Just on the way to the old town, the new town is just so clean, maintained and gorgeous. There are mix of commercial blocks and butiks and supermarkets on both side and its been made a pedestrianized zone. It was in early January I was in Hradec Kralove, I wonder it must be much more beautiful in spring.
On the way to the old town from rail station, you are likely to cross this iron-bridge if on foot. This is one of the most scenic spot in the city as you could see the rising spires beyound the riverside buildings. There is nicely maintained sidewalk on both side of the river for a wonderful stroll.
The oldest monument in the city is the Gothic 3-naved Holy Spirit Cathedral. It was built in the 14th century, only the western entrance frontage with an organ loft came into being in 1463. The old town square is domiated by this cathedral. There is no entry free but its open on particular hours. So don be too late reaching the centre.
The centre is surrounded by protected old colorful buildings like many other Czech cities. All the old buildings are functioning as govt. / municial offfices or commercial offices or even as residence. Just off the historic centre is an education instute bringing young Czechs gathering at the fast-ffod joints and the tram / bus stop.
Architecture of 19th and early 20th century is one of the main reasons why domestic as well as foreign visitors come to Hradec Králové. All of Czech Republic is really doin a great job maintaining its national heritage with regular painting, cleaning of the preserved historic centre. In a usual business day the town is never too crowded and little empty after 4.30 p.m. Its partly because the shopping district is not adjacant to the historic centre rather a little far away.
The plague-column is to be found still in the centre of any town-square in the Czech Republic.
Thousands of people lost their lives in these plagues, a long time before remedies like penecilin was invented.
Walk around the column in order to see the great sculptures of saints
The old Townhall - the white building with the 2 towers on my picture - dates back to the 16th centrury and was rebuilt in Renaissance-style in 1850(Just 16 years before the famous battle of Koeniggraetz)
Today the old townhall houses a great restaurant with a terrace on the town-square.
Do not oversee the great woodcarvings at the entrance-gate and the coat of arms on the facade.
The East-Bohemian Museum is about 500 meters north of the Main Square, directely on the river Labe / Elbe.
The facade is a Must for all fans of Art Nouveau architecture and was built by Jan Kotera 1909-1912.
The museum shows Bohemian furniture, traditional costumes, glasses and keramics.
The museum is open daily except mondays :
09.00-12.00a.m. and 01.00-05.00p.m.
On my picture : an old fresco that I saw in the main square of Hradec Kralove
The baroque church of the Assumption of Holy Mary was built in 1654-1666 by Carlo Lurago for the Jesuit order.
In 1773 the order was dissolved the church became a garrison-church and the collegue became barracks for the army. (What a career...)
Today it is an ordinary church again and the former Jesuit collegue is obviously also used by the church again..
One of the most beautiful baroque buildings on the Main Square of Hradec Kralove is certainly U Spelaku - the red building on the right of my picture.
Part of the building is also a covered street called " Bono Publico" leading down to Comenius Alley by lots of steps.
Since the 15th century U Spulaku was used as a temple of the "Bohemian Brothers"
The Palais of the Bishop of Hradec Kralove / Koeniggraetz dates back to 1709 and its facade was made by Giovanni Santini.
During communiste times the building was used by the state, but since 1994 it is again the seat of the Bishop !
The pope Johannes Paul II visited Hradec Kralove / Koeniggraetz in april 26th, 1997 and obviously for that reason the dome of St.Klemens was topped by the Tiara (the traditional golden hat of the pope) and the Keys of St.Peter.
Click on my picture and have a closer look at this unique top for a church-dome.
Not even in the Vatican churches look that way...
The church itself is rather small and obviously not open to the public on a regular basis.
The White Tower, just opposite of the cathedral is a good place to have a perfect panorama-view of Hradec Kralove.
Climb up the tower, that dates back to 1589 and was originally used as a belltower and watchtower.
The bell is the 2nd largest bell in Czechia, beeing about 10 tons
The tower is open daily - except mondays
09.ooa.m.-12.00p.m. and 01.00p.m.-05.30p.m.
The Holy Ghost cathedral dates back to 1307 and is worth seeing also from inside :
The most famous work of art in the cathedral is the painting " Holy Antonius" by Peter Brandl dating back to 1730.
Do not miss the gothic altar, dating back to the 15th century !
I took this picture from the back of the church, from Dekanske namesti, and the tower on the left of my pic is the "White tower".
The town-square of Hradec Kralove / Koeniggraetz is built like a triangle and has 5 towers on its westside:
The 2 spires of the cathedral, the White tower and the 2 towers of the old townhall.
All of the square is surrounded by baroque buildings, a part of them even with arcades for safe shopping in the rain.