When I learned that only 30% of visitors to the Czech Republic ever leave Prague, I was completely dismayed! Every country I’ve visited becomes increasingly interesting as you venture away from the largest cities and explore what lies beyond.
Our first stop was the fairy tale town of Telč, which lies between Prague and Vienna in the Moravia area. It’s been on the UNESCO World Cultural Heritage list since 1992. To be honest until I began writing for Vacation.com I didn’t know much about this list, but it’s a pretty impressive registry of places with true historic value.
Hradec Square looks like Walt Disney waved is magic wand and dropped a village straight in the middle of the countryside! It’s a town whose residents are frequently outnumbered by tourists throughout the warmer months.While I could have spent my entire day simply walking around the square exploring the little shops and cafes, there was so much more to see what we had to keep moving! This didn’t do much to keep me from wanting to explore as it seemed every corner reveled new secrets.
For a tiny town it has some pretty big views! Seen in the background is our next stop the second piece of what put Telc on the UNESCO Heritage list, chateau Telc.
This Gothic castle was started in the 14th century and like most great rulers, someone chose to expand upon it in the 15th century which transformed the single castle in to a Renaissance residence. In some of the Chateau’s interiors, older cell-vaults with original decorations have been preserved.
Outside the castle is a beautiful garden with paths that you can use to get from once side of the town to the other or of course like me to enjoy a beautiful morning run!!
I was impressed at how much had been maintained throughout the castle and we got some fascinating stories about the families who lived there. Seeing the deer on the ceiling you can imagine some things were a bit eccentric, no??
One of the groups favorite stories involved a painting of “The White Lady” who stories say haunts the castle. A member of our group is very sensitive to things like this and actually mentioned when we first entered the castle that she could feel something. I totally LOVE hearing about these kinds of things…so long as they don’t turn Exorcist.
If you can visit in July or August, you’ll be treated to some great festivals in the town square!
If you’ve made it to Telc, then you must take a short drive to Jihlava and maybe you’ll opt to even stay there as it’s a slightly larger city, though I still use that term loosely.
Our time here included a fascinating tour of the catacombs under the city! The tunnels actually cover over 25KM making it possible to traverse the entire city, but only a few are actually cleaned out and open for a tour.
The entire city was in danger of collapsing due to the tunnels, so in 1965 the city undertook a massive project to reinforce the tunnels with concrete!
While the tunnels were mostly designed for mining silver and as cellars to store things, they were of course used in war. One particular tunnel is rumored to be where the Nazi’s tested some chemicals.
The result is a tunnel that reminds me of our bioluminescent kayaking tour! The lights in the tunnels are turned off and yet somehow in this one tunnel 8 meters underground you feel like light is on! If you stand near the wall and flash a light, your outline is actually left behind!
I was afraid this might be a macabre tour with skulls and such, but nope just fun and interesting!
When you leave the tunnels, spend a little bit of time outdoors. The walls surrounding the growing town of Jihlava were built shortly after its official foundation, during the first half of the 13th century. And now a great path is available all the way around through the woods, which is a great way to stretch your legs and leads right to their Zoo!
Have you spent any time in the Czech Republic?
Enchanted Prague Walking Tour
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