Beyond the beer - Exploring České Budějovice

in Pinmapple5 months ago

České Budějovice is a fairytale city which is often unnoticed by tourists. Actually, it's exactly that kind of place that we enjoy exploring. It offers an authentic Czech experience which in my opinion is not so easy to be found in Prague anymore. It has rich history, stunning architecture, beautiful old town, vibrant culture and so many restaurants and cafes that you will struggle to choose where to go first. And when you visit it in December you can also enjoy Christmas market with regional products and lots of traditional food.

The city is located in the heart of South Bohemia, almost two hours drive from Prague. It's quite far away for a day trip, so we combined it with the visit of Hluboka and stayed over night. I couldn't wait to walk around and see as much of the city as possible, but first let me explain the 'Beyond the beer' in the title. České Budějovice is renowned for being the birthplace of the original Budweiser beer. I think that beer is the first thing that comes to mind when you mention this city to any Czech or Slovak people. I'm not a beer drinker, so I can't say if it's good or not, but the beer is exported all around the world, so I guess it cannot be bad.

We arrived in České Budějovice in the afternoon and as we had enough time before dinner we walked around the old town. The sky was blue, but it was freezing, so we looked for a place where we could drink something warm. Well, my husband and my friend were looking for that place, and I was struggling to take photos with my half-frozen fingers.

Honestly, I was expecting a small town with one main square and maybe a few side streets, so I was so surprised when we reached The Přemysla Otakara II Square, and a large square-shaped square appeared right in front of us. It's lined with colorful townhouses with arcades, and I found it very impressive.

My eyes were immediately drawn to The Town Hall. It was built in the 16th century, but its current appearance dates back to the beginning of the 17th century. The four statues that we can see on the roof represent justice, bravery, wisdom and caution. Together with the shape of the building and the towers, the town hall reminds me of a church (if there wouldn't be so many windows of course).Town Hall


The rest of the main square is not less impressive. Those colorful townhouses hide shops, hotels, cafes and restaurants. I must admit that I found it strange that the square is not traffic free. There were many cars and busses passing by, but I think it is expected of people to walk on the other side which doesn't make sense as you won't see the townhouses next to you, so I walked between parked cars.

And here we can see one of the most beautiful buildings in the city called Palác Včela. Its name včela means a bee, and it comes from a German company that used to have their seat in the palace. It was called Biene which also means a bee. It's a richly decorated building with statues set in the facade. It's not only what we can see on the photo, but it's large and goes far in the back of the side street.



The form of the square was decided in the 13th century, but the townhouses are not so old. I have noticed the year 1509 on the second building from the left which indicated that it's older than 5 centuries!

České Budějovice had the right to execute people in the past, and the executions happened at this square. It is however not known where exactly which is interesting as I would expect that such horrifying events would be somehow documented.


In the meantime, we bought and finished our hot punch, and started exploring the side streets. The charming cobblestone streets are lined with colorful houses as well, but I noticed that they are a bit smaller in size.

Look at the pink one, it looks like the top floor only has a front wall 😊


Panská Street has a quiet, laid-back village vibe...

It's only a couple of streets away from the main square, and there were no other people. This could never happen in Prague.


There are many small breweries across the city. I must say that we didn't try the beer in any of them. We are not really beer drinkers and it was also too cold for a cold beer. It was more 'mulled wine kind of weather'.


I have never seen a city with so many arcades, and I can only say that I wish all old towns would look like České Budějovice.


I hope you are ready for 'doll houses' spam!

They are so cute, and I could imagine myself living in one of them. I would not enjoy that they are attached to each other though, but that's just a small price to pay for such beauty.

They were built after a large fire in the 17th century and have a standardized lay-out. Given their simple exterior they were considered to be the housing for the poor.





Such contrast to other houses in the surroundings 😊



I have almost entered the hair studio only to ask them how they take care of their flowers. It was below zero and they were still thriving.


The attic is probably not easy to furnish, but so nice to look at 😊




Just imagine many tables, plants and flowers, and people sitting enjoying their food and drinks, chatting with their friends and having a great time - how amazing it must be in summer?


We spent less than 30 minutes inside warming up with hot soup, and when we came out again the sun was already setting down. I was looking forward to seeing the city at night. But first, here we have the dominant of Přemysla Otakara II Square, The Fountain of Samson. It's one of the largest fountains that I have seen with a diameter of 17 meter. Right now, there is an ice rink built around it although it was not yet open during our stay. The fountain dates back to the beginning of the 18th century and it depicts four atlases that are holding the statue of Samson taming a lion. Fountain


Let's continue our walk before it gets dark!

In the past, the old town was surrounded by city walls. The Rabenštejn Tower was part of the fortification, and today it is one of the oldest sites in the city dating back to the 14th century. It used to be a prison with no windows, and now it serves as an exposition of historical weapons.



Next to the tower is the canal Mlynska Stoka which surrounds the medieval part of České Budějovice...


We took this cobblestone street as I wanted to know what was that pink building. Pink is one of my favorite colors, so I couldn't miss it.


It was disappointing to learn that it used to be the hotel Budweis which turned into a pencil production site, but it was still worth it as it lead us to the Piarist square...


The Piarist Square is known for The Church of Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary and The Dominican Monastery which are the oldest buildings dating back to the 13th century. We came late and the church was closed already, but I will take you there another time.



Next to the church are two sculptures which symbolize Calvary. People were touching both of them, so maybe they make the wishes come true. Well, I didn't touch them as I was not sure what it would actually mean and who knows what they would bring me 😊

Let's walk back to the main square and see how it's lit up. I can't help myself, but this house looks like it was a painting and not real somehow...


