Plzen Travel Guide

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Overview from church belltower

Overview from church belltower

Richard Ehrenberg

Plzen is a place of pilgrimage for every one who likes beer: this is were Lager was invented! In many languages the name for lager is derived from the German name of this city: Pilsen. Hardly surprising that one of the main attractions in town is the Pilsner Urquell (Prazdroj) Beer Brewery

The city has been founded in 1295 by the king Vaclav II. The city centre is dominated by a slim tower of the Gothic St. Bartholomew Cathedral, which is with the height of 102,26 m (335 feet) the highest church spire in Bohemia. The main square, where this cathedral is situated is the second largest in Bohemia. Originally, it was a grazing area for livestock of the city inhabitants, and also the gallow stood there. Many other old mansions are to be found there and in the area around it. The town hall is richly decorated, built in the 16th Century. It is situated at the northern end of the square of the Republic and is absolutely worth a visit.  

Along the crooked Prazska street, you will find many more interesting Gothic and Renaissance buildings, most of which were modified in Baroque style.

Outside the city centre lies the largest synagogue in Bohemia, dominating the city panorama. Just a two-minute walk from there is a theatre of J.K.Tyl, built at the end of the 19th Century. The green narrow park ring around the city centre is the area where the medieval city walls stood. Today, it's a place to relax at. 

The city is a living proof of rapid change. The city experienced a real industrial upsurge in the late 19th Century changing the medieval sleepy atmosphere to a fast industrial city. The steel industry, mining and brewery brought progress and made this city rich, soon the second largest in Bohemia.

Outside the city, toward the southeast, is the ruin of the castle Radyne, built by the king Charles IV in the 14th Century. Situated high atop a hill, this can be seen from many kilometers around.


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