AROUND JINDŘICHŮV HRADEC

Jindřichův Hradec

This city has a very memorable longitudinal location; it lies exactly on the 15th meridian. The first information about Jindřichův Hradec comes from the beginning of the 13th century, while its period of greatest prosperity was roughly the middle of the 16th century. The most important monument in town is the complex of buildings that make up the Renaissance castle which started as an originally Gothic fortified castle from the 13th century. On the town square in the centre there are a number of Renaissance houses, the old town hall from the end of the 15th century, and the 20-meter tall sculpture of the Holy Trinity from the late 18th century. The dominant feature of this part of the city is the tower of the Gothic Church of the Assumption of the Virgin Mary from the 14th century. The 15th meridian, mentioned earlier, passes directly through this church. Another valuable monument is the Minorite Monastery with its church of St. John the Baptist, bearing valuable Gothic wall paintings. There is a museum on Balbín Square that features the Krýza Crèche, the largest mechanical nativity scene in the world.
One inseparable element of Jindřichův Hradec is Vajgar Fishpond, founded in the 14th century. There is also a narrow-gauge railway (760 mm rail gauge) leading from Jindřichův Hradec to Obrataň and from Jindřichův Hradec to Nová Bystřice. A National Photographic Museum is housed in the former Jesuit College.
www.jh.cz

Červená Lhota

This small Renaissance castle came into existence in the middle 16th century through the reconstruction of a former fortress. It used to be called Nová (New) Lhota, but it was first called Červená (Red) Lhota in 1602 for the colour of the new plaster. Its fairy tale appearance and interesting setting on an island in the middle of a pond makes this little castle a favourite destination for Czech and foreign tourists alike. The larger castle grounds include a natural landscape park. For those interested in seeing the castle from the pond, there is a boat rental close by.
www.cervenalhota.cz

Český Rudolec

The castle here was built in 1860 on the site of a former Gothic fortress. Because of its Neo–gothic appearance, the castle is sometimes known as “little”, or “Moravian” Hluboká, after a larger and better known South Bohemian castle. The castle is surrounded by an English park which is presently in disrepair, as is the castle.

Dačice

The first written mention of this town comes from 1183. There are two castles in Dačice that emerged over the centuries – the Classicist Nový Zámek with its vast English park, and the Renaissance Starý Zámek. From a distance, the town is dominated by the massive tower of the Church of St. Laurence. The tower is Renaissance, but the church itself is Baroque Classicist. Dačice, historically a Moravian town, is able to boast its place in history by the creation of the world’s first sugar cube, made in 1841 by Jakub Kryštof Rad. The humble sugar cube has its own monument on the town square. The local museum holds an exhibition devoted to the history of sugar production.
www.dacice.cz

Jemnice

This town located on the bank of the Želetavka River was likely founded before 1227. The early Gothic fortified castle was reconstructed into a Renaissance castle at the end of the 16th century. It was modified into late Baroque style in the mid 18th century. There is a Jemnice folk festival named Barchan which is now a national tradition; it takes place every June.

Kardašova Řečice

Its existence as a market settlement is documented in writing for the first time in 1267. One important building in town is the Church of St. John the Baptist, originally a Romanesque-Gothic church, later reconstructed and fitted with a Renaissance tower.
www.kardasova-recice.cz

Klášter

The name of this village literally means “Monastery” and was named for its former Pauline Monastery, founded in 149 on the site where three allegedly miraculous springs flowed. In 1533, the monastery was destroyed and its members were murdered, but the monastery was renewed again in 1626. It was definitively dissolved in 1785, and the buildings were demolished at the end of the 1950’s. The only part of the monastery to be preserved today is the Red Corridor and the monumental monastery Church of the Holy Trinity, which is one of the most important early Gothic structures in South Bohemia and it is an impressive feature in the local landscape.

