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Author Pavel
Partaker
#16 | Posted: 31 Aug 2021 06:36 | Edited by: Pavel 
Few comments:
Day 3: skip Karlštejn castle (only reason would be if you have booked in advance the tour No.2 to Holy Cross chapel) and combine Kutná Hora with Kladruby as advised by meltwaterfalls
Day 8 - once you are in Telč, go to Slavonice (renaissance houses) it is worth a detour.
Day trips:
-skip Czech Paradise, you can go to Sachsische Schweiz for rocks once you are in Dresden (well, it is not TWHS...)
-Žatec: once you are there do not forget to go to Stekník for the hops fields landscape
-Ještěd: Beech Forests are nearby and easy to visit. You can spend there a day, but if you want just a quick visit, go to Hejnice village and climb the rock Ořešník (follow the red tourist trail).

Author Zoe
Partaker
#17 | Posted: 31 Aug 2021 10:32 
Pavel:
-skip Czech Paradise, you can go to Sachsische Schweiz for rocks once you are in Dresden (well, it is not TWHS...)

I agree, while not on any tentative list it's a better visit. I guess you could always do both? :) I think that it won't get inscribed without a study of similar sites though and then some expert should be familiar with the German site. Now I'm waiting for Nan to chime on them having too many sites already...

Author nfmungard
Partaker
#18 | Posted: 31 Aug 2021 10:56 
christravelblog:
For those interested, this Czechia itinerary i came up with (flying in from Netherlands)
going to travel this in September. (note: i skip the spa stuff as will do that later from Dresden with own car).

If you go to Zatec easy to do. From Dresden probably more of an effort to get there.

christravelblog:
12 sites......

Easy to do in Czechia, small country.

christravelblog:
Prague

Some places require reservation, e.g. the library or the Villa. You may want to prearrange.

christravelblog:
Sleep prg Day trip to Kutna Hora and back to Prague (if time via The Karlstejn Castle)

You can combine Kutna Hora with the horses. Connections between Kutna Hora may suck though. However, Karlsteijn seems even more complicated to get to from Kutna Hora as you have to go back to Prague first and then in a different direction.

christravelblog:
Sleep brno - Morning to Kladruby nad Labem (1:10 drive) continue to
- Litomysl Castle book tour? (WHS) 1:15 drive

If you do Kladruby as proposed, you can tick the pilgrimage church on the way to Brno.

Generally, given Czechia is small and you have a car, it feels you are planning rather slow paced. But that is fine. Enjoy.

Author nfmungard
Partaker
#19 | Posted: 31 Aug 2021 10:57 
Zoe:
I agree, while not on any tentative list it's a better visit. I guess you could always do both? :) I think that it won't get inscribed without a study of similar sites though and then some expert should be familiar with the German site. Now I'm waiting for Nan to chime on them having too many sites already...

We do. Elbsandsteingebirge seems nice, but places can be of national importance without the Unesco label being assigned to it. The Bohemian Paradise would fit this mold, too.

Author Pavel
Partaker
#20 | Posted: 31 Aug 2021 12:53 
nfmungard:
The Bohemian Paradise would fit this mold

It depends if the purpose of Christravelblog visit is to go to any interesting rocks, or to any TWHS rocks, or to the TWHS rocks with a potential to be inscribed. IMHO Bohemian Paradise is very nice but it has no chances to be inscribed and it is already declared as Geopark. Thus, I was thinking not to waste time with traveling there. But as mentioned, Czechia is a small country...

