100 Years of the Republic

100 Years of the Republic

Six cities you have to visit in the Czech Republic

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On Sunday, 28 October 2018, the Czech Republic will celebrate the 100th anniversary of the foundation of independent Czechoslovakia. And such an anniversary deserves proper celebrations that will take place throughout the whole year. Enjoy them in various cities and, when there, remember to visit some interesting places and buildings.

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 in Vinohrady. 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.

Chateau Lány

Chateau Lány