Brewery Pilsen Urquell
We stopped at Pilsner-Urquell for a short lunch stop. The restaurant is great, and cheap. The gift shop has nice mugs and steins for souveniers. We didn't take the tour, but there are nice signs around to explain what the buildings are. And there is a cool static display set up showing the old brewing process.
Overall, a great place to strecth your legs if you're travelling that way...
Pilsner Urquell Brewery
When travelling to Plzen, is the brewery is a must see. There is guidet tours in English, German, Czech.
We went on the English tour and the guide was perfect in his english.
On the tour you will see:
- The new and old factory
- A couple of movies about Plzen and the brewery
- Hear a lot about the tecnical processes in brewing of beers
- See the old cellars where the beers were stored
- Tasting a special beer, made on the old fasion way
It costs 130 CZK for an adult, but as a student we have paid 80 CZK (Remember a studentcard)
I can highly recomend a visit at Pilsner Urquell Brewery
- Beer Tasting
- Historical Travel
Pilsen Beer Festival!!!!!!!!!!
We went to the first Pilsen beer festival, 2007! They had 3 stages throughout the town, one in the center, one at the PIlsen brewery and one at some stadium. All within walking distance. It was a complete blast. We can't wait til this year. The web site is under construction. Last year it was in October.
The first stage we went to was in the center and had pop bands. This was at the huge church in the middle of town. Lots of food stands at this one and some places to sit and eat. The big stadium had a great drumming band and had a younger crowd. Food outside the stadium and lots of adult games which I showed in my pictures. The games were made of rubber so the drunkards couldn't hurt themselves too much.
The third place was at the Pilsner Urquell Brewery. We went there the last day and as it was the only stage that had anything going on. It was a show for grannies and everyone had grey/white/purple hair. It was traditional Czech folk music. Interesting for a short while to us. They had a fashion show in front of the main museum too, reminded me of the 80's.
- Beer Tasting
Pilsner Urquell brewery
When visiting Plzen travelers usually want to visit Pilsner brewery, I am not exception ;) A representative building is located a bit outside old town, it was designed by H .Zapal in 1917. Some parts of brewery are older. Brewery Gate is from 1892, and water tower from 1888. Despite its industrial purpose, complex of buildings look quite nice.
Here is possible to take excursion about beer brewing process, to get more information about beer, its types, and so on. My recommendation is to reserve excursion of beer-brewing some time before, as I made mistake and haven’t participated in it.
City gardens and remains of wall
The city gardens were formed at the beginning of 19th century, they are around old town, at the site, where defensive city wall stood (still some remains left). Gardens around Plzen old town are split into a few parts: 5th May, Safarik, Krizik, Kopecky, Smetana and Petatricatniku gardens. You could see here monuments for famous Czech people (eg. Smetana), fountains, city maps and information.
Oldest fragments of city wall are from about 1300, some others are from 18th – 19th centuries. Actually (the same as in my hometown Vilnius) there are examples of defensive wall incorporation into houses. Fragments of walls you could see walking around city parks.
Tyl theatre of Plzen is just at the corner of city gardens. It is example of beginning of 20th century architecture, here is actually neo-Renaissance. Construction was designed and built in 1899-1902 (architect Antonin Balsanek).
Here is such a gossip that theatre was built as a rival (if we could say so) to Prague National Theatre to show the strength of Plzen in land of Bohemia.
At the time I visited Plzen (July, 2009) theatre was under reconstruction.
Plzen synagogue is an approval about former big community of Jewish people (before Second World War). It is famous because of its large size. Fact tells it is second largest synagogue in Europe (after one in Budapest).
The Great Synagogue was built in 1893 in neo-Rennaisance and Romantic styles, combined with oriental decorations. Interesting fact, that sanctuary had to be the other appearance before, Gothic one, with long spires, but city administration declined the project due to reason that Synagogue could dwarf Plzen Cathedral of St. Bartholomew.
Synagogue is mostly used for concerts and exhibitions, and worship process is rare here.
