The Royal town Kadan/Kaaden

Kadan Travel Blog

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Fog in the Elbe/Labe river valley

Kadan (pop. 19,000) is a city in northern Bohemia, about 140 km northwest of Prague and only 20 km from the German border (state: Saxony). It is located at the Ohre river, with Erzgebirge mountains in the north and Dupovske mountains in the west. Traces of the first settlements are from the 4th century B.C. when Celtic tribes lived here, also known as La Tene culture. The first slavic tribes arrived in the region about the year 600. In 1259 Kadan got the privilege of a free "Royal" city, it prospered most under Bohemian King and Emperor Charles IV in the 14th century. In the late 15th century the city got under the reign of the nobility of Lobkowicz.

Kadan-Prunerov, changing trains
Nowadays it is a rather small city, most people work in the coal mines or power plants in the vicinity and live outside the old town in mostly restored apartment blocks from the communist era.

I travelled to Kadan by regional train from Decin via Usti n. L. - Teplice - Most - Chomutov. It was a pleasant ride with an interesting change of scenery and weather along the way: fog and clouds alternated with sunshine, typical for an autumn morning. I could see the Erzgebirge mountains and occasionally the cone-shaped peaks of the Ceske stredohori mountains, with the fog it was sometimes really mystic. From Most on it was pure sunshine. I had to change to a small railcar in Kadan-Prunerov, right by the power station, a typical 'sight' in this region, which is full of coal mines and industrial / power plants.
view of Kadan from the train station
Anyway, from there it was just a short ride to Kadan, I got off at Kadan, one stop before the railcar terminated.

I caught a glimpse of the main parish church behind some large apartment blocks, so knew in which direction to head. I passed the bus terminal, soon got to the complex with the - nicely restored - apartment blocks from the communist era, then walked up to the old town. It took me less than 10 minutes to get to the old city walls with a well preserved historic bastion and a nice little square - Löschner namesti - with St. Anne church. The square had been redesigned in 2009, and although the church was not open I enjoyed the stroll across this square - it had some art works, a fountain and also a little park with benches. I just turned a corner and walked down a short alley and then stood at the main square Mirove namesti.
walking to Kadan's old town


Wow! It was certainly one of the most beautiful small town squares I had ever seen ... if only there weren't these parked cars! Grrr! Anyway, the cobbled square was lined by well restored historic houses, often with arcades and gables, there were small shops, cafes, restaurants, a B&B. In the centre was the (in Czech towns) inevitable Baroque Trinity column. The historic street lamps were decorated with blooming flowers. Not to overlook were the main parish church and the white city tower with its very special, cone-shaped top made of stone, part of the old town hall.

I took my time for a stroll around the square, admired the buildings and did some window shopping until I got to a very, very narrow lane - Katova ulicka (Hangman's lane), the narrowest lane in the Czech Republic with only 61 cm width minimum.
walking to Kadan's old town
I walked through this lane and found myself at the former city walls, turned into a sort of garden. I strolled along these, first to the left to the bastion that I already had passed on the way from the train station, with occasional sculptures along the way, then back and to the other side until I finally reached one of the two remaining city gates, Zatec gate, with a well preserved barbican.

I continued my walk down to Ohre river, where hospital chapel Svaty Jan stood and from where I had beautiful views of the barbican and the old town. I saw that there was a nice new promenade along the river and followed this way. It was very enjoyable, with some art works, places for a rest and always beautiful views. I found out this was also part of the Ohre river cycling trail.
Löschnerovo namesti
When I got to the old castle I took the steps up. Unfortunately the castle was closed, but at least I could see the yard. Then I headed back to the main square. First I tried taking photos of the one remaining historic fountains, but the cars parked so close to it that it was hard to get right to the fountain. Shame!

Then I glanced inside the main parish church, correctly: Decanal church of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross. It was fenced off by an iron gate, but I could see that this was a really beautiful church - originally Gothic architecture but Baroque interior. Bright and airy, lots of nice altars, beautiful pulpit, well restored. Next was a closer examination of the ornate Baroque Trinity column, followed by a visit of the town hall with its Gothic tower. Admission to the town hall was free as it is an administration building, entrance was through the tower.
art work at Löschnerovo namesti
Upstairs was a huge Gothic hall with an interesting exhibit that I had a quick look at. The tower was only accessible with a guided tour and at the full hour, so I skipped it, wanted to come back later (but never managed.)

I walked along pedestrianized little Jana Svermy alley, at that time unfortunately a construction site, to the Tourist Information. The ladies there spoke English fluently and were very helpful, recommended places to eat and to see, provided many free brochures and - most important - excellent free maps of the city. I also bought postcards and stamps here. One of the lunch recommendations was right on the same street, Karl IV, so I went there.

I turned out to be a good choice. They had reconstructed the large entrance hall of a historic house as a dining room, interior was quite modern.
first glance at Mírové námestí
At first the waitress was a bit irritated because of language problems, but we sorted that out and I picked one of the lunch specials: Valassky soup (huge and yummy!) and chicken steak with veggies (small portion, quite good). I had a 0.3 l glass of Gambrinus beer, which was very tasty. For only 130 Kc (5 Euro) this was a very good lunch.

