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Czech cultural Heritage

 

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More than a thousand years of building has left architectural gems in Prague which millions of visitors come to admire every year. Uncover the mystery of the Gothic monasteries, enjoy classical music concerts in one of the Baroque cathedrals or relax in the beautiful Renaissance gardens. Prague will soon convince you why people have been saying that it is one of the most beautiful historical cities in the world since as far back as the Middle Ages.

Set out to the Czech Republic and get to know the 14 Czech UNESCO monuments. This year marks exactly 20 years since the first of them was entered into the prestigious list and the anniversary will be marked by several cultural events. Discover the magic of the picturesque Telč, the mystique of the Church of St. John of Nepomuk in Žďár nad Sázavou, the colourfulness of the Flower Gardens in Kroměříž, the picturesque village of Holašovice, the story of Villa Tugendhat, the fairy-tale Český Krumlov or the romance of the Lednice-Valtice Landscape, etc.

The Castle Karlštejn (english Charles Stone or Charles Rock) was built by the Roman Emperor and Czech King Charles IV in 1348–57. The castle was intended as a stately and safe depository for the Imperial and Bohemian Crown Jewels as well as the extensive Imperial collection of holy reliquaries. The core of the castle consists of the rectangular Imperial Palace, a smaller residential tower with the Church of the Virgin and the particularly valuable St. Catherine's Chapel. The ideological centre of Karlštejn Castle is the residential Great Tower with the Chapel of the Holy Cross. At the end of the 19th century the castle underwent extensive re-Gothicization under the supervision of the Czech architect Josef Mocker. Given the state of the castle in the early 19th century, this extensive renovation has resulted in the preservation of a monument of immense historical and artistic value.

 

Český Krumlov is a town in the South Bohemian Region of the Czech Republic. Its historic centre, centred around the Český Krumlov Castle, is a designated UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1992.

Český Krumlov Castle is unusually large for a town of its size; within the Czech Republic it is second in extent only to the Hradčany castle complex of Prague. Inside its grounds are a large rococo garden, an extensive bridge over a deep gap in the rock upon which the castle is built, and the castle itself, which in turn consists of many defined parts dating from different periods. After the garden had been inadequately maintained in the second half of the 20th century, the site was included in the 1996 World Monuments Watch by the World Monuments Fund. With financial support from American Express the garden's central fountain was documented and reconstructed, and remains functional today.

 
The Great Moravian fortified settlement near Mikulčice is the best preserved item of archaeological evidence documenting the existence of the West-Slavonic state. The Mikulčice fortified site lies near the town of Hodonín, southeast of the village of Mikulčice, along the present-day border between the Czech Republic and Slovakia. The older Mikulčice settlement was radically rebuilt in the 9th century as a part of the Great Moravian residential agglomeration. The fortified core of the agglomeration covered an area of about 10 hectares and consisted of an acropolis and a preurbium. Over the course of the 9th century, stone churches were founded inside the acropolis on its elevated northern end, and large burial grounds were established around the churches. An extensive range of systematic archaeological research was conducted between 1954 and 1990 and is currently being elaborated with partial surveys that provide updated information about this rare locality.
 

The Pilgrimage Church of St. John of Nepomuk at Zelená hora is situated at Žďár nad Sázavou in western Moravia, in the Vysočina Region, Czech Republic. The church, which was built between 1719 and 1727, is dedicated to the cult of St. John of Nepomuk, a 14th century martyr canonised in the 18th century.

 
Kroměříž was first mentioned in 1107. The development of the town was significantly influenced by the Olomouc bishops and archbishops. The Kroměříž Château was their summer residence, and the construction activities of the bishops, especially after the Thirty Years’ War in the 17th century, brought about a major restoration. Thanks to this Kroměříž ranks among today’s prominent historic cities in the Czech Republic. The centre of Kroměříž was declared an Urban Monuments Preservation Area in 1978. The complex formed by the Archbishop’s Château, the Flower Garden and the Château Garden was declared a National Cultural Monument in 1995 and a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1998. Yes, this is Kroměříž, a town saturated with culture, learning and art. It is no wonder that it has earned the nickname of the Athens of Hana and is one of the most visited cities in the Czech Republic.

