Renaissance architecture of the 16th century is easy to spot as soon as you have an idea what to look for. There is a notable amount among the houses in the main square. Here are some general hints how to recognize it.
Photo 1 and 2: A typical feature is the high attika instead of a gable, a solid wall with a horizontal top adorned with pinnacles.
Note the painted diamond-shaped ornaments that pretend to be carved stones on the facades, another typical feature.
Photos 3 and 4: gables divided in several horizontal layers by cornices, with curved outlines but more regular than the large curved shapes of the baroque gables. The green house with the oriel on the corner is ornated with scenic frescoes.
Oriels like this one are very renaissance but rare in Telc simply because the houses are all on one row and there are hardly any street corners.
Photo 5: Black and white sgraffito with ornaments or pictures; this here is a particularly fine example.
Favorite thing: Telc is my favorite town in Tschechien ! I was really surprised to see such a nice place, although it has plenty of tourists already and the prizes are more expensive than in the other villages close to the border.
Favorite thing: Telc is a Moravian town--but it is quite close to the Bohemian border. So this is a perfect opportunity to switch from the wines of Moravia to the beers of Bohemia. Many of the pubs and cafes will be loyal to just one brewery (Budvar or Regent or Pilsner Urquel). Honestly, the difference between the beers was minimal--all decent pilsners. Nothing like the extremely flavorful beers of Belgium, but good after a long morning's hike. An added bonus is that the tap beer is strong, very strong at 12%.
The Telc Square suffered heavy damage from a fire in 1530. About the same era Zacharias of Hradec became one of the leading nobles of Moravia and Bohemia. He chose Telc as his seat of power and built himself a Renaissance Chateau. Naturally, this development infused wealth into the town and the square was rebuilt with vigor after 1550 in the Renaissance style chosen by Zacharias. To this day the "houses" that form the square in Telc are preserved in that same Renaissance style.
Elaborate facades front each house. There are broad galleries in front of the first floor business establishments and living quarters upstairs. The town has been repainted and restored quite carefully since the fall of the communist regime.
There are great arcades in the houses with little souvenir shops, cafès and restaurants - very nice to sit and have some coffee and cake ...
And this is also a good way to discover this place even when it rains ... you won't get wet if you walk through the arcades and you need no umbrella ...
Click on the picture to see all the wonderful details ...
The reason why there are so many renaissance buildings on the square is the following: In the 16th century it came to a big "reconstruction" and many buildings were reconstructed from gothic into renaissance. The town has not changed very much since that time. Even the communists, which were no friends of old culture, didn't remove them.
Next to the town square you can see a wonderful castle with a great garden and a wonderful court yard. Very interesting!
Telc is the one most meaningful renaissance town Europe and the best preserved renaissance town north of the Alps. It is located in the south of the Czech Republic (in Moravia) and half the way from Vienna to Prague.
The old town square is so perfect that you will feel like in an old movie - or even in a fairy tale. The is NOT A SINGLE modern building on the square, all the houses, the wells, the monuments, even the cobbled stones have been perfectly restored.
If you need any further information about Telc, especially opening times of the castle, the holy spirit tower or any other sight, hotels and restaurant, weather, ......
then visit the offical website of Telc:
If you want to read about the UNESCO world heritage in Telc, you can find the info here:
Enjoy them and then visit Telc!
I wish you a pleasent stay there!
Further Telc has some great churches - although I can say that they only look great from outside, because when I was there, all churches where closed ... even at easter... :-(( Hopefully they will open it also for tourists soon.
The church looks very nice and you will see all the details if you click on the picture.
Sightseeing from the arcades - (you read correctly) also this is possible in Telc. If you look on the pic on your left, you will know what I mean - there is a great view to the town square and you can make pics even when it rains ... there is no danger for you and your camera.
But this looks also interesting when the sun shines ...
Telc is part of the UNESCO world cultural heritage and so it is a must when you are in the Czech Republic.
If you need more infos about sights in the Czech Republic, here is the website of the offical czech tourist information:
You can also call the following telephone number: +420 2 66 704 618
Get there early in the morning for the best photographic light, you can literally shoot the whole town in that short a time.
Fondest memory: Though Telc was an unexpected gem, I was only there for one day en route to Prague to meet a friend. I arrived early on a gorgeous sunny day but after the early morning photo shoot, I found myself a bit bored in the near ghost town. I think if I had not already secured a room, I might have hopped on a bus to Cesky Budejovice, as I knew some good beer places there from a previous trip. It was okay; maybe I needed a day “off” anyway. I managed to find a small café on the main square that had Budvar on tap but with no one to share a beer with, I left after one and went for dinner. After a fantastic meal coupled with a few beers I had not previously tried, I rested in my room and though very comfortable, I found myself antsy after an hour and decided to have a look at the town in the dark. And that it was. I expected the picturesque square to be theatrically aglow with floodlights but I guess Telc was not quite in that league yet. Still, I wandered around the small center of town and soon found myself back in front of the café I had visited in the afternoon. The tables and chairs out front were now stacked so I went inside for a beer as it was not crowded and the night air was growing chilly. It was homey inside but the few people there were smoking incessantly as Czechs are want to do. This coupled with an almost stifling heating system made my thirst grow and after a couple beers, a group of three local men asked me to join their table. So I ventured over and it was soon apparent that very little English was spoken. One man was German so I used what little rusty German I could remember along with lots of hand language to make myself understood. Soon they were breaking out the Becherovka, a bittersweet Czech liqueur. I really didn’t want any as I had a long bus ride the next morning but there was no easy way to refuse so of course I joined in. The café owner looked Italian and I kept trying to ask if his family was originally from Italy but he kept insisting proudly that he was Czech, and certainly looked puzzled at my referring to him as my “gumba.” Raucous laughter ensued as we had a few shots of the magic elixir washed down with the delightfully tasty beer. The owner had me pose with this silly beer hat, with tubes to suck beer from, before I left. Though I could have stayed longer, I knew it was time to go. This was just a one-night stand after all, just another mad day on the road. I would be up early and on another bus, heading for yet another town, and in search of another beer adventure. And I was likely to find it.