Come admire classic and modern Czech architecture. You can enjoy some beautiful views not only from charming medieval castles. You shouldn’t miss the world-famous UNESCO sites, of which there are sixteen in the Czech Republic. Unique buildings will help you get across the river, offer a unique view of the countryside from the bird’s eye view, or provide a shelter for relaxation and meditation.
Perfection of Old Masters and Imagination of Their Successors
Majestic castles, charming châteaux and monumental cathedrals: all of that was left behind by the previous generations and we now admire what they were able to achieve without technology and modern machines. For example, the Charles Bridge in Prague, one of the most frequently visited European landmarks, the foundation stone of which was laid by the Roman emperor himself. And what about more modern landmarks in Prague? The list changes every day. Sometimes, an old structure is complemented with a modern layer, such as the Helfštýn castle in Moravia, which breathes a new life into the building. Or all the layers of the last thousands of years of constructional progress are combined in a unique whole as at the Prague Castle. Sometimes, a brand-new building is made, perfectly complementing the surrounding development, as in the small village of Sazovice in Moravia where a new Roman Catholic church has suddenly become a natural centre of the community life. And moreover, it is winning one architectural award after another.
Dancing House and Unusual Hotel
Architecture is ever-present and even though we are not aware of it, it influences us throughout our whole life. When the appearance and functionality complement one another well, we can speak of an architectural gem. Such as the Dancing House in Prague where you can have dinner inside the textbook example of post-modern architecture. Or the television transmission at Ještěd in North Bohemia that organically finishes the peak of the Jizera Mountains. And not only that, but you can also have a delicious dinner inside the stylish and restored interiors, or even spend the night in the 1970s style! Architectural landmarks do not have to only come from the last century. For example, three hundred years ago, the Baroque ruled the European art: a dynamic, live and colourful style. At that time, architect Jan Santini Aichel designed buildings that implemented the best of the previous centuries. Thanks to Santini’s courage, his Church of St. John of Nepomuk in Žďár nad Sázavou in Vysočina is a proof that unique and progressive structures are created across the entire history.
Modern Treasures in Contrast
History has left thousands of castles, châteaux, churches, villas, lookout towers or small buildings in the Czech Republic. And what will today’s era leave to the future generations? Contemporary quality architecture is unobtrusive and rather than placing emphasis on flamboyance, it accentuates the inner person and emphasises minimalism. Only time will show what buildings the future generations will appreciate but we can still name some examples. For example, the New Church in Litomyšl that sensitively and yet in a modern way complements this historically valuable East Bohemian town. Or the extension of the Enotéka of Znojmo wines in Znojmo in South Moravia. It is incorporated in a reconstructed brewery from the nineteenth century and represents the best wines made in the region in a modern way. The revival of the Prague embankment and the implemented large round windows known as cells is also a unique architectural project. Those unused spaces have been transformed into modern architectural gems and they are winning one award after another at world shows. Architecture does not always mean a new building on a green meadow, but it is more about connecting the old one with the new.
Unusual Tours of Architectural Landmarks
Tours of historical castles and châteaux are often an integral part of a visit to any corner of the Czech Republic. And you might have had a few such visits already. So now is the time to perceive architecture in other contexts! You can go to Plzeň in the west of Bohemia where you have the opportunity to look under the hands of designer and architect Adolf Loos who was one of the first ones to create the contemporary concept of residential design and architecture at the beginning of the twentieth century. Some unique apartment interiors in Plzeň have been preserved and they are open to the public. The tours of the Functionalist Villa Tugendhat in Brno also help understand architectural principles. Its architect, Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, is considered to be the founder of modern architecture. And the villa he built with an unlimited budget in the 1930s is the quintessence of pre-war hopes in a better world.