Author Pavel
Partaker
#21 | Posted: 31 Aug 2021 13:12 | Edited by: Pavel 
My comments to TWHS list of Czechia:
Český ráj Rock Cities Nice but of national importance only, no chance
Fishponds of Třeboň It has a potential, and time to time there is a moderate action of the state party to move on, but I do not know...
Transmitter Ještěd It has a potential and there is a big plans with a thorough reconstruction for a purpose to push it forwards to the list, but at the moment no action and probably no budget for that, we will see...
Old Wastewater Treatment Plant in Prague-Bubeneč It has a potential, but it is pushed forwards by NGO, the state party action still lukewarm
Paper Mill at Velké Losiny It is of national importance only and should not be on the list, but there is a ambitious plan to make it transnational nomination with Poland and France, we will see
Sites of Great Moravia in Mikulčice and Kopčany No chance, only of national importance
Betlém rock scupltures near Kuks No chance, TWHS Bomarzo gardens of Italy is much better site
Terezín it should not be on the list. We have already Palmanova as the fortress and Auschwitz as the concentration camp
Industrial heritage of Ostrava Nice but already over-represented, or do we need more mines and Art Deco brick buildings and mining towers on the list?
Karlštejn I like it, but it has probably no chance
Luhačovice No chance, we have already 11 Spa towns on the list, which is more than enough
Renaissance houses in Slavonice No chance, of national importance only, there is already Telč on the list, and no need of more Renaissance architecture on the list
Žatec Problematic but hot candidate for inscription in 2022
-----------------------
to sum up, I can see a potential only for Žatec, Wastewater Treatment Plant, Ještěd transmitter, maybe Paper Mill in Velké Losiny, maybe Třeboň fishponds.

Author nfmungard
Partaker
#22 | Posted: 31 Aug 2021 14:19 
Pavel:
Thus, I was thinking not to waste time with traveling there. But as mentioned, Czechia is a small country...

Pretty easy to visit if you travel by car or by train to Liberec/Jested.

Pavel:
Český ráj Rock Cities Nice but of national importance only, no chance

Concur.

Pavel:
Fishponds of Třeboň It has a potential, and time to time there is a moderate action of the state party to move on, but I do not know...

Haven't seen it. But Telc has Fishponds, too?

Pavel:
Transmitter Ještěd It has a potential and there is a big plans with a thorough reconstruction for a purpose to push it forwards to the list, but at the moment no action and probably no budget for that, we will see...

I liked it and I could see it making the list.

Pavel:
Old Wastewater Treatment Plant in Prague-Bubeneč It has a potential, but it is pushed forwards by NGO, the state party action still lukewarm

Requires a comparative study. Great photo location. Would be a niche inscription as the Czechs seem very good at finding.

Pavel:
Paper Mill at Velké Losiny It is of national importance only and should not be on the list, but there is a ambitious plan to make it transnational nomination with Poland and France, we will see

Wondering how it's different from the Finnish paper mill... Transnational get my ire in any case.

Pavel:
Betlém rock scupltures near Kuks No chance, TWHS Bomarzo gardens of Italy is much better site

Now I am curious re Italy.

Pavel:
Terezín it should not be on the list. We have already Palmanova as the fortress and Auschwitz as the concentration camp

Terezin with some renovations would hold it's ground against most other tentative fortresses. But the stain of the holocaust simply does not allow for a visit of a fortress. It's the visit of a Jewish ghetto and concentration camp. Dark history should be memorialized differently than with WHS.

Pavel:
Industrial heritage of Ostrava Nice but already over-represented, or do we need more mines and Art Deco brick buildings and mining towers on the list?

I would have actually enjoyed to visit. Industrialization always nice and often gets overlooked that it also happened in Austria-Hungary and that Czechia was the industrial heartland of the empire. But yeah, probably not filling a gap.

Pavel:
Karlštejn I like it, but it has probably no chance

Nice visit and easy day trip. Castle is a bit too empty. National symbol of Czechia. I think you need the reservation for the special room to get the best out of it. Still, wouldn't add anythign to the list. Prague castle is enough.

Pavel:
Luhačovice No chance, we have already 11 Spa towns on the list, which is more than enough

Karlovy Vary and Bath would have been enough on their own, rather than the 9 other towns. No point in inscribing one more spa town if country has already 3.

Pavel:
Žatec Problematic but hot candidate for inscription in 2022

Will be inscribed as ICOMOS as I understand it favored inscription assuming revisions were made. And that was done. Still not a great site.