It is one of the oldest and one of most valuable buildings in Plzen, touching the 13th century, Premysl dynasty. Construction still has early gothic traces, but later, in 1611, instead of ruined chapel new one was added, and second one was added later, at the same 17th century.
The church was closed at time a visited Plzen, but it is worth visiting it, it is told, there are beautiful baroque altar inside and other valuables.
State Research Library
Building of State Research Library was formerly used as monastery for Dominican nuns. Jakub Auguston constructed it at 1711 – 1714. Later, in 1782 city administration purchased it for educational purposes. More adds were made at 1804-1809, when Philosophical Institute were constructed in Classical Louis XVI style.
The part of building could be seen from the part of Smetanovy gardens; the sculpture for B. Smetana is nearby. B. Smetana was famous Czech composer (1824 - 1884), the most important his work, probably, is symphonic poem “Vltava”.
Plzen town hall is so called one of the most beautiful town halls in Bohemia. It was designed and built in 1554 – 1559 by Italian architect Giovanni de Statia.
At 1907-1912 town hall was reconstructed by J. Koula, he designed a new graffito decoration.
The building is one of dominant in square of Republic and is divergent from other constructions around due to its style and colouring.
Plague column of St. Mary
St. Mary Plague column exist in Plzen town as well, at Square of Republic, near St. Bartholomew Cathedral (as I think, it is quite usual for Central Europe towns). The column was built in 1681. The reason of building it was thank giving for quite mild plague epidemic in 1680.
Top of plague column is adorned by copy of Madonna of Plzen statue that originally exist in town’s Cathedral.
St. Bartholomew Cathedral
Construction of gothic St. Bartholomew Cathedral was quite long – from 1295 till beginning of 16th century. Maybe architecture of church exterior is not very impressive (as, let say, St. Vitus Cathedral in Prague), but it is well observed due to long spire (102,6 meters, longest church tower in Bohemia). It is worth going up to see panorama of Plzen, especially of square of Republic around Cathedral.
Sanctuary houses a statue of Madonna of Plzen (year of 1360) – it is an example of Czech “beautiful Madonna style” art works.
St. Bartholomew’s got Cathedral title only in 1993, when John Paul II established bishopric here.
Pilsen Urquell Brewery
One of the main sights in one of the biggest cities in Czech, this brewery is like its own village with everything you need: Food, some life sized chess pieces in the shape of beer and beer itself.
The restaurant is why we came here: I had the Duck! IT was really delicious and cost only a fraction of what it would other cities. I came to Pilsen several times, since the currency exchange rate is very favourable from euros. Tip: Go to some of their bars and you'll be laughing. We once spent under a euro for four Pilsen Urquells in a happening bar. There are a lot of really nice bars in Pilsen, so overall i think its a good party city.
Sidenote: There is a really sketchy Brothelhouse in the city, which is worth a look. Just dont do anything you will regret. ;)
Great Historic Beer Tour!
Everybody in the Czech Republic drinks the national beer - Pilsner Urquell! To tour the brewery where this nectar is created is probably the dream of every beer drinker around the world. From the bus that took us to the actual brewing facility to the short film at the end that shows the history of the beer everything was top notch!
- Beer Tasting
- Historical Travel
Pilsner Urquell Brewery Tour
This was the best brewery tour that I've been on and there has been a few - I like my beer. Pilsner Urquell was the world's first larger and in my opionion is still the best. After watching a short DVD about the history of the brewery you are taken on a tour (after a short bus ride) around the modern facilities that the brewery uses today like the bottling plant and the brewhouse. The guide will also teach everyone about the brewing process and answer any questions both about Pilsner Urquell and the brewing process in general. You then get taken on a tour of the cellar and yeast stores where they make the beer like in the good old days especially for tour guests and in thier bar followed by a glass of this free unpasturised beer. It was incredibly tasty.
There are tours in Czech, English, Russian, French and German. The English guide I had was very friendly and helpful. Entrance costs 130 Kc for foreign language tours & 110 Kc for Czech. The tours are at specific times of the day so you had better check the website for times before you head there.
There is a bar, restraurant and a shop selling branded goods onsite too.
See my Plzen travelogue for more photos.