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Castles and Chateaux

Castles and Chateaux

The prehistoric people living in the region left behind themselves numerous traces of fortified settlements and burial grounds.

Among the most important sights from late Bronze Age is the fortified settlement at Hra­dišťský vrch near Konstantinovy Lázně, while a major Celtic settlement was found at Sedlo near Sušice. The well-preserved remnants of the massive fortifications of the former regional administration centre from the Přemysl period on a hill above Starý Plzenec are dominated by a Romanesque chapel of St Peter and St Paul from the second half of the 10th century built in the so-called “Oton” style. The picturesquely undulating countryside of the region offers views of towns and villages with numerous churches. These often are originally in the Romanesque style, but rebuilt during the Gothic and Baroque periods. A construction sight of a unique character is the Gothic church of St Mikuláš (Nicholas) in Čečovice, a bare-brick structure with valuable cut-stone details.


The countryside also abounds in medieval castles. The oldest of these, the Romanesque-style castle of Přimda, is at the same time the oldest stone castle on the territory of Czech Republic. Rabí is the largest castle ruin in Czech Republic, ranking among the most important Medieval fortresses in Central Europe. Another unique piece of medieval architecture is the bridge connecting two palace buildings at Velhartice. Worth seeing is also the chateau, originally a bishop’s castle in Horšovský Týn, including a well-preserved chapel in the early Czech Gothic style. Tourists are welcome to see the ruins of the Klenová castle, the massive fortifications of the Švihov water castle or the ruins of Royal castles Radyně and Kašperk with their characteristic scenic features.


The town hall in Plzeň and the Kaceřov villa-style chateau are among the best examples of the Renaissance architecture in the region. The Czech Baroque style can be admired in many sacral constructions, nobility residences and even farm-houses. This architectural style was also adopted for construction of monumental cathedrals of rich monasteries and convents. The leading architect of the period, J. B. A. Santini, created a highly specific style known as Gothic Baroque. His best work in the region is reconstruction of the originally Romanesque cathedral of the Kladruby monastery. The public can visit many other remarkable historic constructions such as the provost’s residence in Mariánská Týnice or the monastery in Plasy including the magnificent tomb of Metternich, the last private owner of the Plasy estate. The huge monastery buildings were erected on a swamp land where the foundations had to be strengthened by 5,100 oak piles.


The visitors to the region should not miss the Baroque chateau in Manětín designed by the master builder Haffenecker with its statue gallery, or the “flower chateau” at Nebílovy with collections of fine arts including floral designs. By far the most popular tourist destination is the hunters’ chateau of Kozel near Šťáhlavy and the adjoining spacious park, riding-school hall, stables and chapel. There are many other historic sights open, or partly open for public, such as the Chodský castle in Do­mažli­ce, the Old chateau in Chu­de­ni­ce, chateaus in Spálené Poříčí, Blovice, the gallery at the Klenová chateau, or the tower and one wing of the Gothic castle later rebuilt to a chateau in Bor u Ta­cho­va. The interiors of other chateaus are not, at least for the time being, open for visitors; these include Lužany, Žinkovy, Zbi­roh and Zelená Hora near Nepomuk.

List of chateaux in Pilsen Region you can find here.

List of castles in Pilsen Region you can find here.

Last edited by: Beránek Filip (23.09.2010)

 


 

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