Author Pavel
Partaker
#23 | Posted: 31 Aug 2021 15:00 
nfmungard
Třeboň: Well, the town of Třeboň is very similar to Telč, but the network of fishponds and canals of the Třeboň basin is much bigger than 3 ponds in Telč, and it is a masterpiece of late medieval-Renaissance landscape planning for utilization and economic profit of it.
but no action of Czechia foreseen... but it is OK even without the WHS status.

Ještěd: I am optimistic in this case, the things are slowly moving forwards, but huge budget is needed for reconstruction, the transmitter is rusted due to the harsh environment, and hotel is planned to be reconstructed to its appearance in 1973.

Karlštejn: I am OK even without the WHS status

Sewage of Prague-Bubeneč: Yes, with Ještěd, it is hot candidate...

"Now I am curious re Italy" - check the component Monsters Grove, Bomarzo of https://www.worldheritagesite.org/tentative/id/351

I like beer, so, I will celebrate the inscription of Žatec even if it is not a great site, but I would have a terrible headache if Velké Losiny transnational Paper Mill will make the list.

Author Astraftis
Partaker
#24 | Posted: 3 Sep 2021 12:32 | Edited by: Astraftis 
Nice, @christravelblog! Last year I also did a partial road trip of Czechia (my absolute first time in the country) and of course it resembles yours somewhat: that string of WHS in Southern Bohemia already sets an itinerary by itself!

I was around for 17(+2) days in total, of which 10 by rented car. I am posting the scheme of the itinerary here with some personal or practical comments on the single places and attractions based on my experience; I don't know if this may help or inspire you. Anyway, doing the count I managed a grand total of... 8 WHSs and 2 TWHSs!!! I know, I have the impression that my pace might resemble that of a snail compared to that of other members. :-D At the time, I wasn't also aware of some TWHSs. Anyway, also with regard to pace and feasibility, I'll put something in the comments... As a general consideration, Czechia may not be huge, but neither is it so small: I think also also that the slightly decentrated position of Prague, one of the most likely starting and ending points for visitors, makes visiting both the regions west to it and those east to it more dispersive than maybe at first glance.

Here is my itinerary of August 2020, flying from Italy (if I were as good as meltwaterfalls, I'd do a map):

