Czech Castles, Chateaux, and a Villa for Your Clients to Explore
The Czech Republic’s long history of kingdoms and royalty is ready for your clients to explore by discovering castles and chateaux.
The strong US dollar converted to the Czech Koruna, makes a visit especially inviting.
If your clients begin their Czech adventure in Prague, a must see is one of Prague’s newest attractions, the legendary Lucerna Palace concert hall’s rooftop. It is an historic art deco concert hall that has seen the likes of the Beach Boys and Ella Fitzgerald. Now, visitors can see sweeping views of the city’s cultural sites, dominated by Prague Castle. From Friday through Sunday evenings, visitors enjoy the view while sipping local brews, wines, and soft drinks. A wide variety of cultural activities are programmed for the Lucerna Palace rooftop. https://strechalucerny.cz/en
Beyond Prague are over 200 castles and royal chateaux, some with colorful and richly decorated exterior walls that could be mistaken for a film set, yet it is living history. Your clients can experience these settings as guests with modern amenities, and travel to chateaux using the extensive rail and bus network. Car rentals are available, but speed limits and a zero tolerance for driving under the influence of alcohol is strictly enforced.
For cyclists, there are over 27,000 miles of bike paths, making it possible to cycle between chateaux. The ten-mile ride between Ctěnice Chateau to Brandýs nad Labem-Stará Boleslav passes through farmlands with plenty of photo opportunities before dinner and an overnight in a romantic chateau.
Here are several chateaux, and a sampling of moods to be experienced.
Music and garden enthusiasts will have much to explore in the UNESCO listed Český Krumlov. The centerpiece is the colorful six-story tower. The chateau has one of the best-preserved Baroque theaters that presents period operas with a costumed and wigged orchestra and cast. Garden lovers can stroll through the chateau’s floral displays, past the cascading fountain to the Bellaria Summer Palace and revolving outdoor amphitheater that uses the park as a backdrop. Street performers, jugglers, buskers, and acrobats fill the streets of the old town during the Five-Petalled Rose Celebrations.
The influential Schwarzenberg family started building the chateau in the 13th century, ending in the 18th. Hluboká Castle is a Czech National Cultural Monument and so large that several different tours, in English, are offered of the 140 rooms and eleven towers. Clients can step into lavishly appointed private quarters of royalty, opulent reception halls, and kitchen, chockablock with efficiency gadgets of the late 19th and early 20th century. Art lovers will find a collection of South Bohemian and Dutch Masters exhibited in the converted Castle Riding Hall. An English style garden surrounds the chateau and golfers can play a round on the nearby 18-hole golf course.
Garden & Palace at Kroměříž
Sharp-eyed visitors might recognize the castle and pleasure garden of the Baroque Archbishop’s Palace in Kroměříž as the romantic backdrop for film scenes in Amadeus and Immortal Beloved. The buildings and grounds have earned it a place on the UNESCO World Heritage list. The palace and green swards spread over 100 acres that entice your clients to wander and discover faux romantic ruins or the rococo-style boat house on the Long Lake. A separate extravagant flower garden with a central rotunda and fountains have colors and textures that gives a sense of the Archbishop’s wealthy lifestyle. www.zamek-kromeriz.cz
Though there are no accommodations at the palace, the small Baroque palace, Zámek Napajedla, is a short distance away.
A Castle and a 20th Century Chateau – Villa Tugendhat
The lively city of Brno has Villa Tugendhat, designed by a star-architect of the 20th Century, Ludwig Mies van der Rohe. The Villa is celebrating its 90th anniversary with concerts and lectures. Tours feature the restored original designs and furnishings, with floor-to-ceiling glass walls facing the restored garden. The unique open airiness design has garnered a UNESCO World Heritage Site designation. Just below is the Villa Löw-Beer, a traditional villa holding the Brno textile museum and a café. High above Brno is the 13th century Špilberk Castle. Over the centuries the castle grew and changed functions; at one point it was a prison, later the seat of government, and now the Brno City Museum with a large collection of artifacts and a panoramic view from the watchtower.
Pilsen Liberation Festival – Chateau Hotel Zbiroh
2020 was the 75th anniversary of the US liberation of Pilsen in the final days of World War Two. Czech and US soldiers, commanded by George S. Patton, gained control, and ended Nazi occupation. The Pilsen Liberation Festival is a celebration and memorial with parades, concerts, remembrances, and living history re-enactments. The next festival is scheduled for early May 2021. Not far from Pilsen is the Chateau Hotel Zbiroh where guests have included nobility to art nouveau painter and designer Alfons Mucha.
Destination Specialist Program
A new travel agent specialist program was launched in 2019 for the Discover Central Europe group (Czech Republic, Poland, Hungary, and Slovakia, known as the Visegrad group, or V4). After completing the five-chapter course, agents receive destination specialist status and access to mobile apps for up-to-date information across destinations in these four countries, making it easier to sell and close more deals across these destinations.
Swift action by the Czech government limited the impact of COVID-19. Travel advisors can get the latest information from the Center for Disease Control’s website, www.cdc.gov
For the official Czech Republic tourism website, go to www.visitczechrepublic.com