Category Archives: Interesting Cities

Terezin Concentration Camp

Terezin was founded in 1780 by Emperor Joseph II of Austria. It was originally a star-shaped military fort, which was built to defend against the Prussian danger. The fort was named Terezin in honor of emperor’s mother – Marie Terezie. By Imperial decree in 1782 Terezin was granted the status of free royal city. Military administration settled there mainly the civilian craftsmen who were necessary to maintain the fort and life of the crew.

The fort has never fulfilled its original mission. The outbreak of the French Revolution gave way to disputes between Austria and Prussia in the background. Nevertheless, the fort was with a view to the possible threat of French invasion, maintained in tenable condition.

In the mid-nineteenth century, the fort was abandoned by the army, and the “Small Fortress” was turned into a prison and held this function until the sunset of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. In Terezin was also imprisoned (and later here died) Gavrilo Princip who was sentenced for the attack in Sarajevo against Franz Ferdinand d’Este.

On June 10th 1940 the Terezin Small Fortress was taken over by Gestapo and a police prison was established here. Already on the second day came here first prisoners, who started working on the construction of prisons. Proportional to the rising number of prisoners during the occupation the construction of new buildings and facilities continued. In October 1941, Terezin was selected as a suitable place to set up an assembly camp – a Jewish ghetto. In the summer of 1942 has ceased to be sufficient capacity of barracks buildings and Czech civilians had to leave. Terezin became a transfer station on the way to extermination camps and until the end of the occupation passed through here almost 160,000 people (33,000 through Small Fortress), from which about 35,000 people, including many children, mainly Jews, died here.

The city was liberated on the night of 8 to 9 May 1945 by the tank army of General Rybalko, which passed through Terezin to Prague.

On May 6th 1947 the government of the Czechoslovak Republic decided to create the Terezin Memorial, with the aim of conserving and preserving the site as it was during the period of the Nazi occupation. Today, the Terezin Memorial comprises a collection of individual monuments. The visit includes the Museum of the Ghetto where are exposed the historical documents and photographs; the Magdeburg barracks, built along the lines of the original prison; the cemetery with the crematorium; and the Small Fortress, which is dedicated to the memory of political prisoners.

If you are interested in this part of history than Terezin is definitely worth a visit. The city of Terezin is located some 60km north of Prague. If you decide to visit this place you have basically two options. The first one is to go there by your own, for example by bus from Florenc bus station. The second one, which I recommend, is to take some organized tour. During this tour you don’t need to walk between the locations and what is most important you will get a guide who can answer your questions and will tell you more than book can say.


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City of Telc (UNESCO)

Telc aerial viewIn the 13th century in the Czech kingdom the cities began to develop. Originated either at the site of the old urban settlements, or the still vacant places.
In this period was also established the Old Town in Telc, which gradually merged with the castle courtyard and church.

In 1339 Oldrich of Hradec has bought the town, and although there is no document is believed he has have founded the New Town. Oldrich of Hradec was a member of an important family Vitek, which was settled in southern Bohemia.
The founders gave to the city ​​a number of rights, to make it independent, including litigation, but also a right to have a market, produce beer, etc. The centre of Telc was formed by the market surrounded by narrow houses. The marked was every week attended by traders from the neighborhood, but during the holidays came also the foreign traders.

After a fire in 1530, which destroyed part of the square, the town hall and the residence of Zacharias of Hradec are two other important moments in the development of Telc.  Zacharias of Hradec, a great politician and economist, has restructured the Gothic castle, creating a Renaissance residence. Even in the city fared well: the bourgeois houses were restored, the aqueduct and hospital were built…

In 1604 the town ownership passed into the hands of Svalatas from Chlumec. For the history of the town is important Jachym Oldrich Slavata’s wife who invited the Jesuits to built the college and the church of Jesus. The Jesuits remained until in Telc 1773 when the order was canceled by Pope Clement XIV.

The Lichtenstein-Kastelkorn are the last noble family related to the town of Telc; arrived in the year 1681 and remained until the end of World War II in 1945, when they had to leave the country.

Since 1970 is Telc a part of the national heritage and since 1992 is the city of Telc UNESCO listed.


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The Foundation of Prague

History of Prague“The foundation and development of the city are closely related to the presence of Bohemian kings at the Prague Castle.”

Jumping the period of Celtic settlement area of Central Bohemia becomes important with the family of Premyslid. They ruled the country from the late 9th century for more than 400 years and developed it in one of the most powerful kingdoms of Europe. With the development of the state flourishes also the city and Prague is fast becoming one of the largest commercial crossing in central Europe.  Already in the 11th century Prague become, thanks to safety and geography, a meeting place for European, Asians, Arabs and Jews traders. The Jewish community in town very soon receives a special significance. Read the rest of this entry »


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Cesky Krumlov (Unesco)

Cesky Krumlov Castle & TownCesky Krumlov is the pearl of South Bohemia. If you have a free day during your stay you really should visit this beautiful medieval town. You will find here not only the second largest castle complex in Czech Republic but also beautiful historical center with plenty of medieval houses, small curving streets, and hidden charming places.

To visit Cesky Krumlov you need a full day. The way from Prague to Cesky Krumlov by car takes about 2 hours. From Prague you can get there by your own, by bus from the Florenc Bus Station, or you can make a choice from the offer of travel agencies, which is also a good idea. But choose carefully. Some of the agencies offers one day trip to Cesky Krumlov in combination with some other destination, usually Ceske Budejovice Town or Hluboka Castle. Visit of this places can be also interesting, especially the Hluboka Castle, which is really beautiful.Cesky Krumlov But you have to make sure that you will have enough time. If the trip takes 9 hours and you spend 4 hours by getting there and back than it is not enough time and the trip becomes “a race” and not a magical and enjoyable day. At least one hour is needed for the visit of Hluboka Castle or Ceske Budejovice Town, than one hour for lunch, some 45 minutes to drive between this places and Cesky Krumlov – and you are almost out of time and haven’t seen Cesky Krumlov yet… There are many things to see in Cesky Krumlov – the castle and its gardens, the St. Vitus Church and the historical center. And you should also have some free time for you, which you can spent by buying souvenirs, drinking a glass of wine or you can just get lost in the small streets of this beautifull town. So choose carefully which trip you will take.

In the winter period (from the 1st of November till 31st of March) the Castle in Cesky Krumlov is unfortunately closed. But it does not mean that you should not visit this town! It still has a magical atmosphere and many things to see. And what more – there are not so many people like during the high season, so you can really enjoy it!

Hluboka Castle

Winter season is also the best time to take some organized trip which is connected with the Hluboka Castle, because this castle is open all year round. One of this organised trips to Cesky Krumlov connected with the visit of Hluboka Castle you can find at


If you would like to have any more information or need help with choosing the right one trip, just write me, I will be happy to help you.

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Posted by on November 5, 2010 in Interesting Cities


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