Sunday, July 11, 2010

Another day trip to Telč

Having done a quick one day trip to Třebíč, we got into the mode of driving around to small towns around Brno. The next destination we chose was called Telč (by the way, when you see the inverted hat like haček mark on a letter "c,"  it is pronounced like "ch" in English). Telč is further to the west of Třebíč, about 100+ km away from Brno. In fact, we passed Třebíč on the way to Telč, but we (well, at least I who was just sitting in the passenger seat) didn't mind that. What "travelling" brings to you is this special feeling that connects you to "the" air, wind, people, or life in general you pass through as you travel. We enjoy that pretty much.

Telč, unlike Třebíč, seemed to be very popular among the tourists (and bikers ^^). The town is famous for its chateau and the town square surrounded by a series of beautiful Renaissance and Baroque style houses that have been well preserved since the 16th century. The historic center of Telč was added to the UNESCO World Heritage list in 1992.

The town center is very small. It is surrounded by lakes and has a very unique atmosphere - almost as if you accidentally stepped into a movie set of the 15th century European movie (or... as if you walked into a part of Universal Studios ^^). Well, it certainly is not cheesy looking like a studio set, but somehow an array of beautiful houses brings a surreal feeling.

The chateau is one of the must-sees here. It was originally a Gothic style castle which was built in the 13th century, but later in the mid 16th century it was rebuilt in the Renaissance style by a nobleman named Zachariáš of Hradec, who began to rule over the Telč estate in 1550. He was a young, humanistically educated nobleman, who turned this castle into one of the most beautiful chateaus in the area. There are a couple of tours you can take, and you will find what a significant amount of work Zachariáš of Hradec did to the chateau. Cameras are not allowed inside the chateau, but we were able to take a couple of pictures from the outside corridor which connects two buildings.

The sad thing was the family died out on the male side. Zachariáš of Hradec's first wife, Kateřina of Valdštejn, died after giving a birth to their first son, who unfortunately died around the age of five. The second wife, whom Kateřina chose even in the course of her serious illness, had a daughter, but they were not gifted with a boy. Consequently, the lords of Hradec only owned Telč estate until 1604.  But, it was also Zachariáš of Hradec who gave the orders to rebuild all the houses in the town in Renaissance and Baroque style. You can sense that Zachariáš was a great man with great appreciation in arts and beauty just by looking how Telč is even now.

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