1. Prague: The Jewels by Mr. Plečnik Prague Castle
has been overlooking Prague
since the 9th
century. But when Czechoslovakia was founded, Prague Castle had to be reconstructed so that it could serve its new role as the seat of President Tomáš Garrigue Masaryk
. Under the management of Slovenian architect Josip Plečnik
, the first courtyard, the President’s quarters as well as the gardens and the entrance column hall leading to the Spanish Hall
by the Matthias Gate were modified. Plečnik left another imprint of his work in Prague – the Roman Catholic Church of the Most Sacred Heart of Our Lord
. It has a wide main tower that reaches the height of 42 metres and you will first notice the huge round clock
. It has a diameter of almost 7.5 metres and it is the largest clock in the Czech Republic.
2. Mladá Boleslav: From Bicycles to Global Car Manufacturer
The history of the largest Czech car manufacturer, Škoda Auto, dates back to December 1895 when two enthusiastic cyclists, Václav Laurin, a mechanic, and Václav Klement, a bookseller, founded a small business manufacturing bicycles in Mladá Boleslav
in Central Bohemia. Ten years later, the first model of Voiturette A was made, catapulting the company to the forefront of the automobile industry. Almost a hundred years later, in 1991, Škoda experienced another important connection – this time with the German giant Volkswagen. Today, Škoda Auto a.s. is the largest Czech car manufacturer and you can buy Škoda cars not only in Europe, but also in Asia, Africa, South America and Australia. You can learn about the story of the make and see unique historical vehicles in the Škoda Auto Museum
3. Hradec Králové: The Salon of the Republic Hradec Králové
in East Bohemia
is famous for the modern development that changed the city beyond recognition in a mere 30 years. It is not called the Salon of the Republic for nothing. The megalomaniac reconstruction of the town started with Jan Kotěra
, the architect of the Art Nouveau Museum of East Bohemia. He was followed by Josef Gočár
. Over the course of thirty years, the two gentlemen created something that has no equivalent in the Czech Republic or even Europe. The development was so sophisticated that to this very day it accommodates the growing traffic demands, while keeping the city centre functional and peaceful.
4. Plzeň: Four Apartments by Adolf Loos Adolf Loos
is considered to be the most significant Central-European architect of the beginning of the 20th century.
At the turn of 1920s and 1930s, Loos often stayed in Plzeň
(a city mostly known for its brewery, Pilsner Urquell
) and during that time he implemented the reconstruction of Brummel’s House and 13 apartment interiors
that experts consider to be the best jewels not only of Plzeň, but of European 20th
century architecture as a whole. And you can see some of them during three guided tours of four apartments!
5. Brno: The Capital of Functionalism Vila Tugendhat
in Brno is no doubt the pearl of functionalism.
It is a unique work by German architect Ludwig Miese van der Rohe
and it is the only modern architecture site in the Czech Republic that is registered in the UNESCO
World Cultural Heritage List. The travertine, onyx and rosewood cladding is supplemented with precise details that give the whole a sense and function. Brno
has another functionalistic jewel to show off. It is Vila Stiassni
with an L-shaped floorplan that was designed by Ernst Wiesner. Many prominent people have stayed in the villa, including Fidel Castro.
6. Luhačovice: A Spa Fairy Tale Luhačovice
is a spa in East Moravia
with amazing atmosphere, underlined by the surrounding countryside and unique architecture
, designed by excellent architect Dušan Jurkovič
, who was captivated with the idea of building spa houses in the folk decorative style.
In three years, he had twelve buildings built, giving Luhačovice its character and individuality. Eight buildings have been preserved, and they are admired by spa
guests from all over the world.