Archive for the ‘Bohemia and Prague’ Category

Kutna Hora

kutna-hora

Kutna Hora is related to the extraction of silver from the Middle Ages. Fourteenth century brought further development of the city, the royal mint was established Italian Court (Vlassky dvůr). Mint closed in the eighteenth century, which was associated with the depletion of silver deposits. Now here is a museum and gallery numismatic mincerstwa.

With a rich history and its unique Kutna Hora was in 1995 listed on UNESCO World Heritage.

Kutna Hora important monuments are also:

  • Ossuary (known as Skull Chapel) in the district of Sedlec
  • church. James
  • Corpus Christi Chapel
  • Hradek
  • Gothic stone fountain
  • Gothic stone house
  • Jesuit college

 

Wenceslas Square in Prague

View-on-Wenceslas-square-in

Wenceslas Square it is one of the most important square in Praque located in New Town. It was founded by king Charles IV in 1348 as a Horse Market. During the Velvet Revolution in 1989 from the balcony of one of the buildings surrounding the square leaders of opposition Vaclav Havel and  Aleksander Dubcek spoke to a crowd. Nowadays it is still the cultural and business centre. In the middle is situated great statue of St Wenceslav, patron of Bohemia. Behind this monument there is the National Museum with great art collections. On the square there is also Lucerna Palace, builded by Vaclav Havel’s grandfather where now is situated the oldest cinema in Praque.

Litomysl

p652384-Litomysl-Zamek_Litomysl

Litomysl was founded between X and XI century on the trade route linking Bohemian and Moravia. In 981 was built border castle and few year later Benedictine cloister. In 1145 the building was took over by Premonstratensians. Today on the site of monastery stands in Renaissance style castle which dominates over the city. It was built in 1567- 1585 by Italian architects Giovanni Battista Aostalli and Ulrico Aostalli. In 1999 the chateau of Litomysl was listed as the UNESCO World Heritage Site. Nowadays, it is available to see an exhibition of old pianos and original Baroque theater backstage. 

Near the chateau’s old brewery is a birthplace of famous composer Bedrich Smetana. In centrum of city is a Smetana Square called in memory of the composer. Also because of Smetana, in Litomysl hold every year a presentations of young interprets of classical music, and Opera’s Festiwal.
In the city lived also another great artist, Josef Vachal, an idiosyncratic and unique artist. His friend. Josef Portman asked him to decorate the ceilings and walls of two rooms in his house. Vachal’s wall paintings in Art Nouveau style in the Portmoneum were done in 1924 and are so complicated that there is no way to describe this. In the honour of Vachal’s work in 1993 the museum was opened.
Litomysl is small city, but very charming with rich history and tradition. This is perfect place to see how does it look like living in Czech Republic.

Ceske Budejovice

fotos-ceske-budejovice-001

The city was founded by Hirzo in XIII century. He was a knight of King Ottokar II of Bohemia. It is located in South Bohemian district in the center of a valley of the Vltava river. In the Middle Ages was an important center for brewing, salt and cloth trade, fish farms, moreover on this area were located silver mines. 

The most attractive thing is the Old Town with preserved medieval urban layout and buildings representing all architectural styles from the twelfth to the nineteenth century
In this part of city the pearl of monuments is cathedral of St. Nicholas from the XIII century, with a free-standing bell tower of the XVI century, also known as a Black Tower. In the vicinity of the Dominican monastery is situated the Church of the Presentation of the Virgin Mary with a second bell tower, so- called White Tower. . The square-shaped central plaza is home to one of the largest fountains in the country, the Samson fountain.
In Ceske Budejovice is well known brewery called Budweiser Budvar Brewery (Budejovicky Budvar). It was founded in 1785, and nearby Pilsner is the most famous Czech beer in the whole world. There is also possibility to visit the brewery, take a tour and get to know the history of beer production.

Cesky Krumlov

cesky-krumlov-01-1

The city was founded in XIII century and it is located in the South Bohemian Region on the Vltava river. It is a small city, but beauty spot. 

The most famous is Cesky Krumlov Castle from XIV century which is the second largest complex after the Hradcany in Prague in Czech Republic. Cesky Crumlov Castle include Church of St. Vitus with frescoes from the XV century. On the castle, there is a Baroque Garden, Lapidarium, and beautiful apartments from XVI- XIX century. The pearl of this complex is Baroque theatre built from 1680-82 under Prince Johann Christian I von Eggenberg. After the renovation in XX century it is still used and it is available for tourist.
Cesky Krumlov it is not only a castle. The city was in possession by establishment noble stocks since the beginning for example family Eggenbergs. Moreover city lay on the trade route and has enough money to built a breathtaking architecture. The town’s structures are mostly in Gothic, Renaissance, and Baroque styles, the old town buildings dates from the 14th through 17th centuries. In Cesky Krumlov is also a The Egon Schiele Art Centrum dedicated for famous artist who lived in the town.
In the town was also filmed The Illusionist and Hostel in 2006.

