Ceske Budejovice

Ceske Budejovice, founded in the thirteenth century by King Přemysl Otakar II, was a royal city in its earliest days. In the centuries since, the largest city in South Bohemia has evolved into a vibrant center of commerce, learning, and culture.

Budejce, at the confluence of the Vltava and Malese Rivers, is laid out a bit like a chessboard, with a geometric network of streets around a town square. Many of the attractions in Ceske Budejovice are clustered around the square named for the town founder. The splendid Samson's Fountain dates from the eighteenth century, as do many of the surrounding buildings. The nearby town hall features elements from the Baroque and Renaissance eras, complete with a glockenspiel and four sculptures depicting the virtues of righteousness, wisdom, bravery, and watchfulness.

A short walk away from the square, those enjoying Ceske Budejovice travel can visit one of the oldest structures in town. The former Dominican monastery and accompanying Cloister Church of the Sacrifice of the Virgin Mary date as far back as the thirteenth century, when the town was founded. Both are open to tours and feature fantastic art from another era.

In addition to all of the attractions in Ceske Budejovice clustered around the town square, you'll find numerous places to round out your vacation plans. Lanna Street (Lannova Trida) is the place to look for numerous shopping and dining opportunities. Several hotels are found within walking distance of the city center and close to all the shopping.

The South Bohemian Museum, another one of the attractions in Ceske Budejovice, is located in a former watchman's house, is an interesting place to learn about the town's history. After a fire devastated the town during the Thirty Years' War, Ceske Budejovice was slow to recover. By the nineteenth century, it still was a small walled city with less than 10,000 inhabitants. Everything changed in 1825 with the construction of the first horse-drawn railroad in Europe. Connecting the city with Linz, Austria, the railroad spurred the growth of the modern city you'll see today. The city continues to be a hub of transportation; Ceske Budejovice travel is made easy, since it's connected to Prague and other cities in Europe by highway, bus, and rail.

Taking the highway to Prague, you'll find one of the most visited places in Ceske Budejovice—the Pivovar Budějovický Budvar brewery. The city's name in German is Budweis, so it's no surprise that brewing is a proud part of local heritage. The brewery produces lagers sold all over the world, called Budweiser Budvar in Europe and Czechvar in North America. Visitors can include the brewery in their Ceske Budejovice travel plans through brewery tours, visits to local restaurants, and shopping for souvenirs. At the corporate headquarters, a visitor center is the starting point for the tours; it's also home to a gift shop and beerhouse, serving up locally made brews, Czech cuisine, and international favorites. The company also operates a restaurant near the Přemysl Otakar II Square in a historic building that served as the city's meat market during the Middle Ages.

You'll also have the chance to get out and explore. The Bohemian Forest and Sumava National Park are nearby, offering possibilities for hiking, cycling, and horseback riding along an extensive network of trails. Also, there are numerous opportunities for skiing and winter sports within a short distance of Ceske Budejovice, both in South Bohemia and across the border in Germany and Austria.

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