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With its city walls and castle-moats Plzeň was already in early years one of the most important fortified cities in the country. The city was founded in 1295 by the king Vaclav II. Plzen has been situated on the trade path from Prague to Germany. The German immigrants settled and developed the city rapidly. They builded a typical colonists city; a floor plan with a checkerboard patern of 22 rectangular squares. Of those squares 2 weren't build on. These 2 rectangles are the city squares of today.

plzen_4.jpgThe centre of the historic city is the Náměstí Republiky. It is the largest square in Bohemia. At the square is the Renaissance city hall from the year 1558. The large hall is decorated with the fresco "The Crucifixion". In this fresco you can see in the background the oldest overview over the city (1578).

The Gothic Church of St. Bartholomew towers above the surrounding buildings. The tower is 103 m. high and the highest in the country. On the main alter from 1883 you can see the "Madonna of Plzeň", a masterpiece of Gothic sculpting from 1390.

At the cemetery of the Church of St. Nicolas the playwriter Kajetan Tyl is buried. He was the writer of the national anthem "Kde domov můj?", Where is my home?.

Only at the beginning of the industrial revolution Plzeň developed rapidly into a very important industrial center. In 1848 the world famous Prazdroj Brewery was founded. When you leave the city in the direction of Praque you will see the brewery Pilsner Urquell. Impressive is the entrance gate in Neo Renaissance style. The brewery can be visited by groups. Beside the brewery you will find the restaurant with beer hall Prazdroj where you can buy souvenirs.

Even more, Plzeň is known as steel city, especially thanks to the gigantic Škoda factories. Metal industry has become the main income provider after Emil Škoda opened his machine factory in 1868. Beside the already mentioned industry, Plzeň is also renowned for its schooling institutes in medicine, electro techniques and mechanical engineering.

Useful information

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Campgrounds near Plzeň

Tourist information:

Informační centrum Bavorský les - Šumava
Martinská 303/9 301 00
tel:+420 377 322 145

Městské informační středisko
Nám. Republiky 41 301 16
tel:(+420) 378 035 330

Places of interest

0.1km: Ghost museum

Ghost museum is situated in the cellar of a former pub right in the city center. The exhibition features the themes of fairy-tale worlds and legends. The museum itself will take its visitors to the world of fairy tales and magic from past times of old Plzeň and its vicinity. You will meet creatures such as the mythical duke Radouš, various water spirits and witches, a fiery dog, dragons, Saracen devil and others.

Address: náměstí Republiky 33, Plzeň (cellar of Central hotel) | Opening hours: Mo - Su: 10:00h. - 18:00h.

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0.1km: Puppet museum

The interactive Puppet museum has been set up in a historical house no. 23 in the Square of the Republic. Exposition and worshops focuse on the development of puppetry from the beginning to now, it makes possible for visitors to perceive the atmosphere of the puppets at the time of its greatest fame. The exposition presents the beginnings of puppet-acting in Pilsen gradually from strolling puppeteers, the Puppet Theatre of Holiday Settlements, the Skupa’s Theatre etc.

Address: náměstí Republiky 23, Plzeň | Opening hours: Tu - Su: 10:00h. - 18:00h.

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0.3km: Historic underground of Pilsen

Come and feel the life down underground and unveil the secrets of its authentic niches and nooks. You will be guided through a labyrinth of corridors, cellars and wells under the city centre, the building of which began as early as in the 14th century, and which have been an integral part of the city’s past and present.

Address: Veleslavinova 6, 301 00 Plzeň, in Czech with possibility of borrowing an audioguide, Mo - Su 1:00 p.m. in English, Mo - Su 3:00 p.m. in Germany

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0.7km: Brewery tours of Pilsen Urquell

Would you like to see the operation of Czech breweries and taste Pilsner Urquell or Gambrinus beer directly at source, inside the brewery? Brewery of Pilsen Urquell is the oldest brewery in Czech Republic.

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1.6km: Techmania Science Center

Techmania is an interactive museum, with answers to all sorts of questions – what happens when you touch 200,000 volts, how can you see the invisible made visible, how has nature has inspired us…

Address: Borská ulice, Entrance at V. brana ŠKODA terrain, 316 00 Plzeň | Opening hours: Mo-Su 9:00h.-17:00h.

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1.7km: Pilsen Zoo and botanical garden

The Garden has a varied landscape with small lakes, rocks, arboretum and parks. The Zoo has the second largest space for bears in Europe, and a natural habitat for monkeys and large cats. A greenhouse for succulents and a special informational path can be found in the Botanical garden.

Address: Pod Vinicemi 9, 301 16 Pilsen | Opening hours: 9:00h.-18:00h.

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2km: DinoPark

DinoPark can be visited separately or together with ZOO Plzeň. Ticket for both has a price reduction. Park is an amusement place for children or students which can learn some facts about different species of dinosaurs, about the evolution of life on Earth, continents movements etc. The dino models are both static and animated, all of them with sound. Parts of dinopark are attractions which has the educational purpose of the park, such as a 3D cinema, children´s paleontological playground and educational path.

Address:Nad ZOO 1, Plzeň | Opening hours: April - October, Mo - Su: 8:00h. - 18:00h.

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8.5km: Rotunda at Starý Plzenec

Pre-Romanesque Saints Peter and Paul Rotunda (national cultural landmark) from the late 10th century, the oldest preserved sacral structure in Western Bohemia that has remained whole.

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12km: Brewery Modrá hvězda

The brewing industry in Dobřany dates back as far as 1378. At that time, the provost Udarlich granted the burghers a privilege with the right to brew beer. This right was confirmed by the Czech King Vladislav II and also Emperor Ferdinand III. The brewery currently offers a 10° light beer, a 12° light lager beer, a 14° dark special, a 16° semi-dark special, a 17° light special, special flavoured beers and a beer spirit.

Address: nám. T. G. Masaryka 159, 334 41 Dobřany. Tel: +420 377 973 770

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13.6km: Castle Nebílovy

This grand structure is build at the edge of the Bohemian region. This castle was just a renaissance manner until the renowned baroque architect Jakub Auguston turned it into a gem of baroque architecture that is admired by architects all over the world.
Address: Nebilovy 1, Nebilovy 332 04 | Opening hours: 10:00h-16:00h, jul-aug: 9:00h-17:00h.

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