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Tour of the City Centre

Plzeň  - Tour of the City Centre

1. Republic Square

1. Republic Square

The core of the historical center is formed by a large square, and with its dimensions of 139 × 193 m it is one of the largest squares not only in the Czech Republic, but also in the whole of Europe.

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2. St. Bartholomew’s Cathedral

2. St. Bartholomew’s Cathedral

The best way to discover Pilsen is the view from the highest point - the tower of St. Bartholomew’s Cathedral.

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3. Renaissance Town Hall

3. Renaissance Town Hall

It was built in 1558 according to the plans of the Italian architect Giovanni de Statia. The building is decorated with sgraffiti depicting Czech rulers and the city’s coat of arms.

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4. Imperial House

4. Imperial House

The Imperial House is named after the Emperor Rudolf II. When plague broke out in Prague, the monarch fled the city and came to Pilsen.

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5. Plague Column

5. Plague Column

Pilsen burghers erected it in 1681 as an expression of gratitude for a less severe plague epidemic.

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6. House by the Red Heart

6. House by the Red Heart

This Neo-Renaissance building is easily identified by a red heart in the middle of the facade. The house, decorated with sgraffiti by Mikoláš Aleš, dates from 1894.

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7. Diocese building

7. Diocese building

The house was rebuilt in 1710 by Baroque architect Jakub Auguston and is one of the most valuable Baroque structures in Pilsen.

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8. The Great Synagogue

8. The Great Synagogue

The Great Synagogue was built in 1892 in the Moorish-Romanesque style, and is not only the largest synagogue in the Czech Republic, but also the second largest in Europe.

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9. Great Theatre

9. Great Theatre

In Smetanovy sady (park) you will see the J.K. Tyl Divadlo (theatre) – also called the Great Theater. It was built in 1902 in the Neo-Renaissance style with Art Nouveau elements.

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10. Park ring

10. Park ring

These city parks, which are divided into several parts, were created as a promenade in the mid-19th century. They arose on the site of demolished city walls. They include the main points of interest in the city of Pilsen.

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11. The Study and Research Library of the Pilsener Region

11. The Study and Research Library of the Pilsener Region

Below the Great Theater we see a gray Neoclassical building, which is the home of the Study and Research Library of the Pilsener Region. Originally, a Dominican convent stood here.

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12. Hotel Slovan

12. Hotel Slovan

Former Hotel Waldek, now the Slovan, which, at the end of the 19th century, was the best hotel in Pilsen and once hosted the Emperor Franz Joseph I.

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13. Burgher’s Hall

13. Burgher’s Hall

In the early 20th century the imposing Burgher’s Hall decorated low-lying Kopeckého sady (park). Pilsen burghers built it to serve as a center of community and social life.

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14. Franciscan monastery with the Church of the Assumption of the Virgin Mary

14.- Franciscan monastery with the Church of the Assumption of the Virgin Mary

The Church of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary was founded in 1295, and along with the adjacent Franciscan monastery it is one of the oldest buildings in the city.

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15. West Bohemian Museum

15. West Bohemian Museum

The West Bohemian Museum was built in the Neo-Renaissance style between 1893 and 1902. Its main attractions include the town armory with a significant European collection of Gothic weapons.

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16. Theatrum Mundi

16. Theatrum Mundi

A special addition to the impressive atmosphere of the City Park is the largest large-scale wall painting in the Czech Republic called Theatrum Mundi.

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17. Meat Market

17. Meat Market

The former meat market building has stood in this place since 1392 and served as a meat market until the 1950s. Today, in its unique space you can find works of art.

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18. Water tower

18. Water tower

The oldest water monument in Pilsen is the four-sided late Gothic tower on the corner of Pražska ulice (street) and sady (park) 5.května.

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19. Brewery Museum and Pilsen Historic Underground

19. Brewery Museum and Pilsen Historic Underground

If you want to know the history of beer, head to the Brewery Museum, which is located in an original house with brewing rights close to the water tower.

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20. Mill race

20. Mill race

A canal on the east side of the city walls once brought water to the manor mill, which stood in the place of today's Marriott Hotel.

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21. Pilsner Urquell Brewery

21. Pilsner Urquell Brewery

The brewery is near the center of the city, approximately a 15-minute walk which takes you around the Mlýnská strouha (mill race) and through an underpass into Štruncovy sady (park).

