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Plzeň © Ladislav Renner, archiv CzechTourism

West Bohemia

The Centre of the European beer industry

The Centre of the European beer industry

In the times of Chares IV, the royal town of Plzeň, the centre of West Bohemia, was one of the gems of the Lands of the Bohemian Crown, famous for its brewery which already existed at that time and still maintains a worldwide reputation right up to the present day. Visit this city of unique Gothic monuments constructed during the era of Charles IV and discover the world-renowned tradition of Plzeň beer.

The ancient town of Plzeň has been one of the major centres of the Czech State since medieval times, thanks largely to Charles IV, who was the town’s guest on several occasions and turned it into an important commercial centre. The first mention of the Plzeň Brewery dates back to 1307; during the 14th century, all citizens of the town were granted the right to brew and sell beer and Plzeň gradually became a superpower of the beer industry.

In 1363, Charles IV initiated the founding of the famous town armoury, whose treasures are now exhibited in the Plzeň Museum of West Bohemia. Another monumental building referencing the reign of the famous Emperor is the Gothic Cathedral of St. Bartholomew. From its tower, you can observe the unique historical town centre, with picturesque streets full of original restaurants and pubs, ideal for finishing off your visit.

Katedrála sv. Bartoloměje © Václav Jirásek, archiv CzechTourism

In 2015, Plzeň was the European Capital of Culture. It is a real metropolis, offering a wide range of high quality services and cultural and entertainment events of both regional and European importance. Once in Plzeň, you can make romantic trips to its beautiful surroundings. You definitely should not miss the small town of Starý Plzenec and the ruins of the Radyně castle, founded by Charles IV. Another attractive destination is the ancient Benedictine Abbey in Kladruby, also known for the Baroque Gothic architecture of Jan Santini-Aichel and the picturesque town of Stříbro which is associated with the Hussite movement. Plzeň is also an ideal starting point for adventurous hikes in the mountains of Český les (Upper Palatine Forest) and Brdy.

© Libor Sváček, archiv CzechTourism

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