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EXCURSIONS OUTSIDE PRAGUE

1. KARLSTEIN CASTLE


25 km (16 miles) SW of Prague. A glorious example of medieval architecture built by Charles IV. As a safe deposit for the crown jewels and important state documents. Part of the original furnishing and decorations can still be seen. It’s in beautiful setting too, surrounded by forests.

2. KONOPIŠTĚ

 
45 km (28 miles) SE of Prague. Originally constructed in the 14th century, the palace was totally altered in the late 19th and early 20th centuries by Archduke Franz Ferdinand, whose assasination in Sarajevo in 1914 sparked off World War I. It has large collections of weapons and hunting trophies.

3. KŘIVOKLÁT CASTLE


Very nice castle in the gothic style, 45 km of Prague. You can visit a gothic chappel and original library. Castle is surrounded by beautiful forests.

4. ČESKÝ ŠTERNBERK


Gothic castle overlooking the Sázava river was founded by Zdeslav of Divišov in the year 1241. The castle gained a reputation as being impregnable because of its good strategic position and well-developed fortification system. The castle is one of the best preserved medieval buildings in the Czech Republic today. Tours are offered round the castle which also houses a unique collection of engravings from the 17th century. Restaurant in the grounds available.

5. NELAHOZEVES


The collections of the Roudnice branch of the Lobkowicz family incorporate thousands of works from the Renaissance until the late 1930s. Included are important paintings by Cranach, Brueghel the Elder, Veronese, Rubens, Velásquez, Canaletto and Bellotto, as well as one of the largest groups of Spanish portraits outside Spain. Collection of
furniture, ceramics, china, glass, metalwork, rare books and manuscripts, family photographs, arms which decorated Lobkowicz castles. Open all year round, there is a castle restaurant, museum shop and rich cultural programmes.

6. TEREZÍN CITY AND LIDICE


Terezín – this small town bears a salutary reminder of the grim history of its origin as a military fortress in the Monument of National Suffering, the scene of peace demonstrations every May. The Small Fortress was converted into a prison in the 19th century and in June 1940 it was turned into a Nazi concentration camp run by the Gestapo. By the end of the war over 90.000 prisoners had passed through its gates. In February 1942 the town of Terezín itself became a Jewish ghetto and 160.000 Jews from 35 different countries were brought here. You can still see the cells and a fascinating and thought-provoking exhibition of the history of the fortress.
Lidice – this village was razed to the ground by the Nazis on June 10, 1942 in retaliation for the assassination of Reichsprotektor Reinhard Heydrich by Czechoslovak patriots airlifted from Britain. Lidice’s 173 men were shot and its women and children transported to concentration camps. A museum. Monument and Rose Garden of Friendship and Peace commemorate the tragedy.

7. KUTNÁ HORA


An ancient UNESCO town a rich past and numerous valuable historic monuments. At present it has 21.930 inhabitants. In the Middle Ages Kutná Hora was the secondtown in Bohemia and even the occasional seat of Czech kings. The town originated as a mining community in the vicinity of silver ore mines in the 13th century, its elemental growth being witnessed by its irregular groundplan. The town experienced its greatest period of flourish in the 13th to the 15th century. Most important sights are St. Barbara church from 14th century, the building called Hrádek, which was founded before 1420 and lots of gothic, renaissance and baroque buildings which include the Stone House, now a museum, St. James’s church of 1340 to 1420, the former college of Jesuit, the Ursuline convent and so on.

8. ČESKÉ BUDĚJOVICE (BUDWEIS) AND CASTLE HLUBOKÁ


České Budějovice is an attractive medieval city almost entirely rebuilt after a fire in 1641 and also the regional capital of South Bohemia. You will love the main square – one of the largest in Europe – with its magnificent 18th century arches, while beer drinkers will prefer its more  liquid assets – České Budějovice is the home of Budweiser (Budvar) beer. Hluboká Castle is located on the headland of the Vltava River as the dominant feature of the village
of Hluboká nad Vltavou. The Windsor style of the castle lends it a fairy-tale yet monumental appearance. Castle is surrounded by a magnificent English-style park with ZOO, game preserve and the Ohrada 18th century hunting lodge.

9. KARLSBAD AND MARIENBAD


Both of the cities are famous Czech spas, centres of art and culture in West Bohemia, surrounded by beautiful forests. You will visit Karlsbad with 12 natural water sources, for example spring „Vřídlo", which is 72°C hot. Spa Marienbad is also gateway to the protected Slavkovský les area. In the spa itself are 40 springs on a relatively small area, while in the adjacent are almost 100 springs. The local healing water was first mentioned in 1528.

10. ZOO – SAFARI IN DVŮR KRÁLOVÉ NAD LABEM


Safari, which is unique among safaris within Central Europe. It is specialised towards African animals.

11. ČESKÝ KRUMLOV

12. TELČ

13. CITY TOURS (HISTORICAL TOWNS) OR COMBINATION CZECH AND SLOVAK REPUBLICS


South Bohemia (České Budějovice, Český Krumlov, Třeboň)
South Moravia (Telč, Znojmo, Brno, Olomouc)

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