The Žatec hop is on the UNESCO List!
Czechia now has 17 sites on the UNESCO World Heritage List! The latest entry is Žatec and the Landscape of Saaz Hops. Immerse yourself in this fascinating world, whose history and traditions date far back into mediaeval times. Get to know this Czech national treasure, without which Czech beer and many of the world’s beer brands wouldn't have stood a chance.

The hop is Czechia’s treasure trove

Hops, a perennial herb grown for its bitter flowers, are the magical ingredient that no brewery can do without today. And when the topic of hops comes up, brewers pretty much all over the world think of that finest variety, the red-bine Saaz, which originates in the landscape around the town of Žatec on the boundary between North and West Bohemia. Not only can you enjoy this variety in Czechia’s world-famous Pilsner lager, but it is also used in Guinness, the Irish stout, and the Belgian Stella Artois.

Žatec, Czechia
The traditional art of hop growing refined to perfection

Hops have been grown around Žatec for some 700 years now and during that time a unique landscape has been shaped with this in mind; the very best varieties originated here and people built towns literally designed around the hop processing industry. This all imbues the Žatec region with its own specific character.

Žatec Saaz hops landscape, Czechia
The hop-scented treasures of Žatec

However, It’s not only the historical centre of Žatec and the monuments that have always been associated with the cultivation, storage and processing of hops that have been listed as World Heritage Sites, but also the places that traded in hops, the hopfields around the Ohře River, Trnovany with its preserved hop drying kilns, and also the hopfields near the village of Stekník, which is also home to a beautiful purely Rococo château with an Italian terraced garden, which adds a unique touch of character to this hop-filled landscape.

Stekník Chateau surrounded by hops fields near Žatec, CzechiaŽatec, a town with hops in its DNA!

The heart of the town of Žatec is its historical centre, in which the character and atmosphere of centuries gone by lives on. The roofs of the townhouses are interspersed with the chimneys of drying kilns and other establishments associated with the hop-processing industry.

Žatec Gothic Gateway, CzechiaWhere’s a good place to learn more about hops?

You can visit the townhouse right next to the Žatec Brewery, which houses the Brewing Museum of the Žatec Region, where you can explore the history of breweries past and present in this famous hop-growing region. It shows several films on how beer is brewed, but beer itself is not on tap in the museum: anyone interested can take a tour around the museum and the brewery, including the chance to taste the beer.

Want to get a closer look at hops?

Throughout Žatec there are a number of interesting places and heritage sites in the history of which hops have played or still play the starring role. These include the Hop and Beer Temple, an entertaining and educational attraction that showcases the tradition of this world-famous hop region. And if you fancy getting a bird’s-eye view of the town, you can go up the Hop Lighthouse, a unique viewing tower. It is also worth seeing the Hop Astronomical Clock, a clock face featuring the twelve signs of the zodiac and portraying the hop year. Another attraction definitely worth checking out is the unique Renaissance malt-house with its malting exhibition and gallery, and don’t miss the Hop Museum, which boasts the biggest hop exhibition in the world.

Hops Astronomical Clock in Žatec, Czechia

Discover Czech UNESCO treasures!


Will you choose one of the ancient cities, a modern villa or an impressive Gothic cathedral?