- Day 1
Late arrival in Prague
- Days 2-5
Visit of the city. Starting on the first day with the Hrad (castle) and surrounding, then the Jewish neighbourhood, then I hopelessly got absorbed by all the excellent art museums, and, and... Prague needs no presentation, but for me this was a short stay, I had to be very selective and I regret having had to cut one/two days because of last-minute summer holidays' rescheduling. This made me a little nervous and I also really only appreciated the city in hindsight. Anyway, I know I have left lots of things for a revisit!!!
*Question for the locals: when I was there, many museums were closed for restoration works, in particular the city and the communism museum, which were on my wish list. Would you recommend them?
- Day 6 [car]
I got the car and bolted (ca 1:30 through secondary roads: Prague > Kolín > Týnec nad Labem > Kladruby, and passing from Selmice I could already appreciate the horsescape) to Kladruby nad Labem, where I took all the tours. In the late afternoon I reached Kutná Hora (half an hour drive) and went for a walk.
*Note: especially on weekends, it can get really crowded. It is popular! It was a Sunday and it was a mess. I booked the tours nearly a week in advance and places were already disappearing.
*Comment: You can manage to link all the tours together, it will take some 3-4 hours. However, the must is the tour of the stables, the others can be disappointing. Book them in advance! They are in Czech, you will be given material to exercise your speed reading skills :-P
- Day 7 [car]
Visit of Kutná Hora and Sedlec (I fully agree with Matejicek's review). It was a Monday, so unfortunately the main museum about the mines, where you can also go in the underground, was closed.
In the evening I reached (longer than due, I got lost in the tentacular junctions of the great Prague...) the intermediate Mníšek pod Brdy (south of Prague... nice zámek) for the night.
- Day 8 [car]
Visit of Koněprusy's caves in the morning. Then transfer (less than an hour, very windy roads and enchanting sceneries along the small rivers) to Karlštejn's castle, where I took the two big tours. Finally, evening drive and late arrival in Vimperk (south-west near the border, 128kms, ca. 2 hours).
*Comment: I agree with the other posters that the castle, while impressive and scenic in its own right, is only worth the detour if you take at least one tour, the king of which is number 2 to the paradise chapel. And beware that it is a whopping 2 hours, 30+€ tour! And totally worth it.
*Note: you normally have to book the tours with a minimum advance, and they are at fixed hours during the day, especially not-Czech ones. But surprisingly, as I learnt, for a foreigner this might result easier, because the huge request is from locals: you should be able to just come and book one... but don't risk it. By the way, it happened that I was the only one at the guided tour 16-18, and so saw the chapel all for myself at the golden hour. Unforgettable!
- Day 9 [car]
Short visit of Vimperk, then not completely satisfying hike in the Šumava (Bohemian forest) from Kvilda. Evening transfer to Český Krumlov (1:30-2, with scenic detour to Frymburk along the lakes).
- Day 10-11 [car]
Visit of Český Krumlov.
*Comment: Here I probably spent a day too much, but I needed a stop. The castle, its garden and the center can all be enjoyed in a single, full day (you can chain the 3 available, obligatory guided tours: not to miss the one with the ballroom). I can recommend the small raft tour on the river, as touristy as it may be. Going to Zlatá Koruna by canoe would be even better, but being unexperienced & alone I had to renounce. Anyway, the town has many interesting things to offer! Photoatelier Seidel was nice.
- Day 12 [car]
Morning visit to the monastery complex of Zlatá Koruna (0:10), a minor but interesting site. Then Holašovice (good 0:30 on very minor roads)! It's not that difficult to reach, but it is really only signposted in its immediate proximities. Then onwards to Třeboň, bypassing České Budějovice (less than an hour).
*Comment: Well, in Holašovice you really can only take a short walk around. Then, there's this Holašovice's Stonehenge where you can recharge your energies... for a fee, of course.
- Day 13 [car]
Now, Třeboň, a really charming place! And excellent fish! After a visit of the city I moved on towards Telč, not before trying to locate a small countryside church in Hamr on the way and getting lost... because there are two Hamrs in the area!!! But this was serendipitous, because I got to meander through wonderful ponds and lakes and villages on some very narrow roads. So I cannot give a time estimate! :-D
*Comment: I think it's not Třeboň in itself the destination if you want to explore this TWHS, as much as it is the hub: there, you get to see the biggest pond (Svět, i.e. the World), which is nice, but to see the rest and to glimpse the actual network you have to dive in the surrounding region, away from the main roads. You have to plan accordingly timewise!
- Day 14 [car]
Visit to Telč, lunch and then onwards to Třebíč (0:40, maybe?). There, visit of ghetto and Jewish cemetery.
*Note: in Telč I unpleasantly discovered that the zámek (the castle/palace) was closed for very long restoration works. I wonder if it has already opened again! Better to check it. In Třebíč, to have a full architectural tour inside the houses you have to be a small group (2+?) and book beforehand. Else, you should manage to get the standard tour, which is still nice and insightful.
*Comment: it's worth staying here for a night. I can only recommend the pension in the ghetto: central and quiet place, you are inside the WHS to fully let it work its magic on you, and it's cheap with an incredible price/quality ratio. Just go at the information point in the Jewish quarter and ask.
- Day 15 [car]
Morning visit to Třebíč's basilica and then to Brno (also les than 1 hour drive) for the visit to Villa Tugendhat. Then I returned the car at the airport and settled in Brno.
*Note: as pointed by the others, you absolutely have to book your tour to the Villa with the largest possible advance. It can become really difficult to get one. I was extremely lucky: middle of July, planning the trip everything was booked and I was very sad; but I continued lurking and at the beginning of August one place for an English tour unexpectedly popped up. Less than one month of advance... thanks Corona! The tour is excellent and exhaustive. In my opinion, it does not make anysense to go to the Villa without one: you have to enter and to experience the space to see what's going on. You cannot understand from the outside.
- Day 16-17
Brno! I dedicated one full day to Spielberg/Špilberk, which has a legendary place in the story of Italy's independence. The exhibition Prison of nations (epic name) is ponderous, a little bit outdated in style, but rewarding. On the second day I admit running a little bit short of options, because I didn't want to visit art collections (still sated from Prague). But Brno is very alive, very active, I liked it a lot, and it has some other functionalist/modernist architectural perls to discover (like, yes, the crematorium on its outskirts).
- Day 18
Morning train to Prague and day of furious shopping. I managed to go up to Vyšehrad and closed the touristic full-circle at U Fleků (overrated, but irresistible).
- Day 19
Morning flight back to Italy.

