Prague Gate foundations

The stone foundations of the eastern entrance to the town called Prague Gate were excavated and examined during the reconstruction of Velké náměstí ("Large Square"). It was built in the mid-16th century as a point of entry into the town. It was destroyed somewhere in the first third of the nineteenth century. 

The stone foundations have been archaeologically researched and subsequently filled up.

A stone mosaic was installed on the spot in memory of the major local monument that once stood here.    

The former brewery, No 47

There used to be a feudal pub called Beseda on the first floor of the former burgess brewery. T. G. Masaryk delivered his election speech on 16thFebruary 1891 in its hall – in this time he was a university professor yet. He was standing as a candidate to the Imperial council  and was a representative of several south-bohemian towns including Strakonice. In the end of the year he succeeded in the election to the Provincial congress as well and he defended interests of our town till 1893.

Pope’s houses

The houses belonged to the Strakonice architect Ing. Gustav Papež (Pope). The arrangement of the buildings at right angle to the square was typical for renaissance and gothic build-up area. The decoration of gables with spiral volutes reminds buildings of the south-bohemian folk architecture, the rural baroque. The national artist Břetislav Benda created the architect’s tomb bust on the Strakonice cemetery.

Old Butcher´s shops

Old Butcher´s shopsare a roofed narrow street bordered by shops on the both sides that has kept medieval ground plan including the architecture. In the baroque era in the beginning of the 18thcentury there was a gate covering the entrance to the street from the square. A three-dimensional slaughter of an ox in a low embossment is pictured on the baroque gable from 1700. A butchers’ lion with an axe stands in the tympanum of the three-side gable. The present colours are based on the results of the restoration search in the beginning of 90’s. 

The house At the Grape

House no. 54 with a three-dimensional blue grape and the year 1808 on the gable has been one of the oldest houses on the Large Square. Walls testify its origin in the Middle Ages already. It became one of the most luxurious houses on the square in the 16thcentury – the time of renaissance. Symmetrical volute gable, today with classicist features, decorated the house in the era of baroque and its nowadays appearance returned to it after the last reconstruction that saved the house from almost certain demolition. 

 

The Czech savings bank

On the site of today’s savings bank there used to be rococo Hrbek house, where a clergyman Josef Šmidinger was born, a nationalist and a bookish person who founded a library in Strakonice in 1843.

Strakonice castle

 

You can find detailed information about history and events at the castle at  www.hradstrakonice.cz

 

The Strakonice castle is an exceptional historical monument, both historically and architectonically. There is not much information about its foundation. From the available sources we know only that on the junction of the Otava and the Volyňka rivers there was a palace occupied by secular lords  Bavors of the Dart crest, and by Johannites, the members of a chivalric Church order, in about 1243 already. Until this time the castle had been a mansion of the Bavor aristocrats only. The order of St John of Jerusalem, Johannites or the Maltese Knights Order, gained the whole castle in the beginning of the 15th century.

The oldest parts of the castle bear marks of the gothic architecture (The Saint Prokop’s church, the Rumpál tower), the Renaissance influenced the building of the Jelenka tower and the front side of the east part of the castle was rearranged in the classicist style. But these gradual reconstructions haven’t dramatically changed the medieval-like appearance of the castle with the closed second court and the castle ditch near the river.

The area of the castle has now been a place for various cultural actions.  It is a residence of the Museum of  Central Otava Basin with its exhibitions dedicated to Strakonice, pipers’ tradition or the production of fezes and motorbikes ČZ. In the western part of the castle there is a safari in a former moat where dwarf goats, sheep and ponies gambol.

 

The former town hall

The building of the former town hall replaced an earlier lower building with a torrent that was destroyed in a fire. It was a grammar school afterwards and now it is an elementary school. It is situated on the Large Square close to the town office. The academic painter Josef Bosáček decorated the forefront with colourful graffito in 1903 in accordance to thematic cards by Mikoláš Aleš. In the first floor there is an abundant ornamental decoration of tendrils, cillery and blooms laced together. Ornaments decorate the second floor too and there is an emblem of the town and the Czech Lion between the windows. There are figures of The Justice and The Autonomy on either side of the window in the arc fields. The last renovation of the sgraffiti, executed in 2016, is a work of the restorer Hynek Merta.

 

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