The Lednice-Valtice Cultural Landscape (also Lednice-Valtice Area or Lednice-Valtice Complex, Czech: Lednicko-valtický areál) is a cultural-natural landscape complex of 283.09 square kilometres (109.30 sq mi) in the Lednice and Valtice areas of the South Moravian Region, near Břeclav in the Czech Republic.

The Lednice-Valtice Area is registered in the list of monuments protected as World Heritage Sites (WHS) by UNESCO. The close proximity of two cultural landscapes protected by UNESCO is unique.

The Dukes of Liechtenstein transformed their properties into one large and designed private park between the 17th and 20th centuries. During the 19th century, the Dukes continued transforming the area as a large traditional English landscape park. The Baroque and Gothic Revival style architecture of their chateaux are married with smaller buildings and a landscape that was fashioned according to the English principles of landscape architecture.
In 1715 these two chateaux (castles) were connected by a landscape alée and road, later renamed for the poet Petr Bezruč. The Lednice Ponds (Lednické rybníky) are situated between the villages of Valtice, Lednice, and Hlohovec; as are the Mlýnský, Prostřední, Hlohovecký, and Nesyt Ponds. A substantial part of the cultural landscape complex is covered in pine forests, known as the "Pine−wood"(Boří les), and in areas adjacent to the River Dyje with riparian forests.
In the 20th century the region became part of Czechoslovak Republic. The Liechtenstein family then relocated to Vaduz in 1939. 

Kutná Hora is, as its name suggests, associated with the mining (kutání in Czech) of silver. In 1142 the first Cistercian monastery in the Czech lands was established in the nearby village of Sedlec and at the end of the 13th century the original mining settlement of Cuthna antiqua – Old Kutna - soon became a wealthy royal city. In 1300 King Václav II issued the mining legislation „Ius regale montanorum“ and in the same year he initiated a coinage reform. One century later another king, Václav IV, issued the Kutná Hora Decree, which amended the proportion of votes at Prague University in favour of the Czechs. Kutná Hora is therefore rightly considered to be the treasure-house of the land whose wealth gave strength to the expansion of the Kingdom of Bohemia. Its history and uniqueness were recognised in 1995 when the city was inscribed in the UNESCO World Cultural and Heritage List.

The Sedlec Ossuary is a small Roman Catholic chapel, located beneath the Cemetery Church of All Saints (Czech: Hřbitovní kostel Všech Svatých), part of the former Sedlec Abbey in Sedlec, a suburb of Kutná Hora in the Czech Republic. The ossuary is estimated to contain the skeletons of between 40,000 and 70,000 people, whose bones have, in many cases, been artistically arranged to form decorations and furnishings for the chapel. The ossuary is among the most visited tourist attractions of the Czech Republic - attracting over 200,000 visitors annually.[1]

Four enormous bell-shaped mounds occupy the corners of the chapel. An enormous chandelier of bones, which contains at least one of every bone in the human body, hangs from the center of the nave with garlands of skulls draping the vault. Other works include piers and monstrances flanking the altar, a coat of arms of the House of Schwarzenberg, and the signature of František Rint, also executed in bone, on the wall near the entrance.

Telč is situated at the south-west tip of Moravia, half-way between Prague and Vienna. According to legend the foundation of the city is associated with the victory of the Moravian Prince Otto II over the Bohemian King Břetislav in 1099. It was this victory that meant the building of a chapel, later to become a church, and a settlement which forms today’s Staré Město (Old Town). The city saw its greatest period of expansion under the rule of Zacharias of Hradec in the 2nd half of the 16th century. At the beginning of the 19th century Telč played an important role in the entire south-west region of Moravia, which was still growing with the arrival of the railway. Because the historical centre of the city, surrounded by fish ponds and city gates, has retained its unique shape over the centuries, in 1992 it was inscribed in the UNESCO List, which brought with it increased interest and a subsequent influx of tourists from around the world.

