Moravia and Silesia
The silver region with UNESCO monuments
The hilly region of Vysočina, with its centre in the royal mining town of Jihlava, spreads along both sides of the historical border between Bohemia and Moravia. The town of Jihlava with its silver mines ranked among the jewels of the Lands of the Bohemian Crown, together with other towns, castles and monasteries of the region that flourished in the era of Charles IV.
The Vysočina region, spreading over the historical territories of Bohemia and Moravia, used to be called the “silver region”. Its centre, the ancient royal town of Jihlava was an important centre of silver mining which was the source of its citizens’ power and glory. Emperor Charles IV donated to them all of the surrounding Moravian silver mines and promoted Jihlava’s mining court to the position of supreme court for all of the Bohemian mining towns. Enter its picturesque streets through the Gate of the Mother of God and admire the rest of the medieval fortification and luxurious houses. Travel back to the times of Charles IV during a visit to the Gothic churches of St. James and the Assumption of the Holy Cross; or go to see the complex catacombs whose construction started in the 14th century. Another event commemorating the glory of the silver times is the miners’ procession held every two years.
This peaceful hilly region offers the chance to view several unique monuments. The almost nine century old Premonstratensian Monastery in Želiv preserved its unique beauty despite the fire in 1375 (during the reign of Charles IV). At present, the community of monks organises the “Musica Figurata” festival of spiritual music and also has its own brewery.
Three unique locations of the Vysočina region are listed as UNESCO world heritage sites. The town of Telč is mentioned in Charles IV’s autobiography written in Latin, later the town was conquered by his troops. Today you may admire its precious Renaissance chateau and town houses, or the Gothic tower of the Church of the Holy Spirit built in the era of Chares IV.
Another captivating town is Třebíč, which was granted the status of town by Charles IV in 1335, when he held the office of Moravian Margrave. The first mention of the local Jewish community comes from the same period. Let yourself be enchanted by the unique Romanesque-Gothic Basilica of St. Procopius and wander through the old Jewish quarter; you can take the historical path “In the Footsteps of Abbots and Rabbis”.
The last UNESCO centre is Žďár nad Sázavou, a mystic place upon the river Sázava in the very heart of Českomoravská vrchovina (Bohemian-Moravian Highlands). Its Cistercian monastery was favoured by many Bohemian Kings and Charles IV was no exception. You may take a trip back to the Middle Ages under the Gothic vault of St. Procopius Church. The most important UNESCO monument is the pilgrimage church of St. John of Nepomuk built in the atypical style of Gothic Baroque by the exceptional architect Santini -Aichel. Žďár nad Sázavou is also one of the thirteen Moravian cities that host the exclusive music festival “Concentus Moraviae”.