Have you heard of Giant Drásal, Saint John Sarkander or Rabbi Šach?

Maybe you prefer hard candy, chocolate sweets or jelly beans. Any idea where they are made? In Holešov!
The candy manufacture there started almost 160 years ago, but that is nothing compared to the history of the town, the settlement of which dates back to the Early Bronze Age. The first written documents come from 1141 and, in the course of time, the rich and often turbulent history continued to be recorded. Thanks to this there are many interesting landmarks in Holešov, some of them with a hallmark of worldliness. We recommended starting at the area of the local early Baroque château when exploring Holešov. The château might not have richly decorated interiors, but it will charm you with the diversity and quality of the various art, photo and educational exhibitions held there. The concerts and music festivals you can hear in Holešov almost all year round have a great atmosphere. It is no wonder, Holešov has a good relationship to music and, among other things, it is also where the excellent music composer František Xaver Richter was born.

A life in a château

The Holešov Château can be found at the edge of the château park, built in the French style. The park covers an area of 62 ha and it will amaze you with the impressive system of water canals shaped as Neptune’s trident, you will find a rose garden there, as well as a fruit orchard and a historical observatory. There is also a swimming pool there. A novelty, especially appreciated by campers, is the possibility to camp on the estate meadow near the swimming pool in summer. While the swimming pool and the campsite are only open in summer (from 1 July to 30 September 2020), the château park is open to the public all year round.

Jews and Holešov

Holešov is famous for its Jewish monuments. The local Baroque synagogue from the 16th century has an immeasurable historic value – it is the only preserved synagogue of the Polish type, for which floral, fruit or animal decorations are typical. Sabbatai ben Meir Ha-Kohen, a rabbi called Šach, a world-renowned Jewish scholar, used to work there. He is buried at the nearby Jewish cemetery, founded at the beginning of the 17th century. Rabbi Šach’s tomb is one of the 1,500 tombstones of the Jewish residents of Holešov and its surroundings. The cemetery is one of the most important landmarks of the Jewish culture in the Czech Republic.

Other interesting landmarks in the town

We should definitely mention the Church of St. Anne. A few dozen metres from the Church of St. Anne, there is a historic château blacksmith's shop. There you will find a small blacksmith museum, and you can also learn what the mysterious passages under the town were used for. One of them leads directly to the blacksmith’s shop. Listen to the story on a guided tour. The dominant building at the historic square in Holešov and definitely worth a visit is the Church of the Assumption of the Virgin Mary and its unique Black Chapel. Connected to St. John Sarkander, it is named after the decorative black and grey marble. The chapel is the tomb of the Rottal and Vrbno families.

Active tourism lovers

Holešov has a great position for cycling and bike tourism. It is situated on the Haná plain, which means that there are easy flat trails, for example, you can cycle to Bystřice pod Hostýnem, Kroměříž, or Zlín. Also, it is not far to the Hostýnské highland, where mountain bikers will have the best time of their lives. The longest track, called Giant Drásal, is 172 kilometres long; the traditional one is “only” 117 kilometres long. Don’t worry, the Hostýnské highlands also offer easy cycling along forest trails and pleasant paths. And do you know who Josef Drásal was? Today, he was the tallest person living in the Czech lands and most likely in the Austrian-Hungarian Empire at his time, as he measured 242 centimetres. He lived in the second half of the 19th century, spent most of his life in Holešov and is buried at the local cemetery. Holešov is also an interesting place for those who love horses, which you can find at the nearby Dobratice ranch. If you stay in Holešov, you can also try and improve your golf skills. The nine-hole golf course in the local district of Žopy is compact, but diverse.

Tips for trips in the area

In Rymice, you will find an interesting exposition of East Haná folk architecture in an open-air museum. There is also a historical fortress there, where famous warrior Albrecht of Valdštejn used to live at the beginning of his career. From Holešov, you can see the famous pilgrimage site at Svatý Hostýn. The local Basilica of the Assumption of the Virgin Mary is even called the Moravian Lighthouse. Besides the basilica, there is also a stone lookout tower at Hostýn, bearing the name of Emperor Franz Joseph I who laid its foundation stone.