Useful Links - and not only for Visitors to the Pilsen Region
Plzeň and the whole Plzeň region have colourful cultural traditions and a rich contemporary cultural life.
A number of outstanding representatives of Czech culture were born or lived in the Plzeň region, for example composer Bedřich Smetana, painters Václav Brožík and Mikoláš Aleš, writer Karel Klostermann, marionetteer Josef Skupa, painter and illustrator Jiří Trnka, author and popular actor Miroslav Horníček, traveller Miroslav Zikmund and others.
Both Plzeň and other larger towns of the region run theatres of different kinds. The Theatre of J. K. Tyl with its two scenes, Big and Chamber Theatres, and the Alfa Theatre in Plzeň specialised in dramatic production for children, have excellent reputation extending far beyond the region’s borders. Plzeň is the host city for several theatre festivals, e.g. the annual festival ”Divadlo” in September or ”Skupa’s Plzeň” taking place every other year. In April, the annual national film festival ”Finále” presenting the latest products of the Czech film industry attracts large audiences as well as renowned film producers and film stars.
The Smetana Days are another Plzeň festival with a wide range of concert, theatre and exhibition events. The lovers of classical music would not miss the concert series under the name of Haydn Music Festival in the nearby Dolní Lukavice, Přeštice and the Nebílovy chateau. Summer music festivals are organised at other places of the region too. In Plzeň, the annual August festival of theatre and music called Jazz, Strings and Theatre in the Street has become one of the leading cultural events of the season.
Various folk festivals have also gained general acknowledgement. The most popular are the brass band music show in Klatovy in March, the international folk festival in Plzeň in June, the ethnographic festival in Výhledy in July and ”Chodské slavnosti” in Domažlice in August. The tradition of annual fairs and markets is still alive in many communities. Some of these have become colourful events with sales of local products, but also demonstrations of medieval crafts and techniques. At such a fair or market you can smell cakes being baked, taste freshly made delicacies such as ”trdla” or ”lokše”, watch a smith work red-hot iron, a craftsman hollow out a bowl, try your luck with a potter’s wheel, test your marksmanship when shooting an arrow at a medieval target and buy a lot of fine presents including replicas of etched glasses of the castle lords. The end of winter brings Shrovetide carnivals the tradition of which is particularly observed in Chodsko and the Klatovy districts. Freedom festivals are organised at many places in the beginning of May to commemorate the end of World War II and liberation of the region by the American Army in 1945. Indispensable part of these festivals are military parades with reviews of historical army vehicles. Another event of a military nature is the annual Bahna” Army Day at the turn of May and June. Groups of swordsmen in historic costumes come every year to lay siege to and take the Rabí castle. During the sommer months, in the recently open castle moat you may take part in an interesting event ”The Rabí Apiary“ and listen to an unconventional natural history lesson on bees, bee-keeping and life in the country, see historical beehives and bee-keeping equipment; you can also buy various bee products there. Other castles, chateaus and monasteries try hard to attract visitors by combining sightseeing tours with special programmes for both children and adults. Swordsmen, jugglers, barkers and gamblers are at their best at the Historic Weekend in Plzeň in mid June.
In Plzeňský kraj, you can find 40 museums of various sizes, collection sizes and orientations. Most of them are generally focused on regional history and geography and have a varying degree of further specialisation.
There are plenty of cinemas in the Pilsen Region. Almost every major city has a classic or summer cinema. Visitors can see many films, ranging from X-rated to films for the little ones.
Few cities in Bohemia can boast of such a long theatrical tradition as that on which the classic JK Tyl Theatre is built; and there is also the top theatre Alfa, aimed at children and young people,...