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Kutná Hora
About 70 km eastward from Prague, the capital of the Czech Republic, there lies the town of Kutná Hora, whose historical centre represents an architectonic jewel of the European significance.
The history of Kutná Hora is inseparably connected with mining and processing of silver. In 2nd half of 13th century, originally the miners´ settlement situated near abundant deposits of silver ores on the mound above the stream Vrchlice, changed quickly into a royal town, which competed with Prague by its wealth not only in economic, but also in political and cultural fields. Thanks to yields from extremely wide mining, the Czech king was one of richest rulers of that period in Europe. This fame survived with slight breaks until 16th century, when deposits of ore were gradually depleted and mining was relocated to a near hill of Kaňk. The definitive end was in 1727, when the local royal mint was definitely closed. Also many great personalities of cultural and social life were born in Kutná Hora. Among the best known natives belong J. K. Tyl, dramatist and journalist, Mikuláš Dačický from Heslov, renaissance poet, or J. E. Vocel, world-famous archaeologist and historian. J. Vrchlický and K. H. Borovský stayed here during their life. Nowadays, the town is not so important as it was in the era of its greatest bloom, but, thanks to the complex of more than three hundreds of protected historical monuments of medieval and baroque architecture, it represents a picturesque locality in the centre of Europe, which often becomes a place where many visitors from the whole world are coming. In December 1995, historical centre of the town, together with the St. Barbara´s Cathedral and the Church of Assumption of the Virgin Mary in Sedlec, were entered in the list of the world cultural heritage of humankind of UNESCO.




Hrad Karlštejn
Castle is only 50 km from Prague.
High Gothic castle founded in 1348, which has a unique position among Czech castles. It was built by Czech King and Roman Emperor Charles IV as a place for safekeeping of the royal treasures, especially Charles's collection of holy relics and the coronation jewels of the Roman Empire. The first stay of Charles IV in the castle is documented in 1355 when he came to supervise the building works as well as the decoration of interiors, especially the castle chapels. The construction of the castle was finished in 1365 when the Chapel of the Holy Cross situated in the Great tower was consecrated. At the outbreak of the Hussite wars the castle became the place for safekeeping of the Czech coronation jewels, which were kept here, with the exception of several short-time breaks, for nearly 200 years. The castle was reconstructed in late Gothic style after 1480 and in Renaissance style in the last quarter of the 16th century. The present appearance of the castle comes from the last reconstruction, which was carried out in the purist neo-Gothic style by architect Josef Mocker at the end of the 19th century. Very impressive is the original step-like order of buildings. From the Well tower and Burgrave's palace located as the lowest you walk up to the majestic five-storied Imperial palace and further up towards the Marian tower. And finally at the top of the headland stands the monumental 60m high and separately fortified Great tower.

Points of interest: :
Entirely unique is the original decoration of wall paintings dating back to the 14th century, collection of 129 panel paintings by Master Theodoric in the Chapel of the Holy Cross (the world largest if its kind), the largest portrait gallery of Czech rulers in the country, exhibited replica of St. Wenceslas crown - the coronation crown of the Czech Kings as well as the unique castle well.




State castle Český Krumlov
175 km from Prague is Český Krumlov, with its architectural standard, cultural tradition, and expanse, ranks among the most important historic sights in the central European region.
Building development from the 14th to 19th centuries is well-preserved in the original groundplan layout, material structure, interior installation and architectural detail. A worthy assessment of the area by both domestic and foreign experts resulted in the acquisition of historic monument preservation status. In 1963, the town was declared a Municipal Preserve, in 1989 the castle became a National Monument, and in 1992 the entire complex was included onto the list of UNESCO World Cultural Heritage Monuments.

Location:
The mighty complex of the castle is erected on the rock promontory which has been sculpted by the Vltava river from the southern side and by Polečnice stream from the northern side. The castle towers proudly above the refined Renaissance and Baroque burgher architecture of the town below. The town, together with the magnificent Church of St.Vitus and the complex of the castle, creates an unique feature of the whole region. Like a precious pearl, the town of Český Krumlov is situated in the valley surrounded with the massif of Blansko Forest to the north and the undulating foothills of Šumava to the south and west.

Area:
The castle area is one of the largest in central Europe. It is a complex of forty buildings and palaces, situated around five castle courts and a castle park spanning an area of seven hectares..

 

 

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