I have never wondered if there were buildings constructed in the past to serve for banking only. Now I know they were as I learned about City savings bank in České Budějovice. It was built at the beginning of the 20th century with purpose of banking operations. So now we all know how the bank buildings should look like 😊 It serves as a bank even today.


And we're back at the Přemysla Otakara II Square...

Přemysl Otakar II was the King of Bohemia in the 13th century who founded České Budějovice in 1265, so the main square is named after him.

And it is even more beautiful at night!








Next to the square is The St. Nicholas Cathedral which originally dates back to the 13th century, but it was rebuilt in the 17th century after it was destroyed by a great fire.


The interior is rather plain, and there are only a few golden details here and there. However the height of the vault is impressive. It makes the cathedral feel gigantic. I was thinking about how it looked like before it was burnt to the ground and I can imagine something similar to what we saw in Krakow earlier this year.




We were cold and tired, so we went back to the hotel with a promise that we will come to České Budějovice again to visit at least one brewery!

On the way back to Prague (next day) it took us almost 3 hours as it was snowing for the first time this year and as we know that people forget how to drive as soon as there are a few snowflakes 😊 As we were driving VERY slowly we could enjoy South Bohemian scenery which was not bad at all...


I hope you have enjoyed our trip!

Thank you for reading!



Já jsem ti sice říkal, že jsem kdysi v Budějovicích byl, ale je to už fakt dávno a teďka na ty fotky zírám jako blázen :D To je fakt nádhera! Nevím, jestli je to tím, že jsi to tak hezky nafotila, nebo je tam ta architektura tak malebná (nebo obojí :D), ale jako fakt to vypadá úžasně. To můžeš normálně ten článek nabídnout v Budějicích někde na oddělení propagace cestovního ruchu- myslím, že tak kvalitní matroš tam nemají ;)

@tipu curate 4

Dúfam, že oboje 😂 Ale nie, naozaj je tam krásne. My sme boli veľmi prekvapení a úprimne sa mi tam páčilo viac ako v Krumlove. Síce boli sme tam tiež dávno, tak to možno vyzerá inak, ale Budejovice mi prišli viac udržiavané a aj atmosféra tam bola príjemnejšia.

Vidíš, aký super nápad na ďalší zdroj príjmu 😅 možno si ma na Hive nájdu sami 😂

To věřím, Budějovice určitě nejsou turisticky tak profláknuté jako nedaleký Krumlov a navíc jsou i o dost větší, tak se tam ti lidi víc rozprostřou ;) Škoda no, teď už se tam asi nedostaneme a z Opavy je to blíž i do Krakowa nebo Wroclawi než do jižních Čech :D

I hope you are ready for 'doll houses' spam!

Ready and waiting... I enjoyed the spam lol The facades looked even better lit up at night.

"The name Budweiser is a German derivative adjective, meaning "of Budweis". Beer has been brewed in Budweis, Bohemia (now České Budějovice, Czech Republic) since it was founded in 1265.[4] In 1876, Adolphus Busch and his friend Carl Conrad developed a "Bohemian-style" lager in the United States, inspired after a trip to Bohemia, and produced it in their brewery in St. Louis, Missouri." wikipedia

I went to college in St Louis and visited the "not so original" brewery there 😉

You should visit the original one too 😉

Wow - that place looks fantastic. I just love all the colours of the buildings !

An amazing architecture, with varied colours and I loved to see how the hours go by and the buildings are illuminated in a different way...

Love the water fountain, I love it, it's beautiful! Thank you for this tour, I really appreciate it!❤️

Thank you for your always kind words 😊 Reading your comments is a pleasure 😘

And for me it is a pleasure to walk through these beautiful places with your photographs.❤️

No cars this time... but I think one of those bicycles was mine 😂

Nice organ in that church, and the snow in the end 😇
Beauty for my eyes 😍

I tried hard to find one of your cars, but I think you were not in the country at that time 😂 Oh, now I have to watch out for the bicycles too! You make the matter VERY complicated 😂

You make the matter VERY complicated 😂


The beer buffs shall note there are microbreweries crafting far better batches than Budvar in České Budějovice. Two of them are in the very city centre - Krajinská and Solnice. Both are worth a visit ;)

Since we don't drink beer I didn't even think of looking at the microbreweries, but I'm sure it's fun to visit. And I guess you can taste some beers too 😊

You should give it a shot next time, beer's like cheese. It comes in hundreds of flavors and various colours. I bet you could find some brews that would please you ;) Among ales rather than among lagers, as their variety is richer.

Looks nice, would love to sip a beer on a cafe there and take it all in. Thanks for sharing.

Yeah, in summer would be nice, but now it's simply too cold 😁

Thank you for stopping by!

I really like those buildings. They each have different paint colors, and no two buildings next to each other have the same hue. It is very fun and pleasing to the eye. As night falls the scenery changes and the lighting transforms everything golden, which is very nice. The cathedral looked simple yet elegant. The area with the painted ceiling was really beautiful.

I love visiting such cities as the buildings are so pretty that it doesn't even feel real. The Swiss don't have this much imagination in their architecture 😁

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Astonishing and amazing architecture. These buildings are true works of art. I enjoyed the angle of this shot because it shows both sides very nicely.


One of my favorites too 😉

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Amazing photography done by you looking like a shadow in water.

All image are clean.

Unique structures and street. Love how you capture the area, feels like I'm seeing an anime.

Thank you for reminding me to visit this beautiful town soon. It's just 2 hours from my home but I have not been there for some years now.

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