetery (Národní hrbitov)
where the bodies exhumed from the mass graves were buried. It is open daily: October to March 8am to 4:30pm and April to September 8am to 6pm.
Castles - Rábí, Horšovský Týn, Loket, Tachov
Spa towns - Františkovy Lázně, Karlovy Vary , Konstantinovy Lázně, Lázně Kynžvart, Mariánské Lázně, Jáchymov
Domažlice - centre of Chodsko, area with the traditional folklore
Plzeň - the town of beer (Pilsen Urquell )
Castles - Jaroměřice nad Rokytnou, Kroměříž, Lednice, Mikulov, Pernštejn, Velehrad, Valtice
Rajhrad - the oldest monastery in Moravia
Dolní Věstonice - famous for archaeological findings from the early Stone Age
Jihlava - an urban conservation area
Luhačovice - spa town
Strážnice - museum of folk architecture
Telč - UNESCO listed town
Znojmo - an urban conservation area
Žďár nad Sázavou - UNESCO listed town
is situated 149km ( 93 miles) SE of Prague, 86km ( 54 miles) W of Brno.
Located in southern Moravia, this 13th century town was originally a fortress protected by a moat. A former gothic chateau rebuilt in renaissance style graces the town center. Apart from the chateau, a unique preserved complex of renaissance and baroque houses on the main square form the town's important historical core. The main square is a collage of pastel colors and long arcades. This town is one of the few towns in Europe that can be proud of not being reconstructed since its original edifices were built. It now enjoys the honor of being a United Nations (UNESCO) World Heritage Site. Its uniformly built houses and castle give it an almost too-perfect look.
Points of interests
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located at the northwest end of the main square. Zacharias of Neuhaus, whose name now graces the main square in 1553 he commissioned Antonio Vlach, and later Baldassare Maggi de Ronio, to rebuild the château, originally a 14th-century Gothic structure to a Renessaince style.
Highlightsof interior are the Africa Hall, with rhino heads, tiger skins, and other exotica , The Banquet Hall's sgrafitti, and the Marble Hall of Knights boasts a wood ceiling decorated with bas-reliefs from 1570.
The castle is open Tuesday to Sunday: May to September from 9am to noon and 1 to 5pm; October and April from 9am to noon and 1 to 4pm; the castle is closed November to March.
Church of St. James (Kostel sv. Jakuba) and Jesuit Church of the Name of Jesus are next to the castle.
House 15 at the square , where a round oriel and sgrafitti portraying the crucifixion, Saul and David, Christopher, and faith and justice jut onto the street corner.
If it's picture-postcard views you're after, the Moravian Karst is a beautiful heavily-wooded hilly area north of Brno, carved with canyons and honeycombed with some 400 caves, created by the underground Punkva River. Traces of prehistoric humans have been found in the caves.
Punkevni offers some great caving. You walk 1km (0.6mi) through the deepest caves, ending up at the foot of the Macocha Abyss. A small boat then takes you for a brief ride down the Punkva River out of the cave. Other great nearby caves include Katerinska, Balcarka and Sloupsko-Sosuvske.
Castles - Bouzov, Helfštýn, Velké Losiny
Nový Jičín - an urban conservation area
Olomouc - the old bishop's and later archbishops' city, UNESCO listed town
Praděd - the highest mountain in Moravia
Rožnov pod Radhoštěm - home to the Wallachian Outdoor Museum