All the Best to the Monuments in Czechia
It is a day celebrated by all sites and monuments worldwide and obviously also those in Czechia. Whether they are inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage Site List, included among national cultural sites of the Czech Republic or simply just rank among the public’s favourites, Czechia has many of them. We have selected the most popular, the most beautiful as well as the most mysterious.

The most popular

Traditionally, the most popular site among tourists is Prague Castle. Besides various tours for example round the Old Royal Palace, the majestic St. Vitus Cathedral, the picturesque Golden Lane, and the splendid Picture Gallery, tourists can also appreciate great views of the whole of Prague or a stroll in the romantic and peaceful castle gardens or in the park, leading all the way up to Petřín Lookout Tower. One can easily spend at least one day in and around Prague Castle, because it is the largest castle complex in the world.

However, tourists often set out for other areas in the Czech Republic. In South Bohemia the traditional favourite is the romantic Renaissance chateau in Český Krumlov, together with the adjacent fairytale-like town.

West Bohemia’s  popular tourist destination is the noble Loket Castle, where you will discover a thing or two about medieval torture practices, and, of course, about its history. Interestingly, the castle once served as a prison for the future King of Bohemia and Holy Roman Emperor Charles IV.

The oldest

The oldest castle in the territory of the Czech Republic is Přimda near the border with Germany. It was built in the year 1121, supposedly by a wicked Margrave with the intention of hiding the Emperor's young daughter Helen there. According to legend, the only access to the castle led via the treetops. We will probably never know if this is true, since today the castle can be accessed in quite a normal manner.

While Prague Castle was still only a mere fortified settlement, the confluence of the Rivers Elbe and Vltava in Mělník could boast a mighty castle. Over the centuries it was rebuilt several times until it received today’s appearance with Renaissance and Baroque features. During his reign, Charles IV included it in the exclusive estate of the Queens of Bohemia.

There are some other very old castles in the country, such as Křivoklát, Blatná and Český Šternberk, which in its heyday was the most complicated structure in the Czech lands.

The most beautiful

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder so obviously several sites thought by some to be more beautiful may appear in the popularity list under those considered less attractive. However, one of the great favourites among tourists, romantic souls as well as filmmakers is Bouzov Castle in Moravia.

Regarded as the largest composed landscape in Europe, the Moravian Lednice-Valtice Complex, which has been on the list of UNESCO’s World Heritage Sites for over 20 years, is a destination often sought-after by cycling fans and wine lovers.

One of the top attractions in South Bohemia is the fairytale-like castle in Hluboká nad Vltavou, which due to the great interest of tourists is open all year round.

The most picturesque

If you are one of those who prefer admiring the charms of picturesque features to majestic castles, then you will definitely marvel at the village of Holašovice in South Bohemia. You will find it quite close to the already mentioned Český Krumlov so you can visit both of these places in one trip. Inscribed on the UNESCO list, Holašovice is an exceptionally well-preserved example of a traditional Czech village that makes everyone feel at home.

Full of glamour, the small picturesque chateau Červená Lhota is situated not far from the Třeboň Pond Area. It won’t catch your eye by being huge or ostentatious, but what will most definitely appeal to everyone is the chateau’s bright red plaster, reflecting beautifully on the surface of the pond, which surrounds it. And what could be more enjoyable than a trip to the chateau by boat?

More examples of quaintness can be found in the largest and oldest open-air museum in Central Europe, situated in Rožnov pod Radhoštěm.  You can feast your eyes on a wooden town, where you will discover what life in a small town used to be like, explore a Wallachian village, where you will experience an ordinary village day, and see the Mill Valley, with functional exhibits powered by water, such the mill itself as well as a fuller or mill saw.

The most mysterious

Moreover, the Czech Republic has some sites fit only for brave souls that are not afraid of hell, ghosts or skeletons.

Take for example, Houska Castle in the north of Prague, which is one of those mysterious places – nobody knows who built it or why – the castle stands on a spot where neither a frontier nor a trade path used to lead and therefore there was nothing to protect. A very interesting feature is the rock, integrated throughout the entire castle. Supposedly, lying hidden beneath the castle is a gateway to hell, guarded by a terrifying monk, and since neither he nor the gateway have ever been found, people continue to search various places, such as the castle chapel or the well. Where do you think you might discover the gateway?

It won’t be difficult to notice supernatural phenomena in the Church of St. George in Luková, as it would really be harder to miss them. The plaster ghosts stand at the entrance or sit in the pews, trying to somewhat lure the tourists in rather than to discourage them. Where else could you take a selfie with a faceless ghost?

Situated not far from Prague – in Sedlec, Kutná Hora the place to give you a real hair-raising experience is the vaulted Ossuary adorned with spine-chilling decorations. Made from the bones of people who had died many years previous in epidemics, the candelabras, pyramids and shields offer a sight that can be truly appreciated only by some.

Heritage sites are celebrating in May, too!

The end of May is also a great time for heritage sites! That’s because Private Chateau and Castle Days will be held from 23th to 26th May 2024. So, in the last weekend in May you can look forward to a special programme of events at 19 Czech chateaus and castles. In some places you’ll be given a tour by the owners themselves, while elsewhere you’ll have the chance to take a peek at places not normally open to the public, and some historical buildings only open their doors to visitors during this time!

And where to go?