Czech Giants… Get to Know Czech Records

Czech Giants… Get to Know Czech Records

Do you know where to look for the highest or largest landmarks in the Czech Republic?

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Every place in the world can boast its records. Even though the Czech Republic is a rather small country in the centre of Europe, where global records are scarce, you can at least still find records on a regional scale here. Today we’ll present a few such record holders to you.

Highest and lowest points

Some records are clear. The highest point won’t change any time soon. The highest mountain of the Czech Republic in situated in the Krkonoše (Giant Mountains) mountain range, called Sněžka, at an elevation of 1,603 metres. Nonetheless, the highest artificial human-made point is elsewhere, namely in the Jeseníky Mountains. It’s the top of the transmitter on Praděd measuring 1,638 metres a.s.l. And where you should go to reach the lowest point? The natural lowest point is the Hranice Abyss in Moravia. The dry part of the abyss is only 70 metres deep, but the flooded part is lower. Humans haven’t yet reached the bottom, but we do know that the bottom is located at more than 1 km under the Earth’s surface. This makes the Hranice Abyss the world’s deepest flooded freshwater cave! How about the lowest point created by humans? It’s the former uranium mines in Příbram, where people have drilled through the earth to a depth of 1,838 metres.

Highest towers

The highest towers are easy to measure. Much easier than mountains or mine spaces are. All you need to do is position yourselves at the foundations of the construction and aim the laser at the sky… The highest château tower is the Graceful Tower (Spanilá věž) at the Tovačov Château, near Olomouc, with its 96 metres. But if we also include church towers, then it is beaten by the 102-metre tower of the Church of St Bartholomew in Plzeň, West Bohemia. The second-highest church tower is the tower of St Wenceslas’ Cathedral in Olomouc, which measures 101 metres. In third place, with 96 metres, is the main tower of the St Vitus Cathedral at Prague Castle – by the way, the biggest Czech bell called Zikmund is hung there as well. It is a record holder in every sense: it dates back to 1549, it is more than two metres in height, 256 centimetres in diameter and weighs around 16.5 tonnes. However, none of the towers beats one technical construction, namely the Prague Television Tower, with its highest point located 220 metres above the ground. However, the highest structure in the Czech Republic of all is two transmitters that are 355 metres high. They can’t really be missed in the Central Bohemian countryside near Český Brod.

Highest and largest dams and reservoirs

Reservoirs and dams can be measured with similar precision. For example, we know for sure that the Dalešice Reservoir on the Jihlava River in Vysočina features the highest embankment dam. You can walk across the longest embankment dam at the Nechranice Dam in West Bohemia. It is 3,280 metres long and its foundations are no less imposing at 800 metres wide. The Orlík Reservoir at the boundary of Central Bohemia and South Bohemia is 91 metres deep and has the highest concrete dam in the Czech Republic. It’s also the reservoir with the greatest volume of retained water. The largest water area, almost 50 km2, is covered by Lipno in South Bohemia.

Churches and cathedrals: highest, widest and longest

Do you know the largest and most important Czech Roman Catholic cathedral? If the skyline of Prague Castle and St Vitus Cathedral came to your mind, you’ve got one point for the correct answer! It measures 124 metres in length and 60 m in width. The second spot is held by the Church of the Assumption of Virgin Mary and St John the Baptist in Sedlc near Kutná Hora, which is 92 metres long and 41 metres wide. Third place belongs to the Church of the Assumption of Virgin Mary, St Wolfgang and St Benedict in the monastery in Kladruby. It is 91 metres long and 31 metres wide. We can only guess what the rankings of the longest and largest constructions would have looked like if the Church of Our Lady of the Snows in Prague had been completed sometime in the past; the present-day church consists of the mere originally planned presbytery. If the triple nave had been completed according to the original Gothic plans, the church would comprise more than 100 metres in length. Its vault, which is highest of all Prague churches, is also imposing. It measures almost 34 metres, one metre less than the vault of St Vitus Cathedral. What’s more, originally it even reached a height over 40 metres, and it was only lowered during later modifications. However, history knows no “ifs”…