09.09.2015 - 17.09.2015 22 °C
Czech Republic – Pilsen and surrounds - part 1
Pilsen was our first port of call in the Czech Republic. We booked 3 nights in Pilsen with the aim of catching up with one of Ash’s former work colleagues and good friend, John, but ended up staying 12 nights! We also met John’s wife Sasha and daughter Sharon, all of whom gave us great information, shared some good meals and looked after us while we were there as you will soon see, from the text and photos.
John and his wife Sasha have a house that they bought in a town called Chudenice (pronounced phonetically as Who-din-it-sa) which he is renovating. Ash jumped at the chance to go with him to help and this turned into an all-in family event of renovating in the mornings and sightseeing in the afternoon. We would stop work at lunch time and then head off to a nearby village for some sightseeing. We did some cementing, drain pipe work, water barriers and just general cleaning and it was great to be able to help out. I think we would have been happy to stay longer!
Our first afternoon visit was to a town called Klatovy, where we went for lunch. There is a 350 year old church here and large watch tower which strikes you as soon as you enter the town square. Of interest though, are the Catacombs in the rear basement of the church which exhibit mummified bodies of the devout Jesuits that built the church and did a lot of work in the area. The mummification process occurred naturally due to the clever design characteristics of the air flow passing through that area, basically, the people were left in oak coffins filled with hops and allowed to dry out!
The following day, John took us to Horsokovy Tyn, another village around an hour from Chudenice. The architecture of the buildings here was amazing and was heavily influenced by Italian designers during the Renaissance period. The castle was present for bishops that resided here hundreds of years ago.
We also got introduced to Tocena – one of John’s favourite treats
Back to Pilsen and as we found out, there was more for us to see than we expected. Here is our accommodation (where we ate an amazing breakfast every morning), buildings in the town square, town cathedral and the town hall.
There is a lot of history in Pilsen, filled with all sorts of conflicts, one of the more recent being World War II. Pilsen was one of the last outer lying areas that the American’s liberated as part of the war. The Patton Museum and ‘Thank You to America’ monuments are there to recognise and thank the American’s for liberating Pilsen from the Nazi’s.
See more on the Demarcation Line in part 2.