CZ, Plzen – City of Beer and (European) Culture - VIDEO
Everybody knows Pilsner Urquell beer. This bottom-fermented lager was invented in the Kingdom of Bohemia half-way between Prague and Regensburg, Germany. It was founded in the city famous for Skoda locomotives, the tallest church tower in the Czech Republic, and the second largest synagogue in Central Europe. Plzen was declared the European capital of culture for 2015. It truly deserves the title. Lets join us to see what is waiting for us here!
Except for beautiful renaissance, baroque, classicist, or renaissance revivalist houses Plzen’s historical center is the excellent display of medieval regular street planning. St Bartholomew , a monumental bishopric cathedral, stands right in the city’s center. Its construction started in the 13th century as a structure in the Gothic style. It has the tallest church tower in the Czech Republic with its 102 meters. If you dare you can climb 301 stairs up to its observation platform. The view at 62 meters above the ground is splendid over the city and the landscape as well.
Another landmark structure on Plzen’s Republican square is the 16th century Renaissance town hall with beautiful façade. The house opposite to the town hall hosts one of Plzen’s best museums the Puppet Museum. Why it is worth your attention? The craft of puppetry has long tradition in Plzen. Many famous puppeteers like Gustav Nosek, Josef Skupa, and Jiří Trnka worked here. Yes, your guess is right – the famous Spejbl and Hurvinek was born in Plzen. The museum presents many interesting facts on puppets, their story or you can see movie clips, or an original puppet duo.
Before you start our tour at the brewery make a stop in the Great Synagogue. A large Jewish community lived in Plzen prior to the WWII which had left Central Europe’s largest synagogue. The Jewish community only recently finished it reconstruction so it today is again the gem it once was. Inside, there is the permanent exhibition on Jewish customs and habits. Often, some other exhibition takes place there as well.
Pilsner Urquell – Plzeňský Prazdroj – is truly name having some significance. If you had to see only one place in Plzen than it should be the brewery where this beer was invented in 1842. Don’t worry about long, boring lecture on how beer is brewed. Instead prepare to be immersed in the tour through the brewery and the history of brewing. You end up knowing a lot of new interesting information. You can compare how beer was brewed when it was invented and how the process goes toady, the age of modern technology. Of course, you can try some of local-made lagers maturing in barrels.
In 2015, Plzen and Mons were awarded with prestigious European Capital of Culture title. This means that more cultural events than ever are taking place in the city including exhibitions, concerts, theater plays, festivals, talks, and other more or less traditional events. The best days to visit Plzen is therefore Friday, Saturday and if possible Sunday as well. You wont get bored there. Recently opened DEPO 2015 is perhaps the most interesting place of many non-traditional events. The inhabitants of Plzen rebuilt this street car depot to a multipurpose place with café, concert hall, workshops and coworking. You can see couple of exhibitions that took place at the time of its ceremonial opening.
In case you are fans of science and technology or you take your children with you to Plzen then don’t miss Techmania center and locomotives which are on its compound. There are some very entertaining displays. You learn there many interesting things and you can also try (not only) how the laws of physics work in practice.
Should you have mood to get out of the town for while visit Stary Plzenec and Chateau Kozel not far from there or even the ruin of Radyne Castle. There are some nature trails in local forests that would refresh your mind.
It is no problem to see Plzen even for one day when travelling from Prahy. In our opinion, you should spent at least two days in the city. There is much more to see than it would seem at the first glimpse...
Near Pilsen, in the small town of Plasy, there is a cistercian monastery founded by Vladislav II. In 1421, however, the Hussites burned it down. The Baroque appearance of the monastery and adjacent buildings is the work of the architects Jan Blazej Santini-Aichel and Jean Baptist Mathey, who from 1661 to 1739 led the rebuilding works of the monastery to the form we may see today.
In today's article we will introduce a beautiful hunting chateau, which is located in a place that is told a very untraditional reputation. The original name of the castle was Waldschloss, but long time ago the Slavs at the time of the Spring equinox regularly sacrificed in these places a male goat because they hoped to make their gods and a good harvest. The truth of the legend is evidenced by numerous archaeological findings. In later years the name of the castle changed to Kozel (male goat).
If some use words the north of Pilsen region and water, everyone who likes tourism should already know one means it should be somewhere through which the Strela river flows . She gained her name according to the speed and ferocity she was taking her way to the confluence with the Berounka.
If you go to Castle Radyne, which is located near the town of Pilsen, you will climb up to an altitude of 567 meters above sea level. On the top of the castle tower you will enjoy the vista to the wide area of the Pilsen region. Radyne was built under the reign of Charles IV in the middle of the 14th century, approximately between the years 1356 and 1361.
In the premises of the former monastery in Plasy which included a brewery, there the Civic Engineering exposition was founded. It focuses on the presentation of traditional building crafts and materials. It also includes the Building Craftsmanship, where you can find, for example, an authentic historical workshop of a tinsmith or lime kiln. Exposition in the oldest parts of Plasy monastery will guide you through the history of the building, from the Middle Ages to the present.
On the border of the Šumava Nature Park and the Kochánov Nature Park you can find a village called Javorná next to the main road from Klatovy to Železná Ruda. Stop for a moment at the local church of st. Anna with unique shingle towers or Javorna straight as a great base for walking and cycling around.
Pilsen has buttressed its art scene since the Middlge-Ages as suggest its Gothic structures, Renaissance houses, modern architecture etc. The landmarks are mostly within city's historical core. I would like to present you a true gem of Pilsen's architecture today. One doesn't necessarily notice it right away for house decor is not within our eye sights. Locals often don't know that they pass by works of art. Today, we take a closer look at sgraffiti by Mikolas Ales, an exceptional Czech graphic artist, illustrator, and painter of Czech history.
Don’t be confused. Winter is the best season to watch underwater life. Pikes, pikeperches, crucians, and carps swim in clear water around you. A quarry in Mrakov, Domazlice region, is a great place for this activity.
Its unique defense mechanism allowed it to quickly flood moats around the castle and also turn dirt into mud. The castle drained water from the Uhlava and therefore Svihov became basically impenetrable fortress. Let’s see this unique and greatly designed structure, well at least what has remained of it. Yet it is still awesome.
Should you happen to be in Pilsen near city center and you will be looking for Republika square, raise your head and look around! You will see the belfry of St Bartholomew's cathedral. Situated in the center of the square with its 102.6 meters, it is the tallest church tower in the Czech Republic. At 60 meters above the ground, there is a gallery from where visitors may take a look around over the city.
Join us for a trip 50 kilometers from Plzen. It starts at Zihle village. In case you don't want to travel by car, take a train instead. Both express trains and passanger trains stop in this village. Zihle is one of the stop along the Plzen-Zatec line. Local train station is an important junction thanks to the Kralovice-Manetin bus line. Today, we shall see huge granite boulders of Dedek and Baba. These were created by wind erosion and disintegration of granite. One needs only little imagination to spot other fairy-tale boulders – granddaughter, whale, duck, hare...
The small town is situated in southwestern Bohemia near Pilsen and became famous as the birthplace of the most famous Bohemian saint. However, it is worth coming here because of other sights and the beautiful surrounding countryside.