I continued through the other preserved city gate (Mikulovice Gate, also called Gate of Saints) and Smetana park with a way of the cross (very nice) to the former Franciscan monastery, now city museum and school of arts. It is a beautiful medieval complex with nice garden, vineyards too, and lovely views of the landscape and the town. Unfortunately the museum was only accessible with a tour that day and the two possible times were too late for me.
Mírové námestí
The guys there seemed to prepare a festivity (wine festival?) for the weekend and I wished I could have been back for this event.

Anyway, as I couldn't visit the museum I decided to head up to the top of neighbouring hill Svaty kopecek with viewing tower. It was a quite steep uphill walk through the woods, not well marked, but I finally found the way to the top. It was well worth the effort, the panoramic views were fantastic! I saw the mountains in the west and north (Doupovske hory and Erzgebirge mountains), peaks higher than 900/1200 m. Not to overlook were the industrial/power plants in the surroundings of Kadan, and I also caught a glimpse of the old town with Ceske stredohori mountains in the background. I took a different, shorter path back - even steeper - and only 15 minutes later I was back just outside of the old town.
a shop at Mírové námestí
I walked by the church St. Peter and Paul, presently used by the Czechoslovak (no joke!) Hussite Church (closed) and headed to cafe U Johanky, recommended by the Tourist Information.

They had tables outside on the nice square with park and fountain, right by Mikulovice city gate so I plopped down and waited ... and waited ... and waited. No service. I had no idea one had to order inside at the counter, but I finally realised that. No English spoken, no German, so I had to order using the little Czech I spoke ... A couple of minutes later I munched on a delicious piece of fancy cake and sipped a very tasty caffe latte after I had downed a glass of o-juice (very thirsty after the walk!). The check was 110 Kc, not even 5 Euro, a steal!

After that I walked in a hurry to the train station, caught the train and enjoyed the ride home.

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Posted on: Nov 23, 2017
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Fog in the Elbe/Labe river valley
Fog in the Elbe/Labe river valley
Kadan-Prunerov, changing trains
Kadan-Prunerov, changing trains
view of Kadan from the train stati…
view of Kadan from the train stat…
walking to Kadans old town
walking to Kadan's old town
walking to Kadans old town
walking to Kadan's old town
Löschnerovo namesti
Löschnerovo namesti
art work at Löschnerovo namesti
art work at Löschnerovo namesti
first glance at Mírové námestí
first glance at Mírové námestí
Mírové námestí
Mírové námestí
a shop at Mírové námestí
a shop at Mírové námestí
Entrance to Katova ulicka
Entrance to Katova ulicka
Katova ulicka
Katova ulicka
after passing Katova ulicka - gard…
after passing Katova ulicka - gar…
art work at the city walls garden
art work at the city walls garden
bastion at city walls
bastion at city walls
garden at city walls
garden at city walls
barbican of Zatec gate
barbican of Zatec gate
hospital chapel Svaty Jan
hospital chapel Svaty Jan
Ohre riverside promenade
Ohre riverside promenade
Ohre riverside promenade
Ohre riverside promenade
Ohre riverside promenade
Ohre riverside promenade
Ohre riverside promenade
Ohre riverside promenade
Ohre riverside promenade by the ca…
Ohre riverside promenade by the c…
castle
castle
castle
castle
castle
castle
Mírové námestí
Mírové námestí
Decanal Church of the Exaltation o…
Decanal Church of the Exaltation …
Decanal Church of the Exaltation o…
Decanal Church of the Exaltation …
Decanal Church of the Exaltation o…
Decanal Church of the Exaltation …
Mírové námestí with Trinity co…
Mírové námestí with Trinity c…
town hall
town hall
town hall
town hall
street Jana Svermy
street Jana Svermy
Tourist Information
Tourist Information
Mikulovická brána - City Gate of…
Mikulovická brána - City Gate o…
Lunch at U Karla IV
Lunch at U Karla IV
Lunch at U Karla IV
Lunch at U Karla IV
Smetana Park
Smetana Park
Smetana Park, Way of the Cross
Smetana Park, Way of the Cross
Smetana Park, view of Franciscan M…
Smetana Park, view of Franciscan …
chapel, final station of Way of th…
chapel, final station of Way of t…
Franciscan Monastery
Franciscan Monastery
Franciscan Monastery
Franciscan Monastery
Franciscan Monastery, garden
Franciscan Monastery, garden
Franciscan Monastery, vineyard
Franciscan Monastery, vineyard
Franciscan Monastery
Franciscan Monastery
Trail up to Svaty Kopecek
Trail up to Svaty Kopecek
Trail up to Svaty Kopecek
Trail up to Svaty Kopecek
Trail up to Svaty Kopecek
Trail up to Svaty Kopecek
Trail up to Svaty Kopecek
Trail up to Svaty Kopecek
Svaty Kopecek, viewing tower
Svaty Kopecek, viewing tower
Svaty Kopecek, view from the top
Svaty Kopecek, view from the top
Svaty Kopecek, view from the top
Svaty Kopecek, view from the top
Svaty Kopecek, view from the top
Svaty Kopecek, view from the top
Hussite church
Hussite church
by Mikulovicka brana city gate
by Mikulovicka brana city gate
coffee break at U Johanky
coffee break at U Johanky
Kadan Restaurants, Cafes & Food review
Good stop for coffee and cake
For coffee break the Tourist Information recommended this cafe, Kavarna U Johanky. It is located only a few steps from restaurant U Karla IV, in the h… read entire review
Kadan Restaurants, