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Czech Republic Travel Guide

Updated on February 4, 2013
Bridges Over The Vltava River, Prague
Bridges Over The Vltava River, Prague

Most visitors in CzechRepublic don’t venture further away from Prague, the western cosmopolitan capital city that is renowned for its charm. But if you want to discover the cultural richness of this country you should travel beyond the capital and admire the diverse landscape that consists of mountains, fields, forests and farms. The country was largely spared by the Second World War’s damages, so many of Czech Republic’s cities are architectural treasures in medieval art, Baroque and Art-Nouveau.

The medieval resort-cities in Bohemia and the villages in Moravia offer over 100 castles, from clouded fortresses to aristocratic castles, giving the impression of walking through an open-air museum. The number of high quality restaurants has increased lately and the tourist infrastructure has developed so that venturing beyond the usual tracks doesn’t mean giving up the modern world’s commodities. The most beautiful areas in CzechRepublic include the valleys of Vlatava river (Moldau) and Elba river (Labe), the rolling landscape and the mountains.

Czech Republic Tourist Attractions

  • Admire the magnificent Gothic, Baroque, Romanesque, Art Nouveau and Cubist architecture from the historical center of Prague, which by the way is enlisted as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Admire the city from the castle, the old city hall and the Petrin tower.

  • Visit Cesky Krumlov and admire the Vlatava Riviera from the great castle’s ramparts that was built up on a cliff.

  • If your heart is strong enough you should visit Sedlec Ossuary or Kostnice. This amazing collection of engraved human bones belongs to approximately 40.000 people and they were turned into chandeliers, emblems and statues.
  • Trace back Agent 007’s footsteps and visit the city of Karlovy Vary which, in the Bond series film, Casino Royale, is presented as being Montenegro. Admire the Gothic and Baroque architecture that dominate the historical center.
  • Visit Karlstejn castle which is told to be the most beautiful castle in CzechRepublic. This fortification dates from the 14th century and it’s located on a dramatic slope that offers a fairytale appearance. The short distance from Prague makes this castle an important tourist attraction.
  • Discover the silver mines’ city Kutna Hora, dominated by the Gothic cathedral enlisted as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
  • Discover the Budweiser Budvar beer factory’s secrets from Ceske Budejovice. Admire the city’s medieval architecture and the largest squares in Europe.
  • Visit the beautiful churches in the city Brno. Moravia’s capital city dates from the 13th century and boasts with the MoravianMuseum and the Spilberk gothic castle.
  • Learn about a darker period in the history of CzechRepublic in Terezin. Isolation centers, crowded rooms, the cemetery and the crematory talk about the horror of this former concentration camp.
  • Visit Telc, one of the most beautiful examples of Renaissance cities in Europe and a place declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. The city was restored after a fire that took place in 1530. The square in the center of the city is surrounded by medieval archways and houses with gables.
  • Admire the eclectic architecture in the city of Plzen and visit the BeerMuseum and the Zapadoceske Galleries. In the Plzensky Prazdroj brewery you can see how the original Pilsner beer is made.
  • Visit CzechRepublic’s fairytale castles: Bitov, Bouzov, Cesky Sternberk, Krivoklat, Konopiste, Loket and Pernstejn.
  • Visit the art collection from the Archbishop’s Castle in Kromeriz and take a walk through its pleasant gardens.
  • The academic city of Olomouc is remarkable for its parks, Baroque churches, sculptures and fountains. The region of Hana that surrounds the city contains many villages where harvest festivals take place.
  • Relax in a spa resort from Bohemia and Moravia. These resorts have attracted the crowned head from Europe, with their sulfurous waters.
  • Take hiking trips in the Sumava forest, the biggest national park in the country. The park includes glacial lakes, areas with virgin forests and important historical monuments. The winter sports centers include Zelezna Ruda, Spicak, Zadov, Churanov and Kramolin.
  • Go back in time in the open-air folkloric museum in Roznov pod Radhostem. The museum has three different parts – the small wooden city, the watermill’s valley and the Vlach village.

The Church of Our Lady before Tn, Prague
The Church of Our Lady before Tn, Prague

Czech Republic History

The Czechs are western Slavs, just like Polish and Slovaks. Yet before the Slavs arrival in the 6th century, this area was inhabited by Germanic and Celt tribes. The Bohemian nation had many rules between the 7th and 9th centuries. Only two of them were Carol the forth and Rudolph the second. During Carol’s rule (1346-78) Prague became one of the biggest cities in Europe. In this period it gained its Gothic appearance and important buildings like CarolUniversity, CarolBridge and St. Vitus Cathedral. In the second half of the 16th century the city flourished under Rudolph’s rule and became the headquarters for the Habsburg Empire. Rudolph collected great works of art and invited many artists and renowned scholars to his court.

In the beginning of the 20th century Bohemia was part of the Austrian Empire. After the First World War, Czechoslovakia declared its independence, the new republic consisting of three parts – Bohemia, Moravia and Slovakia. Tomas Garigue Masaryk became the first president. In October 1938 the Nazis occupied Sudetenland and in March 1939 Germany occupied Bohemia and Moravia. Even though it was ruled by Nazis, Slovakia declared its independence. After the Second World War, Czechoslovakia became again an independent state and after the 1948 political coup the communists assumed leadership. The communist government resigned in 1989 after a week of demonstrations known as the Velvet Revolution and Vaclav Havel was elected president. At the end of the year 1992 Czechoslovakia was divided in the CzechRepublic (Bohemia and Moravia) and the SlovakianRepublic. This mutually agreed separation was named The Velvet Divorce. 12 years later, in 2004, the CzechRepublic became a member of the European Union.


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