* * *

It's probably evident, but this itinerary has a shortcoming: the juncture between Kutná Hora and the south is not well thought and not ideal, also for driving. The main reason for that (apart from planning last-minute like never before) is that the two cardinal fixed points were Kladruby and the Villa Tugendhat. Since the visit to the latter was the "most" fixed and unmovable and was set at the end of the vacation, I ended planning the whole tour around it, so a direction west-est and the need to do the not so ideal "change of setting" north-south.

Author Astraftis
Partaker
#25 | Posted: 3 Sep 2021 12:34 | Edited by: Astraftis 
[Wow, I wrote too much. Continuing...]

A visit to the Villa can really shape the tour. But if it's possible, I of course agree with meltwaterfalls about the ring: going to Brno from the north through Lytomyšl and the Pilgrimage Church at Zďár nad Sázavou (looked very cool, I only cut it from my itinerary with heavy heart), then turn west doing the southern string of WHSs and then back to the north with a possible diversion to the termal triangle/Terezín. Or viceversa! I would highly recommend to visit Karlštejn (see above) using Prague as the base or maybe exiting from Prague, in the afternoon, then using it as first stop. Also, I agree that Kladruby and Kutná Hora are enough far away from Prague, near to each other and on the road to warrant them a night stop. But Kutná Hora and Karlštejn on the same day (your day 3) I don't know if it's really possible or, at least, it's not advisable to me. Also your day 4 seems a bit too tight to me, maybe better split it.
Regarding Olomouc and Ostrava, I fear they might be a tad too eccentric and dispersive in such a tour in only 10 days. A round trip more centered in Bohemia (thus cutting most of Moravia, especially if you want to also return the car in Prague) might also allow more ease for branching towards north to Ještěd and forests.

In the end, the car will give you total flexibility, so staying on the road instead of using Brno as a base is feasible and might be more rewarding (and, who knows, cheaper staying in less touristy places for the night). In the end, I have the impression that all these places are well connected by public transport, so here, in my opinion, the main advantage of the car would be to not be tied to transport hubs for sleeping.

Author Astraftis
Partaker
#26 | Posted: 3 Sep 2021 12:53 
nfmungard:
Pavel:
Fishponds of Třeboň It has a potential, and time to time there is a moderate action of the state party to move on, but I do not know...

Haven't seen it. But Telc has Fishponds, too?

Part of the center is enclosed by artificial ponds, but I don't think that they are fishponds in that sense. Anyway, it's just episodic and not even by far comparable with the landscape in the Třeboň region.

nfmungard:
Pavel:
Betlém rock scupltures near Kuks No chance, TWHS Bomarzo gardens of Italy is much better site

Now I am curious re Italy.

Really beautiful area around Viterbo with many highlights, you will surely see it on the List someday! ;-)

nfmungard:
Pavel:
Terezín it should not be on the list. We have already Palmanova as the fortress and Auschwitz as the concentration camp

Terezin with some renovations would hold it's ground against most other tentative fortresses. But the stain of the holocaust simply does not allow for a visit of a fortress. It's the visit of a Jewish ghetto and concentration camp. Dark history should be memorialized differently than with WHS.

I agree that a site like this does not really belong to the List. But it has its importance that makes it worth visiting.

nfmungard:
Pavel:
Karlštejn I like it, but it has probably no chance

Nice visit and easy day trip. Castle is a bit too empty. National symbol of Czechia. I think you need the reservation for the special room to get the best out of it. Still, wouldn't add anythign to the list. Prague castle is enough.

Well, they are totally different! Karlštejn is a real "classic" castle, Prague's one is like Buda: the upper city, a neighbourhood in itself.

