Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Telč: Stepping Into the Past

About 100 miles away from Prague is Telč, a charming town in Southern Moravia whose city center was named a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1992. The town is believed to have been founded in the 13th century as a royal water fort and was nearly destroyed in 1530 by a massive fire. But Telč’s destruction was also its revitalization; Zachariáš of Hradec, the local lord, moved to the town after the fire and was inspired by his trip to Italy and decided to rebuild the town in Renaissance style.

About 6,000 people live in Telč year-round, but more than 200,000 visitors see its beauty ever year. The town is known most for its Renaissance-style chateau and the medieval town square. The chateau was rebuilt by Zachariáš of Hradec on the site of an original Gothic castle. The chateau features wine cellars, chapels, libraries and ballrooms and visitors can take a guided tour. One of the more interesting parts to the chateau is the African Hall. The Leichtenstein-Podstatzký family who lived in the chateau during the early twentieth century were fond of trophies: there are dozens of crocodile, rhinoceros, hippopotamus, lion, leopard and buffalo hides decorating the walls.

The town square is an exquisite outdoor plaza surrounded by cafes, restaurants and shops. While this is standard for most plazas, each structure is an arcade-fronted townhome that are all roughly the same size. Each building, however, is individually decorated with unique designs and they are all very well-preserved, leading visitors to feel as though they’ve walked right into the past.

Want to learn more about Czech Point Denver? Send an e-mail to info@operacolorado.org and ask to be added to our Czech Point Denver e-mail list.

-Heather Tinley, Opera Colorado Marketing Coordinator

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