Come see that České Budějovice is not only the home of the world-famous Budvar beer. The South Bohemian capital will amaze you with the picturesque countryside, rich history and fascinating architecture. We have chosen a few places you should definitely see when visiting this royal town.
A Giant in the City Centre
České Budějovice has 247 cultural monuments which makes it one of the most important tourist attractions in the south of Bohemia. The main square lined with Baroque houses and an arcade is undoubtedly the most beautiful place in Budějovice. You won’t find a larger square in Czechia. It is even one of the largest squares in Europe!
A Fight with a Lion at the Square
Not only one of the most beautiful Czech city halls, which you can visit, makes the square beautiful, but also the impressive Samson fountain. You can’t miss the spectacular Baroque landmark, dominated by the sculpture of Samson taming a lion. The shell on the fountain is so large that the workers had troubles transporting it to Budějovice due to its huge dimensions! However, the fountain was not installed purely for aesthetic reasons; it supplied the city with water from the Vltava River.
Watch out for the Erratic Rock! Boo!
Only a few steps away from the fountain, there is a rock with an engraved cross inserted in the pavement. It is called the Erratic Rock; not only it is the only remnant of the original pavement, but it also marks the place where executions used to take place! Be careful when you walk by after dusk! People say if you cross the rock after 10 p.m., you’ll never find your way home and you will have to ramble through the streets of České Budějovice until the morning comes! We recommend visiting the Gothic Black Tower during the day and having a good look at the square and the whole city. It might help you if you get lost later…
A Beer in a Salt Warehouse
When walking through the city centre, visit the beautiful St. Nicholas Cathedral or the Gothic salt warehouse with a battlement. You can refresh yourself with beer, supplied through an underground beer line!
Face to Face with Joseph
Right next to the salt warehouse, you will find another Budějovice gem – one of the oldest and most valuable landmarks in the area, the Dominican Monastery. It was built in the thirteenth century when the city was founded! Remember to walk through the garden when touring the monastery. It is where you will find five Baroque sculptures by Josef Dietrich, the author of the sculptures on the Samson Fountain. Find St. Joseph; allegedly, Dietrich used his own face to make the sculpture. And if you are interested in modern art, visit the Gallery of Contemporary Art and Architecture at the main square.
Take a B as a Souvenir!
And what souvenir from České Budějovice to take home? Naturally, one thinks of Budvar… But how about a Koh-i-noor Hardtmuth pencil, ideally with hardness B; it will be much easier to pack! And why a pencil? Koh-i-noor Hardtmuth, a global manufacturer of writing supplies, has its headquarters in České Budějovice! Hardness B actually refers to the German name of the city, i.e. Budweis.
Did You Know?
Two Czech cities have won the title of the European Capital of Culture in the past thirty years: Prague in 2000 and Plzeň fifteen years later.