The Hradec Králové Region

01.07.2010 | 00:00
The Hradec Králové Region

The Hradec Králové RegionThe Hradec Králové Region - Humprecht – chateau amidst orchids; Staré Hrady, a truly ancient castle; Jičín, Libosad and the Hermit; Kuks Hospital – once a spa, now a Baroque depository; Night-time safari in Dvůř Králové.

Humprecht – chateau amidst orchids
This chateau, built on the hill of the same name, has dominated the surrounding landscape since the mid-17th century. The fi rst thing that will catch your eye is the crescent moon on the tower, which replaced the original cross in 1829. People whispered something along the lines that the Černíns (the owners of the chateau) had probably been on holiday to Turkey. But the truth was a little diff erent. In 1616 Heřman Černín of Chudenice, known as the Little Turk, led a delegation of Emperor Matthias to the Turkish Sultan Ahmed I. The mission was successful, although the delegation spent a whole year in Turkey. Heřman Černín made the most of his stay in this far-off land and often visited the spas and brothels. As a result, what he brought was not w h a t you might think, but this crescent moon and several camels. For many years these turned the heads of farmers from far and wide. Humprecht still gets lots of attention today, perhaps for its wonderful acoustics or the protected fl owering orchids around it.

The Hradec Králové Region The Hradec Králové Region

Staré Hrady, a truly ancient castle
The fi rst record of this stronghold dates back to the second half of the 14th century. It was built by Arnošt of Stará and his grandson, Smil Flaška of Pardubice. In 1571–1573 Jiří Pruskovský of Pruskov had it converted into a Renaissance chateau. Four hundred years later the outlook for the chateau looked bleak – not much remained and it was stripped out. Luckily, after 1970 it was totally reconstructed. Nowadays it houses an archive and museum and there is a tour through the chateau part entitled “Life under the Holy Emperor”. Fairy-tale fi gures such as princesses, witches, wizards and water-sprites will lead you “Back through Time to Fairy-tale Land” and through the “Castle Fairy-tale Attic”.

The Hradec Králové Region The Hradec Králové Region

Jičín, Libosad and the Hermit
This town from the 13th and 14th centuries saw a huge boom under the ownership of Albrecht of Wallenstein. The lime-tree avenue with its four rows of trees links the town with the beautiful Baroque Libosad loggia, where the statue of the hermit was restored in 2000, a traditional destination for local people and those from out of town. It is certainly worth seeing the landmark Valdice Gate, which, together with the Church of St. Jacob the Elder, the chateau and the Gothic Church of St. Ignatius of Loyola, make up the town’s characteristic and unique skyline.

The Hradec Králové Region The Hradec Králové Region

Kuks Hospital – once a spa, now a Baroque depository
After discovering the mineral spring, František A. Špork established a new spa, which he named Kuks. The spa complex also contained a theatre, a Baroque hospital and apothecary’s, the Church of the Holy Trinity, built in 1707–1724 by Giovanni Alliprandi, and, principally, the allegorical statues of Virtue and Vice by Matyáš Bernard Braun. In 1901 the original residence of the Šporks was dilapidated and so was torn down. The only things that remained were the access staircase, some sculptures, and particularly the hospital complex, which is now a National Cultural Monument.

The Hradec Králové Region The Hradec Králové Region

Night-time safari in Dvůř Králové
A ride through the zoo, especially after dark, takes everyone into a world of authentic African. The sounds of exotic birds, the chatter of monkeys, and the howls and roars of predators make up the liveliest kind of scenery you can imagine. The ride on the twostorey safari-bus through the park lasts for 50 minutes and leads past the enclosures of a wide variety of African animals. The African safari continues amongst rhinos, giraff es, zebras and antelopes. You will also meet lions and leopards lurking in the shadows of the coming night. Boo…

The Hradec Králové Region The Hradec Králové Region

text by Martina Štěpánková, edited by Luděk Sládek, photo by Petr Jura


Text on view from Tourist magazine The Hradec Králové Region

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