Terezín. A beautiful place with a terrifying history
Terezín fortress was founded in 1780 by Josef II
Although not as renowned as Auschwitz or Dachau, the Terezín concentration camp belongs among the horrifying monuments of World War II on the planet. The fortress town of Terezín is located only about 60 km north-west of Prague, and at first glance it is obvious that the legacy of the most terrible war in the history of mankind has remained here to this day. It is felt literally at every step.
The walls among which 35,000 people died
The Terezín fortress was founded in 1780 by Josef II with the objective of protecting the country against the Prussians. Part of the fortress was, since its foundation, used as a prison but the biggest turning point in its history came only in 1940 when the Germans arrived in Terezín. They immediately turned the fortress into a huge ghetto where they imprisoned, tortured and forced tens of thousands of people to do hard labour, especially Czechs, Germans and Austrians. Although Terezín was not truly a concentration camp, the appalling sanitary conditions killed here over 35,000 people during five years.
Return into the past
If you decide to visit Terezín, you can go there either on your own or with a travel agency. If you go to that place for the first time, the latter option is certainly better – your trip will only have the right atmosphere if you’re accompanied by an experienced guide who knows the fortress well and is able to speak about it with interest. We recommend, for example, the ThinkPrague agency – a Terezín tour with them takes about five hours, you will see both the Main and Small Fortresses and, thanks to the arresting commentary, you will at times feel as if time went back to those dreadful 1940s.
Settle down in a good restaurant
After five hours of wandering around Terezín, you will definitely get hungry, so make sure you go for a good lunch or dinner. In the Main Fortress, you will find several restaurants – there are for example: Restaurace Na Hradbách, Pizzerie Na Obzoru or Restaurace Atypik. If you are in Terezín with the ThinkPrague agency, you will have fewer things to worry about in this respect: your guide will recommend to you which restaurant to go to and what kind of meal to order.
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