The Holy Trinity Column in Olomouc, in the Czech Republic is a Baroque monument (Trinity column) that was built between 1716 to 1754. The main purpose was to celebrate the Catholic Church and faith, partly caused by feeling of gratitude for ending a plague, which struck Moravia (now in the Czech Republic) between 1713 and 1715. The column was also understood to be an expression of local patriotism, since all artists and master craftsmen working on this monument were Olomouc citizens, and almost all depicted saints were connected with the city of Olomouc in some way.

It is the biggest Baroque sculptural group in the Czech Republic. In 2000 it was inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List as "one of the most exceptional examples of the apogee of central European Baroque artistic expression".

 

Holasovice was founded in the first half of the 13th century. What is remarkable is that despite later adjustments and villages, and the medieval system of distributing residential and farm buildings connected by gates and arched entrances has been preserved. The current appearance of the village is the result of the work of the masonry masters from the 2nd half of the 19th century , who rebuilt the gables and entrances of Holasovice farms  in the style of Rural Baroque.

Třebíč dates from 1101 when a Benedictine monastery was established here. Thanks to its position on the banks of the River Jihlava and the munificence of its founders the city became an important centre for religious life and education. Today it is an important economic, administrative, political and cultural centre in south-west Moravia. The city offers a wide range of active recreation opportunities in the picturesque environment of the foothills of the Czech-Moravian Vysočina (Highland) region. The city was once a centre of Jewish culture in Moravia and the uniquely preserved Jewish Quarter bears silent witness to the cohabitation between Jews and Christians in this city. When we take our tour we will go to the Jewish quarter and the Basilica of St. Prokop, which were inscribed in the UNESCO list in 2003.

The ensemble of the Jewish Quarter and the Basilica is a unique example of the close co-existence of Christian and Jewish culture from the Middle Ages until the 20th century. The Basilica of St. Procopius. Originally built as part of the Benedictine monastery in the early 13th century, it was influenced by Western European ideas in its construction.

 

Litomyšl Castle was originally a Renaissance arcade-castle of the type first developed in Italy and then adopted and greatly developed in central Europe in the 16th century. Its design and decoration are particularly fine, including the later High-Baroque features added in the 18th century. It preserves intact the range of ancillary buildings associated with an aristocratic residence of this type.

 

Villa Tugendhat is a historical building in the wealthy neighbourhood of Černá Pole in Brno, Czech Republic. It is one of the pioneering prototypes of modern architecture in Europe, and was designed by the German architect Ludwig Mies van der Rohe. Built of reinforced concrete between 1928 and 1930 for Fritz Tugendhat and his wife Greta, the villa soon became an icon of modernism. The villa was designated a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 2001.

 

The Mining Cultural Landscape of the Ore Mountains (Krušné Hory) is a prominent mountain landscape formed by 800 years of ore mining and processing. The individual important cultural mountain, mining, and processing monuments, together with the historical centres of several mining towns (Jáchymov, Krupka, and Horní Blatná) create a comprehensive spectrum that testifies to the development of ore mining on a global level and to its influence on the landscape. The thematically rich landscape of the Czech Ore Mountains contains a number of unique historical mine shafts, the most valuable of which are in the historical towns of Měděnec, Mikulov, Abertamy and Krupka. The wider environment surrounding areas contains preserved surface waterwork structures and a landscape that still bears the historical traces of mining activities.

 

 


National Stud Kladruby nad Labem - With its history of more than 400 years in the row, Kladruber horses represent the oldest Czech indigenous breed of horses that was created - probably as the only breed in the world - specifically for pulling coaches of emperors and kings. While grey horses were used for ceremonial purposes at the imperial court, black horses were also used by church officials.