The Czech Republic is a landlocked country in the centre of Europe. It is a country of varied natural beauty, living legends and traditions, and historical monuments that reflect rich times gone by.The legacies left to us by our ancestors include monuments dating as far back as the Romanesque era, Gothic cathedrals, Baroque churches and palaces, ornate Renaissance houses and summer residences, fine examples of Cubist architecture, Synagogues of various styles, Art Nouveau coffee shops, and winding cobblestone streets.Though Prague might be the first choice for travellers seeking intriguing destinations in the Czech Republic, the other regions of the country should not be missed.
The open landscape is scattered with castles, historical ruins, and chateaux.The most distinguished people of European and world science and art have left their permanent mark on the country's history. Mozart, Kafka, Goethe, Einstein, Beethoven and Casanova are only a few of the famous citizens who were associated with the Czech lands.
Apart from the capital Prague, the Czech Republic has eleven other locations on the list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites.HISTORIC CENTRE OF CESKÝ KRUMLOV.Located on the banks of the Vltava river, the town was built around a 13th-century castle with Gothic, Renaissance and Baroque elements. It is an exceptional example of a minor European medieval town whose architectural legacy has remained intact thanks to its peaceful development over more than five centuries.HISTORIC CENTRE OF TELC.The houses in Telc, which stands on a peak, were initially constructed of wood.
After a fire in the late 14th century, the town was rebuilt in stone, enclosed by walls and further strengthened by a complex of man-made ponds. The town's Gothic castle was reconstructed in High Gothic style in the late 15th century.PILGRIMAGE CHURCH OF ST JOHN OF NEPOMUK AT ZELENÁ HORA.This pilgrimage church, built in honour of St John of Nepomuk, stands at Zelena Hora, not far from Zdar nad Sazavou in Moravia. Constructed at the turn of the 18th century on a star-shaped arrangement, it is the most remarkable work by the famous architect Jan Blazej Santini, whose highly unusual style falls between neo-Gothic and Baroque.
KUTNÁ HORA: HISTORICAL TOWN CENTRE WITH THE CHURCH OF ST BARBARA AND THE CATHEDRAL OF OUR LADY AT SEDLEC.Kutná Hora developed as a result of the exploitation of the silver mines. In the 14th century it became a royal city endowed with monuments that symbolized its affluence. The Church of St Barbara, a jewel of the late Gothic era, and the Cathedral of Our Lady at Sedlec, which was restored in line with the Baroque taste of the early 18th century, were to affect the architecture of central Europe.
These masterpieces today form part of a well-preserved medieval urban fabric with some exceptionally fine private homes.LEDNICE-VALTICE CULTURAL LANDSCAPE.Between the 17th and 20th centuries, the ruling dukes of Liechtenstein transformed their domains in southern Moravia into a remarkable landscape. It merged Baroque architecture and the classical and neo-Gothic style of the castles of Lednice and Valtice with countryside created according to English romantic ideology of landscape architecture. At 200 sq.
km, it is one of the leading simulated landscapes in Europe.GARDENS AND CASTLE AT KROMERÍ?.Kromeríz stands on the location of an earlier ford across the River Morava, at the foot of the Chriby mountain range which dominates the central part of Moravia.
The gardens and castle of Kromeríz are remarkably complete and well-preserved example of a European Baroque sizeable residence and its surrounding gardens.HOLA?OVICE HISTORICAL VILLAGE RESERVATION.Hola?ovice is an outstandingly complete and well-preserved example of a traditional central European village. It has a large number of outstanding 18th- and 19th-century vernacular buildings in a style known as 'South Bohemian folk Baroque', and preserves a ground plan dating from the Middle Ages.
LITOMY?L CASTLE.Litomy?l Castle was initially a Renaissance arcade-castle of the type first developed in Italy and then adopted and greatly developed in central Europe in the 16th century. Its design and beautification are particularly excellent, including the later High-Baroque features added in the 18th century. It preserves undamaged the range of secondary buildings associated with an aristocratic abode of this type.HOLY TRINITY COLUMN IN OLOMOUC.
This commemorative column, erected in the early years of the 18th century, is the most exceptional example of a type of monument specific to central Europe. In the typical regional style known as Olomouc Baroque and rising to a height of 35 m, it is adorned with many fine religious sculptures, the work of the illustrious Moravian artist Ondrej Zahner.TUGENDHAT VILLA IN BRNO.
The Tugendhat Villa in Brno, designed by the architect Mies van der Rohe, is an outstanding example of the global style in the modern progress in architecture as it developed in Europe in the 1920s. Its specific value lies in the use of ground-breaking spatial and artistic concepts that aspire to satisfy new lifestyle needs by taking advantage of the opportunities afforded by modern manufacturing.JEWISH QUARTER AND ST PROCOPIUS' BASILICA IN TREBÍC.The ensemble of the Jewish Quarter, the old Jewish cemetery and the Basilica of St Procopius in Trebíc are reminders of the co-existence of Jewish and Christian cultures from the Middle Ages to the 20th century. The Jewish Quarter bears exceptional testimony to the different aspects of the existence of this community.
St Procopius Basilica, built as part of the Benedictine monastery in the early 13th century, is a remarkable model of the influence of Western European architectural tradition in this area.Great selections of cultural events are held throughout the Czech Republic. Numerous galleries that display examples of local and foreign artists draw large amounts of tourists. A number of festivals and exhibitions take place in the country annually, together with popular sports such as Grand Prix races, ice-hockey championships, etc.
Theatre and dance festivals are generally open to the public. The Prague Spring, Prague Autumn, and the International Music Festival are just a few of the best known musical events, while film enthusiasts acclaim the Karlovy Vary International Film Festival..Paul Keene actively writes travel articles for various hotel websites including one for Prague hotels.
By: Paul Keene