Jihlava Travel Guide

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Located halfway between Prague and Brno Jihlava (pop 55000) is one of the nicest historic towns of the Czech Republic. Founded in the 13-th century by Wenceslas I, the town boomed as a result of the nearby silver mines. The old city center has some nice old houses going all the way back to the 14-th century. The city center is surrounded old city walls - over 3 km long, so it's a nice hike.

Jihlava, or Iglau, used to be a predominantly German speaking enclave in a Czech speaking region. The composer Gustav Mahler grew up in Jihlava before moving to Vienna.

One of the sights in Jihava is below ground, "the Catacombs", the old silver mining tunnels. The tunnels were also dug as an escape mechanism in case of siege so the nine kilometers of tunnelling network meanders right below the historical centre in several levels. The upper level is reinforced with concrete to prevent the city from falling into the ground.

The easiest way to get to Jihlava is by bus from Prague, Florenc bus station where it is less than a two hour ride (unless you pick a local bus which would add another hour ride) or from Brno. The final destination would typically be to Jihlava, Trebic, or Znojmo, but there are a handful international busses passing by. It will take an hour and a half by car, and typically three hours by train (and you would need to take a bus or taxi to the centre, dishonest taxi drivers is mainly a Prague phenomena).

Jihlava is the major city in the region known as the Bohemian-Moravian highlands. This is good trekking or biking country. The nearby village of Telc could be worth a visit.


April 14, 2005 change by richardosinga

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