* * *

Question to our Czech members: what do you think of Zlín? The descriptions that I read of it seem interesting, anyway it is not on any list.

Author Pavel
Partaker
#27 | Posted: 3 Sep 2021 15:45 | Edited by: Pavel 
Astraftis
I enjoyed reading your notes and comments!

museums in Prague: I would recommend The Prague City Museum with its highlight Langweil´s model of Prague (should be opened after the reconstruction in Fall 2022). I have never been to The communism museum and even do not plan to go there - it was enough to live in it, believe me (I was 11 in 1989 = Velvet revolution).
Telč castle the reconstructions should be finished by the end of 2022. I am looking forwards to going there!
Viterbo, Lazio, Italy I have it in the same way. I did have a crush on Viterbo and surroundings at the first sight.
Prague castle It is considered to be the largest castle in the world.

Zlín It has very interesting history and I would recommend for modern architecture enthusiast (concrete-brick functionalism). The small town turned into the modern city in 20-30s of 20thC because of Tomáš Baťa, the founder of the Bata shoes company https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tom%C3%A1%C5%A1_Ba%C5%A5a and he emigrated to Toronto after the war.
Check the links: https://zam.zlin.eu/en/ and http://www.ic-zlin.cz/wcd/pages/atraktivity/brozury/zlinska_architektura_2020.pdf (this only in Czech)
Thanks Astraftis, you opened my eyes! I have been several times to Zlín, but never have been thinking about its world heritage potential! But I should re-visit as my last visit was some 20 years ago, and lot of things might changed (reconstructions, demolitions, new disturbing constructions etc.)

Author Pavel
Partaker
#28 | Posted: 3 Sep 2021 16:41 | Edited by: Pavel 
BTW I am almost done with all the reviews on Czech WHSs and TWHSs (under my surname Matejicek). The last published is Kutná Hora, and Holašovice, Tugenthat and Ostrava will follow during September. My plan for this weekend is to go to my very last non-visited TWHSs: Betlém near Kuks + Josefov/Josfstadt (the smaller brother of Terezín but not TWHS), and to Terezín/Theresienstadt itself. Thus, reviews should be done during the next week.

Author Pavel
Partaker
#29 | Posted: 4 Sep 2021 16:17 | Edited by: Pavel 
Hradec Králové: I found several articles from 2018 about the ambitions of modern architecture and urbanism by architects Josef Gočár and Jan Kotěra in Hradec Králové to be included to TWHS of Czechia under the title Salon of the Republic. It includes museum, church, school and hydroelectric power station.
http://www.hkcity.cz/hradec-kralove-do-unesco/
https://www.hradeckralove.org/salon-republiky-by-mohl-byt-pamatkou-unesco/d-45796
Though nice and interesting, I am not sure about the OUV and if we really need more 20-30s architecture that reshaped and completed the historical core on the list (Vienna is older and outstanding example, and Prado can be mentioned as well, and there is already Plečnik´s Ljubljana and TWHSs of Gdynia and Kaunas with modern architecture). We will see if it is included to the TWHS or not in the near future. Anyway, most entries on the tentative list are from 2001...

Author christravelblog
Partaker
#30 | Posted: 6 Sep 2021 04:49 
Thank you all for commenting above on my itinerary. I'm thankfully!

I know I will be driving in and out of Brno often and that overnight elsewhere saves me time but I just hate checking in and out (also costs time). I prefer to get up an hour earlier / make it a long day and drive extra. Especially in Czechia where it's not that far. Plus, I try to stick to my Marriott membership hotels lol ;-). Also, I will have time to work from hotel there especially the day i visit the villa and some things in Brno.

Karlstein: is removed.
Further also removed all that's in the west and north (other direction). it's all TWHS and I plan a trip towards Dresden anyway and also a south Poland road trip (where most unesco is) for 2022.

Tugendhat Villa: I know. tickets are arranged by the Brno tourist office already. Having a Press pass does have it's advantages.
also in most places, especially the castles, I have private tours which kind of combine the different tours they have. So I can see it all faster.
:-)

will re-read all the above one more time.

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