Moravia castles and vineyards
On the way from Prague to the Moravian capital – Brno, we will discover the ancient CASTLE BÍTOV, constructed in the 11th century. As is the case with all middle-age castles, Bítov hides many secrets, old legends and stories accentuating its mystery.
Just a short ride away, you can find the extraordinary castle VRANOV NAD DYJÍ, one of the most remarkable secular buildings of the Central European Baroque style. It emerged in the 1100’s as a castle of the provincial nobility, combining Roman and Gothic design into features of extravagance.
BRNO is the capital of Moravia and second largest city in the Czech Republic. Rest in a fine Brno hotel the city has to offer, so you can gain strength for the next day of exploring. You will be visiting the beautiful scenery of Moravian vineyards and immersing yourself in the tasting of exceptional wine.
From Brno, it is just a short ride to the fabled LEDNICE-VALTICE CULTURAL LANDSCAPE with romantic château, picturesque village and a mosaic of architecture in unprecedented proportions. Measuring almost 300 km2, Lednice-Valtice was originally created by the House of Leichtenstein in the 18th century, and continued to transform over the subsequent century, an envisioned landscaping result of English parks and classic French design.
This area has an exceptionally good climate for grapevine growing. Wine produced in South Moravia has a great quality, comparable to some of the best wines made in Europe. You will have the opportunity to experience it on your own, by visiting local VINEYARDS AND WINE CELLARS.
A ride through the fabled landscape will lead us to the UNESCO protected town – KROMĚŘÍŽ, founded as a market town at the crossroads of trading routes. Nowadays, with its splendid, uniquely-preserved baroque castle and gardens, Kroměříž belongs to one of the most beautiful towns in Moravia. Just a short ride further, you can find the pearl of Moravia – historical town OLOMOUC with its 35 meter-high Holy Trinity column, situated over a picturesque square.
Undoubtedly, one of the greatest attractions in Olomouc is THE HOLY MOUND, a monumental Church of the Virgin Mary Visitation. A place of pilgrimage built on the top of the hill, The Holy Mound stood as a position of dominance over the whole region. It was greatly honored by being pronounced a basilica minor (a pilgrimage place of European significance).
Just a short drive away, you will find magical CASTLE BOUZOV, one of the most romantic castles in Europe, where many Czech and international fairy-tale and historical movies were shot. There are also two unique, drawbridges still in operation, and a portcullis.
On the way to the UNESCO protected town Žďár nad Sázavou, we will stop at the ancient CASTLE PERNŠTEJN from the 13th century. It is perched atop high rocks, forming a dominant impediment to the landscape. The uniqueness of this castle consists in the fact that, surrounded by thick stony walls, Pernštejn resisted many attacks of the enemies and was never conquered in its whole existence.
Our last stop before returning to Prague is ŽĎÁR NAD SÁZAVOU. Originally a market town established on an ancient regional route, its inception was closely linked with the establishment of the Cistercian monastery, in 1252. The Pilgrimage Church of St John of Nepomuk at Zelená Hora, inscribed in the UNESCO List in 1994, is the finest work of the architect Jan Blažej Santini and is the most original example of the so-called Baroque-Gothic style.
Photo: Czechtourism, Fotolia