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...more
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...more
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...more
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...more
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...more
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...more
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...more
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...more
Decin's regional museum found its home in classicistic building that goes back to a hunting lodge of the Thun family built in 1735. It is located in Podmokly (Bodenbach) across the river from the castle. The permanent exhibit is on history of the town and castle, the traffic on the river and also on Gothic art/sculptures. You'll learn that until...more
One of the oldest monuments in Decin is the Old town bridge (Staromestsky most) than spans the small river Ploucnice (Polzen in German). It was built 1574 by Valentin Preussler after an older bridge at the same place was destroyed by a flood in 1560. Nowadays it is an important Renaissance structure in Decin. It is 84 m long, has four arches and...more
1687 - 91 the church of the Cross was built during the thorough Baroque reconstruction of the castle as castle church. The architect is unknown but most likely related to the Archbishop's court in Salzburg - who was the brother of the owner of castle Decin, Maximilian von Thun und Hohenstein. Three townhouses were torn down for the construction of...more
Since the rock on top of which the castle sits reaches almost to the Elbe/Labe river and made it quite inconvenient to get from the park on the northern side of the castle to the southern side with the pond etc. the owners wanted a tunnel through the rock. The work was done 1808 - 10.After construction of the tunnel was one problem left: crossing...more
To my surprise it was a bit of a hassle to find a nice bakery/cafe in Decin. Finally we saw one not far from the main train station - Cukrarna Kamelie. From the name you can guess they serve all sorts of stuff for people with a "sweet tooth" - lots of sugar involved. The proper translation for "Cukrarna" would be "confectioner".
Ambience was quite nice, the tables and chairs in the style of those in a Viennese coffeehouse, the rest of the interior a more or less tasteful mix of old and new. You have to order and pay at the counter, later the lady brings what you ordered.
The had a vast choice of fancy cakes. Most of it with too much sugar and cream for my taste, though. In the end I opted for a small-ish piece of walnut-nougat cake which was - sadly - also a bit heavy on sugar and had an overly sweet taste. Tea was a pretty good Darjeeling. My mother ordered a "plain, normal" coffee but somehow the lady at the counter mixed that up and brought her a coffee "Viden" (Viden = Vienna in Czech) which came to our surprise with tons of whipped cream. Coffee and tea were inexpensive but cakes were a bit on the costly side, though still acceptable for German standards (about 1.80 Euro)
Opens 7.30 am Mon-Fri, 10 am Sat/Sun, closes 7 pm.
Another option to get to Decin - but also to explore the regions upstream and downstream the Elbe/Labe river - is by boat. They run downstream between Decin and Hrensko, a few even to Bad Schandau (Germany). Other boats go up the river to Usti n. L. and beyond to Melnik e.g.Be forewarned that service is infrequent and most boats only run in summer....more
In spring 2011 I planned on visiting Decin and thought "Why not cycling?" It is just 21 km from Bad Schandau to Decin, a well maintained, flat cycling trail along the river. And the scenery is gorgeous! This trail is a section of the very popular "Elbe cycling trail" which leads from the Krkonose mountains along the river to Hamburg.Trains also run...more
Decin has a pretty good bus network. Unfortunately the website is only in Czech - but the other link below takes you to the section of the website where you find maps and timetables. "Jízdní řády" means timetables, "Plán linek" means maps. "MAD" refers to the buses in the city, "doprava" is for the surrounding region.In 2011 a single trip...more
The Elbe/Labe river has always played a major role in the lives of the people of Decin. The river provided jobs but from time to time it created dangerous situations - floods kept hitting the city again and again over the centuries. I remember the latest two floods in 2002 and 2006 pretty well. The earlier one in particular was devastating.
There is a water mark at the foot of the castle rock, close to the tunnel and pedestrian chain bridge, which is the oldest preserved hydrographic site in Central Europe. Don't let the marking dated 1432 confuse you - it's a later fake. The oldest authentic marking is from the 16th century.
C. SVYCARSKO TURIST INFO offers accomodation reservation services in hotels in Czech Saxony throughthe web www.ceskosaskesvycarsko.cz . They ask you to send a fax with your credit card data. Then they are supposed to send you a hotel voucher by email.I send that fax on the 16/06/2008, booking a room for the 24/06. On the 23th I was still waiting...more
I lived in Decin for several months in 1998. I would not advise staying there for more than a day. The old town is well worth a visit but the rest of decin(and its sister town Podmokly) is dismal. The town is close to the German and so attracts a large number of rather unsavoury tourists, mostly looking for prostitutes(of which there are many). I...more
The Parish church of the evangelic Bohemian Brethren congregation is located in Decin-Podmokly at the busy Teplicka street (adress is Bezrucova 4, though). It was built on a slightly elevated terrace above the street with stairs leading up to the entrance. Architect was G. L. Möckel, a German architect from neighbouring Saxony who preferred...more
Decin has a lot of bridges as it is typical for a city on a major river. Several bridges span the Elbe/Labe river but the oldest bridges span the small rivers that flow into the Elbe/Labe. The Old Town bridge (see Things To Do tip) spans the Ploucnice (Polzen) river on the right bank and was built in 1574. Even some years older is the bridge from...more
Decin has many buildings in Art Nouveau and Art Deco style. Especially Podmokly (Bodenbach), the district on the left bank of the Elbe/Labe river, has numerous buildings of those styles with very beautiful details. The pictures show examples from Podmokly - you can see some from right bank Decin in a travelogue.In 1851 Bodenbach - as was its name...more