Czech Getaways: Eastern Bohemia/Northern Moravia/Central Moravia
Fourth part of a six-part series of weekend getaway spots in the Czech Republic
This area is a region of charming lowlands and highland ranges dotted with historic towns, manors and castles. A wide range of sightseeing and recreation options is sure to satisfy every visitor of East Bohemia. Its beautiful nature and healthy environment combined with its varied landscape make it ideal for active tourism. Its cultural landscape has been shaped by generations of creative people, some famous, some anonymous, but all contributing to its unique character. Eastern Bohemia abounds in castles and chateaux (one of them, Opočno, is pictured here; click for larger view), forts and fortifications, town conservation reserves and numerous other attractive sights in the styles of the Renaissance, Baroque and Art Nouveau styles. Modern architecture from the period between the World Wars can be seen in the region as well, most notably in Hradec Králové, the region's capital. Visitors can also learn about folk and folklore tradition including handicrafts. Among the geniuses whose work is associated with the region are the Baroque sculptor M.B.Braun, the modern architects Kotěra and Gočár, the composers Smetana and Martinů. The area along the Labe (Elbe) river is mainly flat with a warm climate, which makes it perfect for water sports, walking tours or cycling. The Adršpašsko-teplické cliffs are a unique natural reserve; Orlické mountains and the area of Kralický Sněžník are attractive for winter sports and mountain tourism. Agro-tourism, mainly focused on traditional horse breeding, is traditional across the region.
Major roads of the European highway system: Praha – Hradec Králové – Náchod, Hradec Králové – Svitavy – Olomouc (Brno), Hradec Králové – Šumperk – Ostrava. The east-Bohemian integrated transport system between Hradec Králové and Pardubice combines municipal, railway and bus transportation. High-speed railway corridor: Praha – Pardubice – (Brno) – Ostrava. Main railways: Praha – Hradec Králové – Lichkov (Poland).
Northern Moravia & Silesia
Both are picturesque regions split by mountain ridges and rolling hills, ideal for summer vacation as well as a range of winter sports. With their wide horizons of fertile lowlands and views of the Polish lowland landscape, Northern Moravia and Silesia have a pensive beauty. The southern slopes of the mountains open the region to the fertile area along the Morava River and Moravská brána. The merchants´ amber and salt route led across this area since the times immemorial. The Valašsko (Wallachia) area is a very specific part of the region. Situated along the Slovak border in the east, Wallachia is attractive by its unique style of wooden cottages and churches, as well as its lively folklore traditions. The massif of the Jeseníky Mountains and Rychlebské hory (Rychlebské Mountains) are the chief visitor attraction on the western side of the region. This area offers ideal conditions for recreation as well as physically demanding mountain tourism, wheather for summer or winter sports or spa cures and relaxation. The region is interwoven with a dense network of marked hiking and biking trails. Ostrava with numerous industrial sights is the center of the region. The Hradec nad Moravicí Chateau, the Hukvaldy Castle, the Wallachian Museum in Rožnov and the pilgrimage place Maria Pomocná nad Zlatými Horami are the most visited sights of the region. Opava, the former capital town of the Czech Silesia, and Havířov, the youngest town in the Czech Republic with its interesting urbanism typical of the socialist era, are also worth visiting.
High-speed roads: Vyškov – Ostrava, Nový Jičín – Frýdek Místek – Český Těšín. Main roads: Praha – Hradec Králové – Opava – Ostrava. The demanding route by car: Praha –Brno – Olomouc – Nový Jičín – Ostrava. The highway under construction: Lipník nad Bečvou – Ostrava. Railway corridors: Praha – Přerov – Ostrava – Bohumín. The international airport Ostrava- Mošnov.
Central Moravia is a region of rich folklore traditions. This fertile region extends mainly along the Morava River. Since the 16th century, the region has carried the name Haná. It is famous for its sunny climate (and friendly populace), rich folk costumes, its traditional pungent (some might say smelly) cheese, and a vast number of Baroque cathedrals, churches, monasteries, and pilgrimage sites. Olomouc_-_NáměstíCentral Moravia is a region of rich folklore traditions. Oderské vrchy (Oderské Hills) and Hostýnské vrchy (Hostýnské Hills) gradually rise in the east, the Chřiby Hills open the Slovácko – Moravian gate in the south and the Drahanská vrchovina (Drahanská Highland) creates the relief in the west. The region offers a large choice of architectural jewels (ancient castles, splendid chateaux and, of course, the UNESCO monuments – the Kroměříž Chateau and its gardens, the town of Olomouc, pictured here; click for larger view), several spa towns, as well as natural sights. Some of the latter are located underground, such as Javoříčské, Mladečské and Zbrašovské caves, or the deepest abyss in the Czech Republic – Hranická propast (Hranická Abyss). The whole Central Moravian region is interwoven with marked hiking trails and is ideal for cycling. Some of the bike routes, e.g. the Moravská stezka (Moravian route) and the Jantarová stezka (Amber route) are part of the "Euro-Velo" project.
Highways: Praha – Brno – Vyškov. High-speed roads: Vyškov – Olomouc – Mohelnice, Olomouc – Nový Jičín – (Ostrava) Frýdek Místek. Main roads: Hodonín – Uherské Hradiště – Přerov. High-speed railway corridors: Praha – Přerov – Ostrava (Katovice), Přerov – Břeclav (Vienna). International railways: Hranice na Moravě – Vsetín (Slovakia) and dense network of regional railways.
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