Plzeň (Pilsen) is an industrial and beer-brewing centre of West Bohemia. It is a city full of cultural, Jewish and technical monuments, situated at the confluence of four rivers. Take a tour through the fascinating purist interiors designed by famous architect Adolf Loos, through the mysterious underground, or the fascinating brewery plant, filled with the scent of malt. And do not forget to try the pure Plzeň lager with a proper head! Because visiting Plzeň and not having a pint of the local beer would be as if you have not been there.
Adolf Loos was a leading representative of architectural purism, the most distinct central-European architect in the first third of the 20th century. His work had a lot of supporters as well as opponents, which is typical of initiators of a new style. The Viennese Café Museum used to be called Café Nihilism for its austere design. Adolf Loos implemented thirteen apartment interiors and the reconstruction of Brummel House in Plzeň, where his wife came from. Today, you can go on a guided tour of the former Kraus’s family apartment, the lounge and dining room in Doctor Vogl’s apartment, the spacious two-generation apartment in Brummel House, or a part of the Semler Residence.
Loos’s Interiors - Minimalist modernism at the beginning of the 20th century
Hoppy Plzeň - When the intoxicating scent of malt is in the airPlzeň and beer... One could hardly do without the other. The Pilsner beer is light, bottom fermented and brewed according to a recipe that was created in Plzeň. Its distinct hoppy flavour distinguishes it from other lagers. To have a pint of cooled “Pilsner on tap” is an experience you should not miss when visiting the Czech Republic. And if you are not a beer fan, you can have roasted duck with cabbage there. You should also visit one of the breweries where the air is filled with the scent of malt, and where you can see the fascinating technology of beer-brewing with your own eyes. The Brewery Museum has the smallest mug in the world, a brewing laboratory and the Gothic malt house, and you can visit the educational and entertaining exposition explaining the history of beer-brewing from ancient times to the present.
The Square of the Republic - A stroll through one of the largest European squaresThere are many beautiful historical houses, pleasant cafés and popular restaurants at the Square of the Republic, the main square in Plzeň. It is also a place where seasonal farmer’s markets take place, offering local vegetables, fruit and other goodies. The square is dominated by the Cathedral of St. Bartholomew – the Gothic three-aisled temple that was founded in the 14th century, which is also home to the highest church steeple in the Czech Republic with the respectable height of 102 metres. The Plzeň city hall, built at the square in the 16th century in the Italian Renaissance style, is also an important cultural site.
Historical Underground and Synagogues - Mysterious corners above and under the groundPut on a hard hat and crawl through the labyrinth of passages, cellars and wells that was built under the city as early as in the 14th century. The total length of passages exceeds seventeen kilometres, which makes it one of the largest historical underground systems in Central Europe. You should definitely bring some warm clothes with you: the temperature there is around 6°C! When you need to cool down on hot summer days, visit the beautiful synagogues. The Great Synagogue is the largest in the Czech Republic and the second largest in Europe; it was built in the neo-Romanesque style at the end of the 19th century. The freshly reconstructed Old Synagogue is hidden inside the block by Smetanovy sady. Inside the synagogue, you can see a Hebrew clock with a reverse dial.
Techmania is a science and entertainment centre where visitors of all ages can find something interesting. The interactive exhibits are not just simple toys: each one of them explains one of the mathematical or physical principles. Find out what happens in a vacuum, touch 20 thousand volts and learn that science is everything but boring! You can relax in the only 3D observatory in the Czech Republic. Techmania is fun for everyone: children, adults and seniors alike.
Techmania Science Centre - When learning is fun
Tips for Trips around PlzeňIf you are planning to spend more than one day in Plzeň, we have a few tips for trips for you. In under an hour by car, you can get to Domažlice, a town with a historical centre which is a protected reservation thanks to the picturesque architecture of the townhouses built between the 14th and 16th centuries. You can have a rest and warm up your body in the famous spa of Mariánské Lázně, where the Signing Fountain will accompany your strolls through the colonnade with music. At the Švihov water castle, you can ride a boat along the castle, and if you would like to visit a classicist hunting lodge, the Kozel Chateau will not disappoint you.