Decin Things to Do

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    Decin
    by Joshua2415
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    by german_eagle
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    by german_eagle

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    Zamek Decin - the castle of Decin

    by globetrott Written Jan 11, 2015

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    Zamek Decin - the castle of Decin

    High above the town of Decin / Tetschen the castle was built on top of a massive rock in 1790 by count Thun-Hohenstein. One of the best attractions of the castle is the rosary, built on a rather narrow, but long rock, decorated with plenty of sandstone-sculptures.
    Decin / Tetschen has about 55000 inhabitans now and is in a hight of 135 meters above sea-level.
    In the 19th century the " Treaty of Decin " / "Vertrag von Tetschen" added some provinces to Austria ( Innviertel, including places like Braunau, Ried im Innkreis...) and of course that treaty was signed inside Zamek Decin / Decin castle.
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    Zamek Decin / Decin castle is open for visitors:
    November–February: daily 10am–4pm;
    Sat, Sun, and holidays 10am–5pmm
    March–June: daily 9am–5pm
    July–August: daily 9am–6pm
    September–October: daily 9am–5pm
    entrancefee is 90 CZK (in 2015)

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    Decin castle - the loggia of the rosary

    by globetrott Written Jan 11, 2015

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    At the south-end of the rosary you will see this stairs going up to a loggia with a better view into the landscape.Obviously it was also used for festivities or simply a cosy place to relax and great sandstone-sculptures add a lot to the atmosphere. When you have been in Salzburg already and had visited the Residenz and Hellbrunn palace there, you will see a certain connection in style and architecture between these 2 quite distant cities and there is a good reason for that: Maximilian von Thun und Hohenstein, the owner of Decin palace was the brother of
    the Archibishop of Salzburg and maybe he found lots of ideas how to build the palace there.

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    the ballroom of the castle

    by globetrott Written Jan 11, 2015

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    In Decin castle there is a small hall at the entrance to the rosary. This hall is totally empty, but all the walls and the ceiling are covered by great frescos, reminding me a lot of baroque frescos in Italy.- what a great place to dance and what a lovely place to have a ball, with a great view of the rosary and the surrounding mountains and all of these great baroque frescos of the ballroom.
    Between 1969 and 1991 the whole castle was used by the russian army, and nowadays it is going to be restored step by step. I was there for the last time in 2008, so hopefully the restoration might be finished by now.
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    Zamek Decin / Decin castle is open for visitors:
    November–February: daily 10am–4pm;
    Sat, Sun, and holidays 10am–5pmm
    March–June: daily 9am–5pm
    July–August: daily 9am–6pm
    September–October: daily 9am–5pm
    entrancefee is 90 CZK (in 2015)

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    The rosary of Decin castle

    by globetrott Updated Jan 11, 2015

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    One of the best attractions of the castle is the rosary, built on a rather narrow, but long rock, decorated with plenty of sandstone-sculptures.
    There is a small hall at the entrance to the rosary. It is totally empty, but all the walls and the ceiling are covered by great frescos, reminding me a lot of baroque frescos in Italy and also of Hellbrunn palace in Salzburg and there is a good reason for that: Maximilian von Thun und Hohenstein, the owner of Decin palace was the brother of the Archibishop of Salzburg and maybe he found lots of ideas how to build his palace there, or maybe even used the same architects.

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    The Church of the Cross

    by globetrott Written Jan 11, 2015

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    The Church of the Cross

    This is the Church of the Cross, that was built between 1687 and 1691 in baroque style and you will find it at the end of the castlewalls and there is also a connecting door, so the noble family could walk to the church without the need to walk through town and they also had their own balcony inside the church. You will find the doors of the church open during the day, but you will be able to just take a look through an iron fence inside the church.

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    Castle garden - southern terraces

    by german_eagle Written Sep 25, 2014

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    In the recent years the garden on the southern side of the castle hill was reconstructed. When I visited in September 2014 the works were almost completed. Entrance is possible from three sides: From the path between the chain bridge and tunnel, from the Long Walk up to the castle or from the former Granary, now a student apartment building.

    A first formal garden was designed at this place in the 18th century, building terraces, flights of steps, fountains, and paths. On the uppermost terrace is the former gardener's house, a classicistic building from 1808, which sort of dominates the scenery. Its counterpart is the Baroque pavillion from 1737 on the lowest terrace. The former Granary, not really part of the garden, dominates the eastern side with its gable and the sculpture high up in the facade. It was built 1723-25 according to plans of K. I. Dientzenhofer, the sculptures are works of F. M. Brokoff whose works are to find at Prague's Charles Bridge, too.