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The Information Centre of City Pilsen

Informační centrum města Plzně

nám. Republiky 41
301 16 Plzeň
Tel. IC MP: +420 378 035 330

 

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The Information Centre of City Pilsen
Main Raiload Station

The Information Centre of City Pilsen

Nádražní 102
301 10 Plzeň
Tel. IC MP: +420 378 035 333

 

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1. Náměstí Republiky (Republic Square)

The core of the historical center is formed by a large square, and with its dimensions of 139 × 193 m it is one of the largest squares not only in the Czech Republic, but also in the whole of Europe. This is where the heart of the city beats. The square is a natural center of cultural events, festivals and markets. In addition to St. Bartholomew’s Cathedral, it is also dominated by a plague column from the 17th century and three modern gold fountains.
These modern fountains were designed by Ondřej Císler and stand on the site where original fountains once stood. Reservoirs made of black Chinese granite catch water falling from gilded spouts that symbolize an angel, a greyhound and a camel, motifs of the Pilsen coat of arms. The spouts are bronze castings of various heights on which gilding about 720 grams of gold was used.

2. Katedrála sv. Bartoloměje (St. Bartholomew’s Cathedral)

The best way to discover Pilsen is the view from the highest point - the tower of St. Bartholomew’s Cathedral. At a height of 102.26 meters, it is the tallest church tower in the Czech Republic. Construction of St. Bartholomew‘s began immediately after the founding of the city. The church is 58 meters long and 30 meters wide, and at a height of 25 meters there is interesting ribbed vaulting. In the middle of the Neo-Gothic altar, you can see the most valuable treasure in Pilsen – a 134-cm-high statue of the Virgin Mary with the baby Jesus, the so-called Madonna of Pilsen. On the back side of the church you will find decorative Baroque bars adorned with the heads of cherubs. Each one has a different expression, but only the most worn out one is said to bring luck.

3. Renesanční radnice (Renaissance Town Hall)

If you stand facing the portal to St. Bartholomew‘s, on your left you will see a Renaissance gem – the Pilsen Town Hall. It was built in 1558 according to the plans of the Italian architect Giovanni de Statia. The building is decorated with sgraffiti depicting Czech rulers and the city’s coat of arms. Do not be afraid to pass through the mázhauz, or foyer of the Town Hall. In the back room you will find a model of the historic city center.

4. Císařský dům (Imperial House)

To the left of the Town Hall you will find the so-called Imperial House. On the massive pillars stands a stone statue of the knight Roland, sometimes called Žumbera. His presence was meant to inform newcomers that order reigned in the city. The Imperial House is named after the Emperor Rudolf II. When plague broke out in Prague in September 1599, the monarch fled the city with just a part of his court and came to Pilsen. Until June 4, 1600, the city served as the capital of the Empire. Today, the Mayor’s office is situated behind the windows on the first floor.

5.Morový sloup (Plague Column)

Looking between the Imperial house and the cathedral, you can see the plague column. Pilsen burghers erected it in 1681 as an expression of gratitude for a less severe plague epidemic. The top of the column is decorated with a Baroque replica of the famous Madonna of Pilsen.

6. Budova biskupství (Diocese building)

The diocese building is located directly opposite the entrance to the cathedral. The house was rebuilt in 1710 by Baroque architect Jakub Auguston and is one of the most valuable Baroque structures in Pilsen.

7. Dům U Červeného srdce (House by the Red Heart)

This Neo-Renaissance building is easily identified by a red heart in the middle of the facade. The house, decorated with sgraffiti by Mikoláš Aleš, dates from 1894. The sgraffito scene recalls the famous tournament which was held in Pilsen in honor of Ferdinand II of Tyrol.

Riegrova ulice (street) takes us from the entrance to the cathedral on the square to Sady (park) Pětatřicátníků. On the other side of the busy Klatovská třída (street) we can see from afar the impressive Great Synagogue. Nearby is the Great Theatre.

8. Velká synagoga (The Great Synagogue)

The Great Synagogue was built in 1892 in the Moorish-Romanesque style, and is not only the largest synagogue in the Czech Republic, but also the second largest in Europe after Budapest. Today, the unique acoustics of this one-of-a-kind structure contributes to the unforgettable experience of the frequent concerts that take place there.

9. Velké divadlo (Great Theatre)

In Smetanovy sady (park) you will see the J.K. Tyl Divadlo (theatre) – also called the Great Theater. It was built in 1902 in the Neo-Renaissance style with Art Nouveau elements, and today is one of the two permanent venues of the theatre.

10. Sadový okruh (park ring)

These city parks, which are divided into several parts, were created as a promenade in the mid-19th century. They arose on the site of demolished city walls. They include the main points of interest in the city of Pilsen. Thanks to their nearly circular shape, they are reminiscent of a green necklace decorated with trees, flowerbeds and fountains. Views of significant Pilsen buildings add to the experience of walking through them. The entire park circuit is divided into Smetanovy, Kopeckého, Šafaříkovy, and Křižíkovy sady, sady 5.května, and sady Pětatřicátníků.

