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18-1-2021, 20:11 UTC
Towns of the Czech Republic
Ceske Budejovice

The best place to begin the walk is in the very heart of Ceske Budejovice, on Premysl Otakar II Square that is one of the biggest squares in central Europe consisting of almost a perfect square of 133 x 133 metres. The most distinctive building in the entire area is the Baroque city hall, erected between 1727 and 1730. You cannot fail to notice the four big metal dragon-shaped gargoyles on the facade. Chimes with 18 bells play to passers-by every hour from the lamp suspended in 1995 from the roof of the middle tower. The other houses on the square belonged to the wealthiest burghers or nobles and are therefore the most impressive in the city. What is worth noticing is Mallner's House with its ground floor decorated by beautiful Gothic door casings, tracery and frescos from the turn of the 15th century. The spire of the corner Puklice House rises directly opposite it. Likewise Brandner's House on the corner with Dr. Stejskal Street has a fragment of graffiti on its façade with the motif of a stag dating back to 1569. The Baroque Samson's Fountain stands directly in the centre of the square and is the biggest of its kind in the Czech Republic. The ceramic pavement on square was laid between 1937 and 1939. The only reminder of the previous cobbled pavement is the so-called Erratic Boulder, which you can find several steps away from the Fountain in the direction of the Zvon (Bell) Hotel. It is one of Ceske Budejovice's peculiarities associated with the popular legend; apparently this was the spot of the gallows where the lives of ten young men were cut short in 1470 at the hand of the executioner for opposing the village magistrate. Whoever unconsciously crosses the Erratic Boulder after 10 o'clock at night will never find his way home again.
Cathedral of St. Nicholas - Its construction began soon after the founding of the city and it was completed some time at the turn of the 14th century. In July 1641 this building was destroyed together with its interior by the fire but construction could soon begin with the aid of charitable donations of a new church. It was erected between 1641 and 1649 in the Baroque style.
The Black Tower rises next to the cathedral, an unmistakable and dominant feature of the city. Under the guidance of Italian builders Hans Spatz, Lorenzo and Vincenc Vogarelli the tower then rose to its giddy height of 72.25 metres.
The walk continues along the street U Cerne veze (At the Black Tower) and its oldest traditional name "Jewish" originated from the Middle Ages recalling the fact that the Jewish community settled here as of the mid 14th century till 1505.
Meat Shops. This is a low but extended corner building in which meat and bread used to be sold. King Charles IV established the meat shops in 1364 because he was dissatisfied with their original location in the middle of the square.
Rabenstejn Tower is is one of the best-preserved parts of the fortifications even containing the remains of the original fortified gallery mounted on cantilevers. The tower was built in the 14th century, however its present appearance dates back to its reconstruction in 1551.
The Salt Gate is named after the salt that was transported here from the mid 16th century from the nearby storehouse to the river bank, loaded onto the boat and transported in the direction of Prague. The next steps along the embankment open up to visitors the romantic view of the confluence of the Vltava and Mal¹e.
Senovazne Square - On the northeast it ends in the Neo-gothic Church of the Holy Family of 1888, the seat of the congregation of nuns of the Order of St. Charles Borromeo. A Baroque statue of St. John of Nepomuk stands next to the church.
Marianske Square - The oldest monument here is the Baroque Marian sculptural group after which the square is named. The people of Ceske Budejovice had it erected in 1716 in gratitude to the city having escaped the plague. You can see the Marian Barracks on the corner of the busy Husova and Prazska Boulevards, another of Sandner's buildings of 1843. During World War One writer Jaroslav Hasek served as a soldier in the barracks here and began writing his book "The Good Soldier Svejk" - the famous Svejk Ceske Budejovice anabasis ended here.

Premysl Otakar II Square
Premysl Otakar II Square Cathedral of St. Nicholas