    I found the garden to be very beautiful and a stroll is highly recommended. If the weather co-operates, like it did for us on a mild late September day, it is worth relaxing there for almost an hour or so. The panoramic views of the surrounding mountains are beautiful, too. However, you better ignore the tall brickstone chimney of the old brewery and other industrial relics in the background ...

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    Rosarium with Gloriette and Sala Terrena

    by german_eagle Updated Sep 25, 2014

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    Part of the castle complex is the rosarium, designed in the 17th century. It is not overly large but very beautiful - right by the entrance is the Sala terrena with stunning frescos created by Guiseppe Bragaglia - reminded me of the one in Valdstejn garden in Prague. On the opposite end of the rosarium is the gloriette with sculptures by local artists.

    Not only is the rosarium a great place to relax and forget time - the views of the city and the surrounding landscape are also amazing.

    Open daily from May to Sept, weekends and holidays in April and Oct.
    Admission fee CZK 30.

    Rosarium Rosarium Gloriette Sala terrena Sala terrena
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    Castle

    by german_eagle Updated Sep 25, 2014

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    Decin's castle sits on a rock on the right bank of the Elbe/Labe river. It can look back on a history of about 1000 years - the present buildings, however, are results of the thorough construction works in the late 17th and then again late 18th centuries when the castle was owned by the Thun family. There are still some Renaissance structures preserved, though, especially in the western and southern wings, these dating from the period when the castle was a property of Saxon nobles (Salhausen first, then Bünau).

    The whole complex is quite large. Access to the castle is best through the so called "Long Drive", a cobbled alley with walls to both sides, leading from the town straight up to the plateau on which the castle is. On the lower end is a gate with two openings: the left one leads to the castle, the right one to the town centre/church of the cross. Farther up a small gate on the left takes you to a small garden, another one to the right is the entrance to the rosarium (separate tip).

    The ticket office is right before the upper gate of the Long Drive on the left side. A bridge leads to the main castle. The courtyard facades are beautifully decorated (see pictures). The castle is only accessible with guided tours that are in Czech mostly (other languages upon reservation in advance, surcharge). Audio guides available in other languages. The interior is well restored. You see numerous beautiful rooms, furniture not original but fitting, the chapel, stables etc, highlight IMO are the uncovered fresco and secco wall decorations from the 18th century.

    Open daily, Admission fee CZK 90 for one tour, combined ticket for two tours is 150 CZK, for all three tours 220 CZK (prices in 2014).

    Castle Decin Castle gate courtyard facade detail of courtyard facade
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    Tiské stěny / Tyssa Walls

    by german_eagle Written Sep 22, 2014

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    Only a few km west of Decin, in so called Bohemian-Saxon Switzerland, are these bizarre sandstone formations located. You walk up about five minutes from the village Tisa (path begins right by the parish church) and pay an entrance fee of 30 CZK (1.50 Euro, in 2014).

    These sandstone formations/rocks are about 20-40 m high above the ground, I would estimate. The area is separated in two parts - one west of the ticket counter (smaller walls) and one east (bigger walls). There is a marked trail that takes you on a loop through each of them. I suggest you start with the western (smaller walls) area, like we did. The rock formations are marked with numbers. If you bought the flyer with explanations at the ticket counter, too, or brought a guide book with you, it will tell you what the name of the formation is - sometimes a bit odd, I thought. Anyway, the trail leads around the formations, right between them (narrow!), on top of them and back down.

    We had lousy weather, were right in clouds, which made for a mystic ambience, but the usually fantastic panoramic views were zero. It also started raining soon, so we headed right for the cosy restaurant Turisticka chata, which is on the easternmost point of the eastern trai (big walls). Instead of completing the loop we decided to take the trail back home across the border to Saxony - about 1:30 h to the bus stop in Rosenthal-Schweizermühle. I'll be back in sunny weather for sure.

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    Benesov nad Ploucnici

    by german_eagle Written Oct 30, 2011

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    Only a short train ride from Decin main train station (hourly trains, they take about 15 minutes) is the small town Benesov nad Ploucnici (in German: Bensen am Polzen). Don't let the first impression with shabby townhouses and abandoned former plants scare you away: The town's small centre with market square, town hall, castle complex and churches is interesting, restored to a certain degree and safe.

    The main attraction is the castle complex that consists of lower and upper castle and gardens. Both castles (and the castle and Parish church) go back to the 16th century and were built by the family von Salhausen from neighbouring Saxony. The architecture is quite remarkable and typical for Saxony, not the Bohemia (have a look at the special roof shape on picture 2 e.g.) The quality of the art works/embossments is excellent. Unfortunately the church and chapel were closed.

