The Czech Republic is a wonderful country to visit, and while many tourists head straight to Prague, there is so much more to enjoy in this country. (I will share a bit about Prague and a couple nearby castles in my next post).
Here are some recommendations beyond Prague:
This town, located in the southern part of the Czech Republic, is about 170 (106 miles) south of Prague or 225 km (140 miles) northwest of Vienna. It is one of the most delightful medieval towns in Europe.
Although there have been various settlements in the area going back to 100 BCE, the town and castle we now see were founded in the 13th century. The town was under Communist rule after World War II, and since there was no money to modernize the town, it was (thankfully) preserved for today’s tourist.
The Vltava river makes a u-shaped bend as it winds through the town, providing scenic views and foot bridges from almost every point, in addition to being a major venue for canoeing and rafting. The town is considered the Czech answer to picturesque Rothenburg, Germany. The major sight, besides the town itself, is the majestic castle (see featured image at top of post) and the adjacent Baroque Theater sitting on the hill above the town.
Our hotel (Maleho Vitka) in the center of the old town was like Middle Earth (from The Hobbit), with winding corridors, unique “woodsy” rooms and furniture.
Kutná Hora and Sedlec Bone Church
Kutná Hora is about 64 km (40 miles) east of Prague and is considered a “typical” Czech city, not high on the tourist circuit. Its economy centuries ago was based on its silver mine.
Other than seeing the Cathedral of St. Barbara, our main reason for visiting Kutná Hora was to go to the Sedlec Bone Church. Sedlec is a little town just a mile outside Kutná Hora.
If you like seeing human bones in about every imaginable configuration, this is your place. The bones of about 40,000 people rest here.
The plagues and wars of Middle Ages took their toll on the population and provided the “decorative” materials displayed by the monks in creative fashion throughout the church.