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Holašovice - Tour of village

The village Holašovice was first mentioned in the mid-13th century during the period of the colonising movements in the South Bohemian border region. The town has experienced two crippling blows over the years. The first was in the 16th century, when almost all of the original Czech inhabitants of the village were wiped out through plague, following which it was almost immediately occupied by German settlers. The Second World War dealt another blow when the attempts made by the German inhabitants to join the village to the Reich were successful. After the war, in 1946, the enforced withdrawal began which affected the majority of the German inhabitants. The empty buildings were then inhabited by Czechs from the inland, who built very little here, with just some repairs and maintenance being carried out. This meant that in 1998 the almost entirely preserved medieval system of houses and grain stores was inscribed in the UNESCO World Cultural Heritage List.

We can commence our tour in the former school (today an information centre) with a look at the exhibition on the history of Holašovice. We can begin the tour anywhere, but because none of the protected buildings are open to the public, we can say at least a little bit about the dual-purpose design of the majority of the buildings. Each house would be accessed through the entrance hall, which divided the house into inhabited and agricultural sections. Extra value in such a homestead would be added by a so-called ‘výměnek’, a granary, cowshed, threshing floor, barn and similar outbuildings. At the centre of the buildings there was a yard, and the building was accessible to the village green through a gateway. In front of the houses we can see various small gardens, pumps and hand-bored cylinder wells. At the centre of the village green is the chapel dating from 1755 and the self-standing cross which was consecrated in 1935.

The educational trail through Brložek takes you to the village of Brloh at the heart of the Blanský les. The first written records date from the 13th century, and the Church of Sts. Simon and Jude, originally the Church of St. Mary Magdalen, built in circa 1340, is well worth seeing. Not far from the village you can also find the ruins of the castle and monastery of Kuklov, the Celtic fortress of Stržíšek and the Slavonic stronghold of U Ondřeje.

The cycle tour in search of the ancient Slavs will take you through the picturesque south Bohemian countryside to Netolice. Here at the top of the hill known as Svatý Jan (Saint John), the gradual reconstruction of the former Přemyslid castle is under way, It dates from the 10th to the 13th centuries and was mentioned in the Kosma chronicle in 981. The tour is approximately 16 km in length and goes from Holašovice to Netolice through Záboří, Strýčice, Radošovice and Němčice.

Cycle routes through the Blanský forest serve the entire area of the Protected Countryside Region of the Blanský forest and connects with the network of cycle routes in the South Bohemian Region. New cycle routes, including a system of signs, meet the requirements of the Czech touristic club and join the most popular attractions in the Blanský forest. The UNESCO route connects Český Krumlov with Holašovice via three educational trails, all passing through the Blanský forest.

Dívčí Kámen is the ruin of one of the most extensive gothic castles in the Czech Republic. It was built between 1350 – 1360 near the present-day village of Třísov, about 9 kilometres from Český Krumlov, above the confluence of the Křemžský stream and the River Vltava. Today concerts are put on here, as well as historical, swordfighting and theatre performances, medieval markets, talks and exhibitions.

Klet' is the highest peak in the Blanský forest with a height above sea level of 1084 metres. The best way to reach the summit is by the 1792 metre-long ski lift, built between 1961 and 1963, from the village of Krásetíny. At the top there is not only an observatory, but also a lookout tower built in 1822-1825 and the 'Tereza cottage', which serves refreshments and offers accommodation, and was opened on 4.10.1925.

The Zlatá Koruna monastery is approximately 8 km north of Český Krumlov, and the Cistercian monastery was built thanks to its benefactor, the Bohemian King Otakar Přemysl II, who donated a thorn from Christ's crown. The monastery was known as the Holy Crown of Thorns and Zlatá Koruna 'Golden Crown' since the 14th century. For visitors there is a tour of the monastery or a permanent exhibition of Illuminations in Southern Bohemia.

Český Krumlov is situated under the ridge of the Blanský forest, and the River Vltava runs through the middle. The first records date from 1253. Since 1963 the medieval centre has been an urban monument protected zone and has been on the UNESCO World Cultural Heritage List since 1992. The original gothic castle, rebuilt in the renaissance style is, after Prague castle, the most extensive castle in the Czech Republic.

České Budějovice, in German Budweis, and originally known as Budivojovice, lies at the confluence of the rivers Vltava and Malše. The city was established by the Bohemian King Otakar Přemysl in 1265. The city's brewing rights and the history of beer brewing also dates from the 13th century. Today's náměstí Přemysl Otakar II is a fine example of medieval urban architecture in the Czech lands.

The Hluboká nad Vltavou castle was originally a look-out castle, and was built in the mid 13th century. The castle has undergone a complicated development as it has been rebuilt on four occasions. Today's appearance dates from the rebuild carried out in 1840-1871, when a building with 140 richly-appointed rooms and eleven towers and bastions was built. Surrounding the castle are the castle gardens in the English style.

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