11. Studijní a vědecká knihovna Plzeňského kraje (The Study and Research Library of the Pilsener Region)

Below the Great Theater we see a gray Neoclassical building, which is the home of the Study and Research Library of the Pilsener Region. Originally, a Dominican convent stood here. After the monaster, a philosophical institute, where music composer Bedřich Smetana once studied, remained in the building. A striking statue in front of the building commemorates Franz Josef Smetana, a professor at the local grammar school and also uncle of the famous composer.

Through the Branka (gate-originally the ancient Litická gate) you can get to the street B. Smetana. Here you can see not only a picturesque pedestrian zone , but also the Church of St. Anne and Rose of Lima, which was lent to and is still used by the Orthodox Church.

12. Hotel Slovan

Return to Smetanovy sady, enjoy the pleasant promenade of the park ring and take in the view of lovely Pilsen buildings around you. One of them is the stately former Hotel Waldek, now the Slovan, which, at the end of the 19th century, was the best hotel in Pilsen and once hosted the Emperor Franz Joseph I. Well-hidden in the courtyard of one of the houses just above the Hotel Slovan (at Smetanovy sady 5) is the oldest synagogue in Pilsen.

13. Měšťanská beseda (Burgher’s Hall)

In the early 20th century the imposing Burgher’s Hall decorated low-lying Kopeckého sady (park). Pilsen burghers built it to serve as a center of community and social life. The building has two social halls and restaurants built in the Renaissance style with Art Nouveau artistic decor. An integral part of it is a beautiful Art Nouveau café.

14. Františkánský klášter s kostelem Nanebevzetí Panny Marie (Franciscan monastery with the Church of the Assumption of the Virgin Mary)

The Church of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary was founded in 1295, and along with the adjacent Franciscan monastery it is one of the oldest buildings in the city. The Chapel of St. Barbara is decorated with frescoes dating from around 1460. Inside the Franciscan Monastery is the Museum of religious art.

15. Západočeské muzeum (West Bohemian Museum)

The West Bohemian Museum was built in the Neo-Renaissance style between 1893 and 1902. Its main attractions include the town armory with a significant European collection of Gothic weapons. Have a look in the museum vestibule and try to light the original arc lamps.

Do you want to touch Spejbl and Hurvínek?
Šafaříkovy sady, below the monumental building of the Museum of West Bohemia, is comprised mostly of large landscaped lawns that beckon you to relax. Just below the museum building on the fern-lined edge is a fossilized Araukarity tree. A pergola with creepers hides a small work of art – a sculpture of two natives of Pilsen, the world-famous puppets Spejbl and Hurvínka.

16. Theatrum Mundi

A special addition to the impressive atmosphere of the City Park is the largest large-scale wall painting in the Czech Republic called Theatrum Mundi. The painting was completed in 2001 and shows the most famous Pilsner personalities, from the founder King Wenceslas II to the popular actor Miroslav Horníček, who was born in Pilsen in 1918.

17. Masné krámy (Meat Market)

The former meat market building has stood in this place since 1392 and served as a meat market until the 1950s. Today, in its unique space you can find works of art. That is because the market is now the exhibition hall of the West Bohemia Gallery.

18. Vodárenská věž (Water tower)

The oldest water monument in Pilsen is the four-sided late Gothic tower on the corner of Pražska ulice (street) and sady (park) 5.května. The tower was part of the city fortifications by the former Prague gate and once served to fill fountains on Republic Square.

19. Pivovarské muzeum a plzeňské historické podzemí (Brewery Museum and Pilsen Historic Underground)

If you want to know the history of beer, head to the Brewery Museum, which is located in an original house with brewing rights close to the water tower. The courtyard of the museum is also the starting point for tours of the Pilsen Historical Underground. Below the urban core is a network of 20 km of underground tunnels, part of which you will see when you visit.

20. Mlýnská strouha (mill race)

A canal on the east side of the city walls once brought water to the manor mill, which stood in the place of today's Marriott Hotel. In the early 19th century this quiet romantic corner of the city was a popular place for Pilseners to take walks and could also be passed through on boats. In 2010, an artificial lake was created amidst the beautifully landscaped park area.

21. Plzeňský Prazdroj (Pilsner Urquell)

The brewery is near the center of the city, approximately a 15-minute walk which takes you around the Mlýnská strouha (mill race) and through an underpass into Štruncovy sady (park). A footbridge over the Radbuza River takes you directly to the brewery courtyard. Along the way you will pass a Neo-Renaissance gymnasium building and a stadium that draws fans to watch the matches of the football team FC Viktoria Plzeň.

During a tour of the brewery, you will visit one of the most modern bottling plants in Europe, a panoramic cinema, a unique exhibition of raw materials and a historical as well as contemporary brew house. The highlight is a visit to the historic brewery cellars, where those over the age of eighteen can taste unfiltered and unpasteurized Pilsner Urquell (when visiting the cellars we recommend that you wear something warm).