HISTORY AND CULTURE
The historical and cultural wealth of the past centuries belongs to the most
frequent reasons for visits to the Czech Republic. Among tourist destinations
are especially Czech and Moravian historical towns, and primarily the capital
city of Prague, which has been the centre of Czech statehood for a millennium.
Taken by the number of monuments and rich culturallife, Prague is doubtlessly
the most important town of the Czech Republic and attracts most tourists, but
other culturally and historically remarkable places should not be forgotten.
These include Cesky Krumlov, a picturesque place above
the meandering upper stretch of the Vltava river in southern Bohemia, the medieval
mining town of Kutna Hora, Kromeriz
in Moravia with unique historical monuments, and Litomysl
in eastern Bohemia, the native town of the composer Bedrich Smetana. All these
towns and Prague are on the UNESCO list of cultural heritage.
Many castles and chateaux belong to the typical picture of the Czech and Moravian
landscape. Many of them have survived centuries without major repairs, others
are scenic ruins. Karlstejn Castle near Prague attracts
most visitors every year. Southern Bohemia in particular is famous for its many
castles and chateaux. The most attractive of them are the romantic chateau in
Hluboka nad Vltavou, and the extensive chateau complex
in Jindrichuv Hradec. But there is an interesting castle
or chateau at any place in the country.
Monasteries, the centres of education from the Middle Ages, are again becoming
important tourist destinations. Those visited most often include monasteries
in western Bohemia, especially the Premonstratensian monastery in Tepla near
Karlovy Vary. Monasteries of great religious significance in Moravia are, for
instance, the basilica at Velehrad and Svaty Kopecek (Holy Hill) near Olomouc.
The church on Zelena Hora (Green Mountain) near Zdar nad Sazavou,
the impressive and original work of architect Giovanni Santini (1677-1723),
was one of the first historical building in the Czech Republic to be included
in the UNESCO list of world cultural heritage.
Monuments of folk architecture are attracting ever greater attention. The south
Bohemian village of Holasovice, also on the UNESCO list, has won international
prestige.Many examples of beautiful wooden and brick village structures can
be found in the foothillsof the Krkonose (Giant Mountains), in the environs
of Sobeslav and in southern Moravia. Worth visiting are museums of folk architecture.
The largest of these is Roznov pod Radhostem.