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  • The Czech Republic

     

    Karlovy Vary region


    Loket

     

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    Loket means "elbow" in English. The town is named this due to the town centre being surrounded on three sides by the Ohře River, and the shape the river takes is similar to that of an elbow. The town centre itself features Loket Castle, a 12th century gothic castle. The town centre is a national monument and as such is preserved from modern developments.

    The town plays host to an annual opera festival, which takes played in an open air amphitheatre with the castle as a backdrop, and also plays host to the Czech Motocross Grand Prix. Loket was also used to portray Montenegro in the 2006 James Bond film Casino Royale.


    Mariánské Lázně


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    The spa town, surrounded by green mountains, is a mosaic of parks and noble houses. Most of its buildings come from the town's Golden Era in the second half of the 19th century, when many celebrities and top European rulers came to enjoy the curative carbon dioxide springs.


    Františkovy Lázně


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    is world renowned as a spa. The salutary effects of the springs were known from the 15th century on. First, the water was used locally for salutary purposes, later sold all over Germany. In 1700, it reportedly sold more water than all other German spas combined. In the year 1793, the town was officially founded under the name Kaiser Franzensdorf (Emperor Francis's II village) and later renamed to Franzensbad, under which name it became a famous spa.


    Castle Kynžvart

     

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    The first castle, built in 1623, soon collapsed. From 1682 to 1691, Count Philipp Emmerich turned the decayed ruins into a Baroque castle; from 1821 to 1836, the Austrian Chancellor W.L. Matternich remodeled it in the imperial style with the help of architect Pietro de Nobile. The castle was confiscated from his family in 1945 by the Czechoslovak government.

    The castle has a valuable library (including 203 examples of incunabula), which contains medieval manuscripts, valuable prints, scientific books, and encyclopedias from a variety of scientific areas. In 1828 a museum was founded to display the castle's natural science collections, coins, historical and technological curiosities, manuscripts, ancient Egyptian monuments, marble sculptures, and pieces of Oriental art.

    After extensive renovations, the castle was reopened to the public in 2000. The guided tour takes visitors through 25 rooms of the castle.


    Central Bohemian Region

     

    Křivoklát Castle


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    was founded during 12th century and belonged to Bohemain kings.

    The castle was damaged by fire several times. It was turned into harsh prison and the building slowly deteriorated. During 19th century it was reconstructed after a fire in 1826.

    Today the castle serves as museum, tourist destination and place of theatrical exhibitions. Collections of hunting weapons, Gothic paintings and books are stored here.

    Kutná Hora


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    City of Kutná Hora (since 1142) is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Among the most important buildings in the area are the Gothic, five-naved St. Barbara's Church, begun in 1388, and the Italian Court, formerly a royal residence and mint, which was built at the end of the 13th century. The Gothic Stone Haus, which since 1902 has served as a museum, contains one of the richest archives in the country. The Gothic St. James's Church, with its 86 metre tower, is another prominent building.

     

    Plzeň (since 976)

     

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    is the fourth most populous city in the Czech Republic (Plzen region). The city is known worldwide for Pisener beer.

    The officials of Pilsen founded a city-owned brewery in 1839. The combination of pale colour from the new malts, Pilsen's remarkably soft water, Saaz noble hops and Bavarian-style lagering produced a clear, golden beer which was regarded as a sensation. Improving transport meant that this new beer was soon available throughout Central Europe and Pilsner Brauart-style brewing was widely imitated. In 1859, “Pilsner Bier” was registered as a brand name at the Chamber of Commerce and Trade in Pilsen. In 1898, the Pilsner Urquell trade mark was created to put emphasis on it being the original brewery.

     

    South Bohemian region

     

    Český Krumlov (since 13th century)

     

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    is a small city, best known for the fine architecture and art of the historic old town and  Český Krumlov Castle, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

     

    Hluboká nad Vltavou

     

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    is a town was a favourite of Charles IV, who often visited when residing in České Budějovice. It is best known for its famous Windsor style chateau.

    The original royal castle from the second half of the 13th century was rebuilt at the end of the 16th century. According to the English Windsor example, architects F. Beer and F. Deworetzky built a Romantic Neo-Gothic chateau, surrounded by a 1.9 square kilometres (0.73 sq mi) English park here in the years 1841 to 1871. In 1940, the castle was seized from the last owner by the Gestapo and confiscated by the government of Czechoslovakia after the end of WWII. The castle is opened to public. There is a winter garden and riding-hall where the Southern Bohemian gallery exhibitions have been housed since 1956.

    The castle has been used in a scene of Jakie Chan and Owen Wilson's Shanghai Knights.

     

     

     

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