Welcome to Jindřichův Hradec, or if you'd rather, Neuhaus or Nova Domus. Welcome to the protected heritage city near the pond Vajgar where Italian maestros left behind their footprint from the renaissance era.
They also brought their Mediterranean charm and easiness to the Southern Bohemian area and significantly contributed in the creation of the city’s dominate feature - a castle and a chateau added to the complex of buildings - this being the third largest complex of its kind in the Czech Republic.
15th meridian east
Have you ever stood on the meridian at high noon? If not, come on down to Jindřichův Hradec. And you don’t even have to be there right at noon (note – the Czech word for “meridian” also closely resembles the Czech word for “noon”, meridies in Latin). You can stand on the paved line that shows the place of the 15th meridian east at any time. And be sure to make a wish as you step over the line. Legend says that your wish will come true one year to the day it was made. It’s definitely worth a try. And should you want to find out more, not just about the meridian, but also about the stars, head down a bit further to the local Observatory of Prof. František Nušl, which is sure to satisfy the interests of every visitor.
Record in the Guinness Book of World Records
Tomáš Krýza worked for more than 60 years to create the biggest folk mechanical nativity scene on earth. You can see this masterful piece of work, which has been recorded in the Guinness Book of World Records at the local museum. A total of 1,398 figurines of people and animals, 133 of which move, created from laminated materials (a mix of plaster, sawdust, flour and glue) and wood. Hours and hours of minute work that deserves some recognition.
From a bird’s perspective
Climb up the stairs to the tower and take a look at the city and the surrounding area from up high. It's worth the effort every time. You will need to climb 153 steps to make it to the top of the Jindřichův Hradec tower. Standing 513 meters above sea-level, you will be able to wonder in the beauty of this Southern Bohemian town, the Vajgar pond and the adjoining environs. And if you are putting off your visit to Jindřichův Hradec until next year, make sure to plan your trip for May. Here the competition “Běž na věž” (Tower Run) takes place, where the goal is to make it up the stairs to the tower in the shortest time possible. Are you going to give it a try, too?
What's going on at the chateau?
- Here the puppet exposition is always worth a look. Beautiful puppets dancing the Charleston, a mermaid coming to life or a smaller, but elaborated to the detail, bedchamber of the countess Černínová, the former lady of the chateau. An exhibition that has found great success not only in Bohemia, but even in other countries.
- At the start of the 20th century, unique tapestry workshops that were renowned around the whole world, were established in Jindřichův Hradec. In the House of Tapestries, you can witness their production secrets and tapestry restoration, but you can also make your own creation at one of the organized courses.
What's going on behind the chateau?
- You've already climbed to the top of the tower, but now you find yourself craving a view from an even higher viewpoint? If you are brave enough and aren’t afraid of flying, try out a sightseeing flight. You can go for a flight on a motorized or non-motorized plane. Right from the start, you can select which plane you would prefer from several different types.
- To see a one-of-a-kind spectacle, you can take a look at the passageway of St. Florian, where light effects mend into one, a video projection and a screen created by drops of falling water play to the sounds of impressive music, all of which takes place at the top of every hour. It’s also worth mentioning that this water show was first installed as only the second of its kind in Europe.
Tips that could come in handy:
- If you are planning on going by car to the city centre, remember that here there is limited parking. A list of parking lots where you can safely park for free or where you can park for a fee can be found on the city’s “information centre” website.
- Jindřichův Hradec was the first city where electrical lighting was introduced to private living spaces by Austria-Hungary during the end of the 19th
- The museum stores more than 100,000 objects of various historical, artisan and documentary value in its collection. This is for sure worth a visit.
A calm morning or evening walk through the city, a stay during the summer or winter... any time is the right time to visit Jindřichův Hradec. You will sink into its magic no matter the time of year.