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Hradec Králové © Libor Sváček, archiv CzechTourism

East Bohemia

Following in the footsteps of Czech queens

Following in the footsteps of Czech queens

A romantic trip to Hradec Králové, the most important town of the Czech Queens, will take you to the place where the Bohemian and Polish Queen Elizabeth Richeza of Poland, grandmother of Emperor Charles IV, had her ostentatious court. In September each year, this city situated on the confluence of the rivers Elbe and Orlice, hosts the spectacular Queen Elizabeth Festival, with a traditional craft fair, jousting tournaments and performances of jugglers and comedians that will take you back to the Middle Ages.

Hradec Králové, the ancient metropolis of East Bohemia, is much more than just a university town and centre of culture and modern architecture. At the beginning of the 14th century, it became the most important dowry town of Czech Queens and a jewel of urban architecture with many monuments. Its boom can be attributed to Elizabeth Richeza, wife of the Bohemian and Polish King Wenceslas II and grandmother of Emperor Charles IV, who purportedly founded the unique Gothic Cathedral of the Holy Spirit. The temple was renovated by other Czech Queens, such as Elizabeth of Pomerania, Charles IV’s fourth wife. The town was also a frequent residence of Sophia of Bavaria, wife of Charles IV’s controversial son Wenceslas IV. Charles IV himself endowed the town with many privileges and boosted its economic and cultural development. This was one of the reasons why Hradec Králové became an important centre of the modern Czech state, a dynamic city attracting visitors from all around the world with its rich history, impressive monuments and much more.

You may enjoy many unexpected experiences during various town festivals. The Medieval Queen Elizabeth Festival, where ladies of all ages may see how it felt to be a Medieval Queen is just one of them. Lovers of jazz music should not miss the prestigious “Jazz Goes to Town” festival; theatre lovers will certainly appreciate the festival of European regional theatres while food fans must visit the “Gastro Hradec” event. And those who get tired of the busy city life can find shelter in the surrounding countryside or in the romantic chambers of the chateaus in Náchod and Rychnov nad Kněžnou, whose fame is also associated with the era of Charles IV.

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