Wanderings in Eastern Bohemia and Southern Moravia



Pardubice is dominated by the Green Gate with remains of the town’s fortifications. The Renaissance Chateau, which has been reconstructed, is located nearby. The town itself has many historical buildings, much of which lies around Pernštejnské náměstí, for example, Kamenná vila (Stone Villa), Dům U Bílého koníčka (House at the White Horse), Wernerův dům (Werner’s House), Dům U Jonáše (At Jonah’s) and the City Hall (opposite).

Holice. This is a very small town and  is located approximately 14 km east of the regional town of Pardubice. We were there because it was the birthplace of Stephany's mother, Klara, in 1912. Her birthplace at 27 T.G. Masaryka Square is partly used as a ladies hairdresser and is just along from the restaurant shown below. By pure good fortune Stephany went to that hairdresser whilst we were there but did not realise that it was her mther's birthplace at the time. By another good stroke of luck the photos from the Google car were taken in July 2011 - exactly the same time we were thgere.
Olomouc. Located on the Morava  River, the city is the ecclesiastical metropolis and historical capital city of Moravia. We stayed in a very comfortable hotel ( shown opposite) that was in the city centre. The city has numerous historic religious buildings. The most prominent church is Saint Wenceslas Cathedralfounded before 1107 and rebuilt at the end of the 19th century in the neo-Gothic style. It kept many features of the original church, which had renovations and additions reflecting styles of different ages: Romanesque crypt, Gothic cloister, Baroque chapels etc.  The town hall, completed in the 15th century is flanked on one side by a gothic chapel. It has a tower 250 ft high, adorned with an astronomical clock in an uncommon Socialist Realist style
Valtice. We stayed in a pleasant hotel on the outskirts of town. The town itself is located 265 kilometres south-east of Prague. The vineyards around Valtice are a centre of Mikulovská wine production, with notable wine tasting  in Valtice Chateau. Valtice contains one of the most impressive Baroque residences of Central Europe. It was designed as the seat of the ruling princes of Liechtenstein  in the early 18th century. Together with the neighbouring manor of Lednice, to which it is connected by a 7 kilometres long lime-tree avenue, Valtice forms the Lednice–Valtice Cultural Landscape, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Lednice contains a palace and the largest park in the country, which covers 200 km². Lednice/Eisgrub first passed into the hands of the House of Liechtenstein in the mid-13th century and the palace began its life as a Renaissance villa. By the 17th century it had become a summer residence of the ruling Princes of Liechtenstein. In 1846–58 it was extensively rebuilt in a  style and thus it remains. The large surrounding park is laid out in an English garden style and contains a range of Romantic , including the artificial ruins of a medieval castle on the bank of the Thaya (1801) and a solitary sixty-metre minaret(1797–1804)..
There were a lot of lakes in the area. And at Lednice we took a boat tour doing a large circuitous route through the estate.

Mikulov is the centre of the Moravian wine making industry and is surrounded by vinyards. It is an ancient city and was formerly known as "Nicholsberg". After a fire damaged the original Nikolsburg Castle in 1719, the Dietrichstein family reconstructed the château to its present appearance.  Several historic churches and a synagogue are here including the Romanesque Church of St. Václav and charnel house, the Church of St. John the Baptist, St. Sebastian Chapel on the Holy Hill (Svatý Kopeček), the  Eastern Christian Church of St. Nicolas, and the Altschul Synagogue.

But an aura of sadness hangs over the town. Up until the second world war the town had a large and thriving Jewish community but this, alas, is no more.

We tasted the wine, bought some bottles and then, alas, had to leave to begin our journey back to Prague.