By Zoe Brooks, Czech Tours
I have my perfect job. It combines two of my loves – history especially medieval history and the Czech Republic. Having successfully taken a party of 30 archaeology enthusiasts around some of the sites and sights of South Bohemia, I set up Czech Tours Ltd to offer off-the-shelf and custom-made historical tours to the Czech Republic.
There are currently three tours:
Historic South Bohemia – this is a general historical introduction to the area with an emphasis on medieval and renaissance history.
In the Footsteps of Jan Hus and the Hussite Warriors – culminating in the three-day medieval festival at Tabor, the tour visits castles, towns and other late medieval sites
Medieval Bohemia – a special tour for organised groups created for a bunch of castle fans.
There isn’t enough space here to list all the places we visit, but here are a few:
Tabor – the cradle of the radical Hussites and a beautiful old town – sights include the Hussite Museum, and the town fortifications, Hous Mill
Kozi Hradec – ruined castle where Hus found refuge to write sermons and other works
Trocnov – birthplace of Jan Zizka, the one-eyed military genius and Hussite general
Husinec – birthplace of Jan Hus
Rabi – the Czech Republic’s largest ruined castle and where Zizka was blinded during a siege
Sudomer – site of Zizka’s first battle, where he first developed the use of the fortified wagon
Strakonice Castle – home of the Maltese Knights of St John, foes of the Hussites – includes a visit to cloister and capitular hall with remarkable wall paintings from the 14th and 15th centuries
Cesky Krumlov – a UNESCO World Heritage site with over 300 listed buildings and the second-largest castle in the Czech Republic
Ales Gallery of Gothic Art – remarkable collection of sculpture and paintings from the end of the 13th century to the beginning of the 16th
Zvikov – Known as the King of Castles, Zvikov is one of the most important medieval castles in the Czech Republic.
Ceske Budejovice – sights include the Dominican Monastery (Gothic wallpaintings), and town fortifications.
Jindrichuv Hradec – The Castle has a room decorated foot to ceiling with Gothic wallpaintings and a black kitchen, whilst the Church of St John the Baptist, is a “pearl of the high-Gothic in South Bohemia” with more Gothic frescos
Zlata Koruna Abbey – the best preserved Cistercian monastery in Bohemia.
Zumberk – one of only three extant fortified villages in Europe, includes a visit to an exhibition of traditional folk painted furniture
Kasperk Castle – built by Charles IV, it is a typical example of the Bohemian Gothic castle architecture of the 14th century with its residential palace situated between two towers.
Landstejn Castle – a massive well-preserved Romanesque castle near the Austrian border
For more information visit my website http://www.czechtours.co.uk.