    The castles are accessible with tours only. The guide spoke only Czech but we got a paper in German giving info on history, interior/art works. Sadly, not much of the interior is originally preserved after a big fire in 1969.

    See website for info on opening hours and admission fee, please. Photo permit was CZK 500 (ROTF!) so no pictures of the interior, sorry.

    Benesov, market square Benesov, lower castle Benesov, upper castle Benesov, castle and Parish church Benesov, chapel
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    Castle gardens

    by german_eagle Updated Oct 26, 2011

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    There is actually not *that* much left of the castle gardens. But it's still enough to spend some time there once you're in the area. First of all don't miss the rosarium - see separate tip. The other gardens are free, though.

    Another small door on the left (southern) side of the Long Drive takes you to a small garden that is designed somewhat like a Japanese garden. Nice and offers good views.

    An English style park is south of the castle, large lawns alternate with shade providing trees. The large pond is unfortunately separated from the park by a street nowadays. There is also a large playground for kids in the most distant part of the park.

    The park along the river below the castle is also very nice. A promenade and bike trail runs through it. The views of the rock on the opposite bank of the river is stunning. A hint: There is a nice path in the shade of the trees that winds up on the northern side (from the town) to the castle from there.

    Path north of the castle large pond playground in the castle garden English style park
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    Kostel sv. Frantiska z Assisi

    by german_eagle Written Oct 23, 2011

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    The catholic parish church in Decin-Podmokly is dedicated to the Saint Francis of Assisi. It was built 1856 - 61 in Neo-Romanesque style. It has only one nave, arcades on the long sides that open to alcoves remind of side naves, some of the alcoves are turned into chapels with altars or have sculptures.

    The original main altar, a Neo-Gothic woodcarved piece, is now in a side chapel. It was replaced by a magnificent (Saxon) Renaissance altar of sandstone created by Franz Ditterich in Freiberg in 1605 which was moved from Krasny Studenec, a small village in the region, to Decin-Podmokly.

    The church's door is usually open but you can only peek inside through a wrought-iron fence.

    Francis of Assisi church Francis of Assisi church Francis of Assisi church seen from Bezrucova st. Francis of Assisi church Francis of Assisi church, main altar
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    Synagogue

    by german_eagle Written Oct 23, 2011

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    Right on the street that leads up to the Zoo and Pastyrska stena is the Synagogue. It was built 1906-07 in pseudo-oriental style with obvious elements of Czech Art Nouveau (Secession). It is the only Synagogue in the Czech Sudeten region (where until 1945 a German majority lived) which survived WWII.

    Since 1996 the Jewish community is again owner of the property. It is nowadays used as exhibit and congress centre - not for services anymore, sadly.

    Open daily on workdays from 8-15 h. Small charge if they have an exhibit.

    Synagogue Synagogue Synagogue
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    Zoo

    by german_eagle Written Oct 23, 2011

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    The Zoo in Decin was founded 1949. It is one of the smaller zoos, but a very beautiful one, located in a forest on the plateau high above the left bank of the Elbe/Labe river (Decin-Podmokly).

    You can see 330 animals of 115 species. The kids will probably enjoy the bigger animals the most: Grizzlies, cute deer, goats ... but the smaller ones are interesting, too. There is a large playground also, an inexpensive restaurant, picnic spots.

    The zoo is open all year round, in summer 8-18 h, in winter until 16 h only.

    Admission fee is CZK 90 for adults in summer, CZK 70 in winter. In October special price is CZK 50. Reduced family tickets available.

    Zoo map Zoo entrance Grizzly Donkey
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    Pastýřská stěna

    by german_eagle Written Oct 22, 2011

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    This is the name of a sandstone rock that towers up on the left bank over the Elbe/Labe river. As far as I know (from the German name "Schäferwand") it means "shepherd's wall". The views from there are absolutely gorgeous - see the pictures! The elevation difference to the river level is about 150 m - nothing for people with fear of heights (although you can enjoy the view from a safe terrace set back a few meters).

    The the left (north) you see the begin of the river canyon in the sandstone massif of the Bohemian-Saxon National Park, vis-a-vis are the castle of Decin and the old town, to the right (south) you see the begin of other mid-range mountains, the Ceske stredohori.

    Access is either walking or driving up a narrow street from Podmokly, take a signposted turn right at Teplicka street or walk (hike!) up a steep path that starts right at the Tyrs bridge.

    There is a restaurant on top, never had anything there, sorry. It is also the starting point of several walking/hiking paths that mostly lead through woods. Nearby is the zoo, see separate tip.

    Pastyrska stena from Tyrs bridge Pastyrska stena, restaurant from viewing point view north view of the castle and the old town view south
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