Landštejn

This is a ruin of a once monumental fortified castle on the Czech-Austrian border. It was originally a Romanesque fortified castle founded in the 13th century and reconstructed several times later, especially in the 16th century when it was newly fortified and became one of the largest fortified castles in Bohemia. It was struck by lightning in 1771 and burned nearly completely, after which it was abandoned and left to dilapidate. Today, after a long and expensive reconstruction, the castle is once again open to the public. The romantic castle ruin offers a beautiful view from the tall castle tower, and is now the most favourite destination for hikers in the surrounding area known as “Czech Canada”.
The best starting point to hike to the castle is from Staré Město pod Landštejnem.
www.hradlandstejn.cz

Nová Bystřice

This town is located on the state border with Austria and is likely the oldest settlement in Jindřichův Hradec County. The first mention of Nová Bystřice is from 1175. It gained township status from John of Luxembourg in 1341, but was nearly completely destroyed and burned during the Hussite Wars and had to be largely rebuilt. Today, the historical centre of Nová Bystřice is an urban heritage zone. The best known local monument is the town’s Renaissance castle, reconstructed from a Gothic fortified castle from the 13th century. The Church of St. Peter and Paul on the town square was originally a Gothic church, but was reconstructed in Baroque style in the 17th century. The town square also bears a Marian column of the Holy Trinity from 1676. Nová Bystřice has been the terminal station for one of two branches of a narrow-gauge railway leaving from Jindřichův Hradec since 1897.

Slavonice

This town, located very close to the Austrian border, is renowned for its well-preserved Renaissance historical centre, now protected as an urban heritage reservation. The first mention of Slavonice comes from the 12th century, but the town’s period of greatest prosperity was during the 15th and 16th centuries when it was on the trade route between Prague and Vienna. The centre of town holds two town squares, the Church of the Assumption of the Virgin Mary, and a number of Renaissance and Gothic houses with richly decorated gables and facades. There is a vast corridor system below the town which originally served for drainage and is now partially open to the public.
www.slavonice.eu

Slavonice – fortress complex

About 2 km west of Slavonice, there is a well-preserved part of what used to be the Czechoslovakian defense line. This was built on the Czech-Austrian and Czech-German borders in 1935–1938. The complex here consists of more than ten buildings which have been reconstructed into how they looked before the country was occupied by the German army before WWII. Many of the bunkers are open to the public, and some of them are occasionally equipped with period weaponry and other furnishings. There is a popular re-enactment of a 1938 invasion of the bunkers that takes place on the first Saturday of September of each year.

Stráž nad Nežárkou

This small town bears a remarkably dominant castle which belonged to the famous opera singer Emmy Destinn from 1914 to 1930; today the castle houses a museum devoted to her memory (as well as an exhibition dedicated to her student and successor Jarmila Novotná). The castle is decorated with a typical rounded arch with an arcade on one side.
www.zamekstraz.cz

Žirovnice

This is a Renaissance castle built on the site of a previous Gothic fortified castle from the late 13th century. Today, the castle holds the municipal museum which features an exhibition on pearl making. There is a small town of the same name very close to the castle, first mentioned in 1345 and made popular in the 19th century by the manufacture of buttons. The town’s important monuments include the Neo-gothic church of St. Phillip and Jacob as well as a Plague Column 
from the end of the 18th century.

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Guide the Best of South Bohemia, source: Vydavatelství MCU s.r.o.South Bohemia on the mapAirport České BudějoviceLipno Treetop Walkway is the fist in the Czech Republic.Sole-Felsen-Bad GmündInternational Music Festival Cesky KrumlovHistorical Brewery Český Krumlov

Jindřichův Hradec, source: archív Vydavatelství MCU, photo by: Libor Sváček
Červená Lhota, source: archív Vydavatelství MCU, photo by: Libor Sváček
Dačice, source: archív Vydavatelství MCU, photo by: Libor Sváček
Landštejn, source: archív Vydavatelství MCU, photo by: Libor Sváček
Slavonice, source: archív Vydavatelství MCU, photo by: Libor Sváček
Stráž nad Nežárkou, source: archív Vydavatelství MCU, photo by: Libor Sváček
Jindřichův Hradec, source: archív Vydavatelství MCU, photo by: Libor Sváček