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Sightseeing in Hradec Kralove - what to see. Complete travel guide

The charming Czech city of Hradec Kralove is situated at the crossing of two rivers, namely, the Elbe and the Orlice. This settlement is not only the center of the Hradec Kralove Region in Bohemia but also recognized as the most beautiful city in the whole region. If we translate the name of this city from Czech, Hradec Kralove means “Queen’s City”. Indeed, this is a royal place that keeps attracting tourists with its colorful houses that stand in a line on narrow streets, magnificent shrines, a romantic waterfront, and incredibly picturesque parks. All these peculiarities form a unique look and atmosphere that Hradec Kralove is famous for.
First settlements on the site of modern Hradec Kralove appeared yet during the Roman Empire time. After that, there was a fortified Slavonic settlement here. At the end of the 10th century, the Přemyslid dynasty took over the region and made the town their residence. In the 20s of the 13th century, King Ottokar II, a member of the Přemyslid dynasty, granted the town status to the settlement. Soon after that, a castle appeared here, and Hradec Kralove became a royal town. For centuries, widows of kings were living in this town, and this is the reason why Hradec Kralove has such a “royal” name.
The city was developing actively in the 14th century. This is when Hradec Kralove got many of its most notable landmarks. At that time, it became the second-most-important city in the country after the capital. During the Hussite War, the city’s authorities sided with Jan Žižka, the leader of the Taborites. Hradec Kralove suffered much damage during the war and got some of its former glory back only during the reign of King Jiri and King Vladislaus II. However, when the Habsburg dynasty established their authority in the country, “the Queen’s City” lost its importance. The Thirty Years’ War was a serious challenge to this Czech region. The city started developing again only at the end of the 19th century. Copyright www.orangesmile.com
The Cathedral of the Holy Spirit is a gorgeous gothic church in the old part of the city that remains the most popular landmark in Hradec Kralove. Widow Queens were mostly engaged in the building of the shrine. When the building works started, there was not enough limestone in the city, and so it was decided to make the cathedral from red bricks. This was not typical for buildings of this type in the 14th century.
Inside the shrine, visitors will find a laver used for the baptistery. This is an old and important relic of great value, and so it is well protected. Numerous visitors spend several minutes in front of a wonderful piece of art – the painting “Saint Antonius the Pilgrim”. The cathedral has one more interesting peculiarity – there is still an old “weather forecasting device” on the roof of the building – a peacock-shaped weather vane. In the 15th century, the famous leader and prominent personality - Jan Žižka – was buried inside the cathedral.
On Velke Namesti Street, tourists can find another important religious landmark of Hradec Kralove - Church of the Assumption of the Virgin Mary. Jesuits built this kostel (church) in the middle of the 17th century. The shrine suffered great damage during the fire in the second part of the 18th century. Prussian soldiers made that fire but they couldn’t destroy the church completely, and so the city’s authorities soon rebuilt the church. Another fire happened in the church at the end of the 19th century. This time the disaster partially damaged the tower, roof, and the bells. Jesuits managed to restore the church only at the beginning of the 20th century.
The kostel is still operating and hosting the divine service. Nowadays, this is a forty-meter-long building that is twenty meters wide. The height of the inner premises is thirty meters. The amazing pipe organ is the main attraction in the church. Installed in the 60s of the 18th century, the musical instrument still works flawlessly. The main altar with a painting of the Virgin Mary is another old and precious relic in the sacred building.
Where can tourists with children have fun in Hradec Kralove? Consider visiting Drak, an interesting puppet theater. Established in the 50s of the previous century, this theatre has quickly won the love of generations of Czech families. The repertoire of this puppet theater includes the most popular and well-known fairytales and children’s books, such as Sleeping Beauty, Cinderella, Rapunzel, Pinocchio, and many more. Teenagers will like such plays as Robin Hood or Alice in love. For sure, neither kids nor their parents will feel bored in this theater.
At the moment, there is no direct way to Hradec Kralove from foreign countries. The most popular way is to reach Prague first and then get on a bus to the “Queen’s City”. There are several buses a day that go in this direction. The ride will last one and a half hours or two hours. It is also possible to reach the city by train. For this purpose, get to the Prague railway station first and then buy tickets to a train that goes in the right direction. It takes roughly one hour and forty minutes to reach Hradec Kralove from the capital.

City tours, excursions and tickets in Hradec Kralove and surroundings

Reference information
Map of all castles
Survived castles around Hradec Kralove
♥   Castle 'Niesytno Castle' , 78.2 km from the center. On the map   Photo
Map of all parks
National and city parks around Hradec Kralove
♥   National Park 'Park Narodowy Gór Stołowych' , 49.1 km from the center. On the map   Photo
♥   Landscape Park 'Park Krajobrazowy Sudetów Wałbrzyskich' , 61.7 km from the center. On the map   Photo
♥   National Park 'Karkonoski Park Narodowy' , 65.5 km from the center. On the map   Photo
♥   Landscape Park 'Rudawski Park Krajobrazowy' , 68 km from the center. On the map   Photo
♥   Landscape Park 'Park Krajobrazowy Gór Sowich' , 70.5 km from the center. On the map   Photo

Sights around Hradec Kralove from our guide 'Extreme places on Earth'

Hrad Trosky

From the series “The Most Inaccessible Buildings in the World”
It must be mentioned that this tower is the oldest element of the building. After the strong fire in 1428 he was the only surviving building. Despite its uniqueness and charm, Trosky is one of the most mysterious and unexplored castles in the world. All the documents that could lighten their history were burned in the numerous fires. Currently, the historical site is protected by the Institute of Heritage. Despite its impressive age, the castle has been well preserved and is open to visitors. … Read further
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Sightseeing in regions nearby Hradec Kralove

All about Hradec Kralove, Czech Republic - sightseeings, attractions, touristic spots, architecture, history, culture and cuisine. Prepare your trip together with OrangeSmile.com - find out the 'must see' things in Hradec Kralove, which places to visit, which excursions to take, where the breathtaking views are waiting for you. Planning your trip with this travel guide will help your to get the most out of Hradec Kralove in few days.
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