Liberec

mesto-liberec

City in North Bohemian district located on the river Lusatian Neisse, it was first mentioned in documents in XIV century. Liberec has turbulent history, during the years it was belong to various countries and several times changed the name. 

Majority of monumets were built after XVII century, only few were earlier like Liberec Castle was built in Renaissance style building was completed in 1587. The castle chapel is preserved a unique renaissance of the early seventeenth century. The most recognizable building are Town Hall from 1893 and tower on the top of Jested Mountain. The tower built in 60’s and serves as a hotel and TV transmitter.
Liberec is also great city for recreation. There are two famous Aqua Parks, the first one Bazen Liberec is smaller and cheaper, and the second one Centrum Babylon Liberec with a lot of attractions (it consists also hotel and casino), it is perhaps the biggest in central Europe. Moreover, on the Jested Mountain is situated complex of ski jumps.

Karlove Vary

karlovy-vary-terme3

Karlove Vary is one of the famous health resort. There are 79 hot springs, which beats the water with medicinal properties arising in the granitic rocks of the stem at a depth of about 2 km below ground. Carlsbad water temperature varies between 41 and 73 ˚ C. 

The first hot spring was discovered during a hunt by the Charles IV, he was tracking with his hound a wounded deer. In 1370, Charles IV gave the village Vary civic rights to the name and then added the term „Carlsbad.” The same emperor founded bridge in Prague known as a Charles Bridge. In over two hundred years of Karlove Vary had little more than a hundred buildings. This town in the mid-seventeenth century, after the Thirty Years’ War, began to be fashionable among the aristocracy. At first no one came up with the fact that water can be drunk by the patients and was used only for bathing. In the popular consciousness the healing power of water was directly proportional to the degree of skin burns – Vary in English means „boiling water”. Chemist Jan Becher found that water from Karlove Vary is drinkable, but he is better know from traditional herbal liqueur Becherovka. Now in the city is available to see Jan Becher Museum and historic manufacture of liqueur.

Old New Synagogue in Josefov, Prague

synagoga staronowa

Old New Synagogue– famous Jewish temple built in 1270 was the first Gothic style building in Prague. When in XVI century started to build newer, this one became Old- New. It is the great monument with twin nave design. To the synagogue leads nine degrees down, where you enter the vestibule, from which you enter the main prayer hall square. Entry is included in the Gothic portal, in the tympanum  are the vines symbolizing the Twelve Tribes of Israel. Cross-ribbed vaults have additional fifth rib, it is not justify the construction, but it was added in order to avoid theme of the cross interior the building. Legend says that angels brought here parts of the Temple of Solomon, the local Jews used them for the establishment of this synagogue or that it was house for famous creature Golem.

Josefov in Prague

josefov

Josefov is a jewish part of Prague known as a Jewish Quarter. It’s unique place because of number of synagogues. The oldest one in Central Europe which preserved it is gothic Old New Synagogue. Jewish getto was opened in XIX th century, then richer people moved to other part of Praque. Most of the building was destroyed and in their place built block of flats ath the beginning of 20th century. The Nazist wanted to create here museum of extinct race, because of that monuments preserve the 2nd World War. Most of the other jewish temples are from the XVI th century. The Jewish Museum include in complex The Maisel Synagogue, Pinkas Synagogue, Klausen Synagogue, Spanish Synagogue, Old Jewish Cementery, Ceremonial Hall (Prague Burial Society Building), Robert Guttmann Gallery and the Education and Culture Centre.
Old Jewish cementery was served as a burial site for almost 300 years. There is about 12 000 tombstones, most in gothic, renaisance and baroque architectural style.
In Josefov in 1920 was directed movie The Golem based on legend about this creaure.


Town Hall and Astronomical Clock

Prague_Astronomical_Clock

The Town Hall on the Main Square had been built since XIV century. At the end of XV century Master Hanus constructed astronomical clock called Prazsky orloj. The clock consists of three main parts: the astronomical – showing the positions of celestial bodies, the calendar – with medallions representing the months and animation – with moving figures and images of the Twelve Apostles of Death, Turk, Vanitas and Greed. 

In 1548 Town Hall was extended by another house. To a large hall has been reconstructed in the late eighteenth century, when it merged with all the cities of Prague in one city. In the 30.and 40. XIX century, the northern wing was built, but it was destroyed in 1945 during the Prague uprising