Useful Links - and not only for Visitors to the Pilsen Region
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 de¬signed by the master builder Haffenecker with its statue gallery, or the ”flower chateau” at Nebílovy with collections of fine arts including floral designs. The most frequently visited tourist destination in the vicinity of Plzeň is Kozel near Šťáhlavy, originally a hunting lodge with a spacious park, riding school, stables and chapel. There are many other historic sights open, or partly open for public, such as the Chodský cas¬tle 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 and Žinkovy. Recently open for the public have been the chateaus of Zbiroh, Mirošov and Poběžovice. The Bezdružice chateau houses a permanent exhibition of the works of modern glass-makers including the unique Nativity Scene found at the chateau chapel.
Numerous sights will remind the visitor of the rich history of the Jewish population in the region – Jewish cemeteries, muse¬ums, partly preserved ghettos and synagogues. The best knownsight is indisputably the Great Synagogue in Plzeň built in 1893, the second largest in Europe and third in the world. The synagogue in Radnice is associated with the name of rabbi Issak Mayer Wise-Weise, the founder of the Reform Judaism movement in America. Other interesting Jewish sights include the Baroque synagogue and museum in the Jewish quarter and a Jewish cemetery in Kasejovice, the Jewish cemetery in Rabštejn nad Střelou, the Jewish merchant house in Spálené Poříčí and the Dr Šimon Adler museum at Dobrá Voda near Hartmanice.
The prehistoric people living in the region left behind themselves numerous traces of fortified settlements and burial grounds.
One of the oldest historic sights in Pilsen is Romanesque church of St Jiří.
Numerous sights will remind the visitor of the rich history of the Jewish population in the region – Jewish cemeteries, museums, partly preserved ghettos and synagogues.
Artefacts documenting the technological developments from ancient times to the beginning of industry in Bohemia are exhibited by several museums in the region.
The Plzeň region has numerous sights of folk architecture from different historic periods. These often originated from inspirations brought back by the local bricklayers and stuccoers seeking work abroad and in foreign countries.
The cultural, political and economic centre of the region is the statutory city of Plzeň, founded by the Czech King Václav II on a rectangular construction site in 1295. Plzeň is the fourth largest city in Czech Republic.