The elegant Renaissance chateau mirrored in the Vajgar Pond has been the symbol of Jindřichův Hradec for hundreds of years. Its fortunate location at the crossroads of busy trade routes helped to foster fast and favourable international commerce. Thanks to its centuries-old traditions and architectural and cultural monuments, it is still a vital social and cultural hub.
The appearance of the city was heavily influenced by the whims and caprices of the aristocratic families of the Lords of Hradec, the Slavatas and the Černíns, who improved the city but also allowed it to decay. The Renaissance period left the most significant imprint on the city, when Italian masters brought Mediterranean lightness and charm to the picturesque rolling landscape of South Bohemia.
Dog portraits and a mysterious ghost
Your first steps through the city should lead to the vast complex of the local chateau. During a tour you can walk through elegant Neoclassical and Baroque rooms, the Chapel of the Holy Spirit, and the “black kitchen” in the Black Tower. You will also certainly be impressed by a bizarre collection of historical portraits of dogs in the richly decorated garden rotunda – the pride of the chateau. The chateau is inextricably linked with the legend of the White Lady, who it is said will continue to appear here as a ghost until all the ancestral domains of her family crumble to dust. Her sad fate was sealed by the curse that her husband put on her when she refused to forgive him on his death bed for all the grievances of their unhappy marriage.
An enchanting city centre
In the centre of the city, which still retains the pleasant whiff of a royal atmosphere, you will find many romantic spots among the winding streets of richly decorated merchants’ houses with colourful facades. You will see the Baroque statue of the Holy Trinity and the Church of the Assumption of the Virgin Mary, whose corner is located right on the 15th meridian east. Don’t forget to stop at the Jindřichův Hradec Museum, which has the largest mechanical nativity scene in the world.
Wander through Czech Canada…
Jindřichův Hradec is not only a city of unique historical monuments but also a gateway to Czech Canada. This protected natural area got its name from the character of the local landscape, which is full of deep forests and numerous bodies of water, and also due to its rather harsh climate. You can travel here via narrow-gauge railway leading from Jindřichův Hradec to Nová Bystřice. A ride on this historical steam train is like a beautiful trip into the past.