First formed in the late 9th century as the Duchy of Bohemia as part of the powerful Moravian Empire, today’s Czech Republic has also in its time been part of the Holy Roman Empire, the Habsburg Monarchy and the Austro-Hungarian Empire. Occupied by Germany during WWII, it was liberated by the Red Army and became a communist state until the Velvet Revolution of 1989. No wonder then that this Czech Republic tour, steeped in a millennium of fascinating history, culture and the music of Dvorak, Smetana and Mahler, makes for such a wonderful step back in time.
Nowhere is this more apparent than in medieval Prague, the jewel of central Europe and often described as its most beautiful city. As well as its exquisite centrepiece, the 11th century Staromestske Namesti square with the oldest working astronomical clock in the world, your Czech Republic tour will take you to the many places where centuries of royal patronage and Slav, Jewish and German civilisations have all left unique legacies - the Charles Bridge, Tyn Church, Powder Tower, old Jewish Quarter and Wenceslas Square. Then of course there’s an unforgettable visit to Hradcany, Prague’s spectacular castle and cathedral, the centre of political power for a thousand years with its intriguing mix of palaces, churches and fortifications.
But your Czech Republic tour will also transport you through bucolic scenery and lovely countryside to the heart of Bohemia and the medieval gem of Ceske Krumlov - one of central Europe’s most magical and unspoilt old 13th century towns with its tangled tiny streets, fortifications, Rococo theatre and vanilla and rose-coloured houses. And in a country that revels in enjoying the highest beer consumption per capita in the world, no Czech Republic tour could possibly miss out on a fascinating visit to one of its most famous 700 year old breweries to sample the original Budweiser straight from the barrel.
Janet and David Byard
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