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UNESCO World Heritage Site Czech Republic:
Historic Center of Telč
Quick Facts about Telč:
Country: Czech Republic
Visited: October 2017
Status: Good condition
Summary: Telč’s historic market square is an Italian Renaissance masterpiece. The large town square is surrounded pastel-colored Bürgerhouses featuring the typical facades.
The Rennaissance Castle and its grounds look like straight out of a fairytale.
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Telč UNESCO World Heritage Site
Telč, a beautiful little town in Czech’s Vysocina region, was most likely founded in the middle of the 14th century, the earliest mention dating back to 1333-1335.
What makes the Telč town square so special is its cohesive and authentic style. The local Duke, Zachariáš of Hradec after whom the square is named, had studied in Italy and was inspired by the art and style of the Italian Renaissance.
After his return, he brought in several Italian architects to built the Telč Chateau in the Renaissance style. The city was booming. Zachariáš of Hradec set up fish farms, opened a hospital and hospice for the elderly and turned Telč into a flourishing town.
So when a large portion of Telč burned down in a massive fire in the middle of the 16th century, the locals had fallen in love with this architecture and had the financial resources to rebuild their own houses in the same style.
In 1645 – towards the end of the 30 Years’ War – Telč was occupied by the Swedes. Luckily, it wasn’t badly destroyed. After the war, Jesuits built a college next to the castle and Telč lived through a few centuries of no major changes. The historic buildings were not overly modernized or “over-restored”, as it was popular in the 19th and 20th century and this led to Telč’s recognition as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1992.
Plan your visit to Telč
How to get to Telč
By Plane: The closest airport to Telč is in Brno, but finding a connection might be more expensive and less convenient than flying into Prague or Vienna.
By Train: To get to Telč, most likely you have to change in Brno or České Budějovice (Budweis). The train station is just outside the small town. It is a bit of a pain to get there by train from Prague, so I recommend to go by bus or rent a car.
By Car: I think a car is the best way to explore Telč and the rural areas of the Czech Republic. It gives you a bit more freedom to stop and explore on your own.
By Bus: Budget Busses are a very popular way to get around in Europe now. They are a cheap, clean, and safe way to travel around Europe. There are buses that go to Telč and most of them stop either in Brno or České Budějovice.
Hotels in Telč
Hotel U Hrabenky is a beautiful country inn, located right behind the castle. I had a great stay there, and the location was very convenient to explore the little town.
Restaurants in Telč
Na Zabinci: A quick 10-minute walk from the main square, but worth it to get some cheap, traditional Czech food that also the locals enjoy.
Amigo: From Burgers to Mexican and even Italian food, this modern bistro has something for everyone.
Svejk: Traditional Czech Pub with great food and beers.
Tips for visiting Telč UNESCO Site
This is a popular day-trip site, so in high season, it can get quite crowded between 10 AM and 4 PM. I recommend staying at least one night, so you can experience the beautiful market square without the crowds and see it at night.
A few years ago, the city allowed parking in the main square, which ruins the experience (and photos) quite a bit. Early morning and at night, it is a little better, so if you want to really experience the beauty of this place, I recommend you stay the night in Telč.
Bring a wide-angle camera lens to take photos of the Telč’s famous square. Also, a tripod is key, if you want to do some night photography.
Visit the Telč Chateau in the early morning. The Chateau gardens open their doors at 7 AM and if you are lucky, you’ll have the whole Castle grounds for yourself.
Take a tour of the underground tunnels. Rumor has it, you might see a ghost!
My Final Verdict: Telč UNESCO World Heritage Site
I really loved the Telč UNESCO World Heritage Site. The colorful buildings reminded me of intrinsically decorated Easter eggs. I visited the Czech Republic in the Fall, and the colorful foliage on that foggy morning in the Castel garden was so beautiful.
One thing I did not like about Telč was that the main square was a street/parking lot. It really ruined the experience, especially during the day. Since this is the towns main asset, I hope they see how negatively this impacts the tourist experience.
All in all, I would highly recommend a visit to the Telč UNESCO World Heritage Site. The buildings are beautiful and really let you imagine how it must have been like during Renaissance time.
Other UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Czech Republic
- Gardens and Castle at Kroměříž (1998)
- Historic Centre of Český Krumlov (1992)
- Historic Centre of Prague (1992)
- Historic Centre of Telč (1992)
- Holašovice Historic Village (1998)
- Holy Trinity Column in Olomouc (2000)
- Jewish Quarter and St Procopius’ Basilica in Třebíč (2003)
- Kutná Hora: Historical Town Centre with the Church of St Barbara and the Cathedral of Our Lady at Sedlec (1995)
- Lednice-Valtice Cultural Landscape (1996)
- Litomyšl Castle (1999)
- Pilgrimage Church of St John of Nepomuk at Zelená Hora (1994)
- Tugendhat Villa in Brno (2001)
Telč Czech Republic UNESCO World Heritage Site – Pin for Later: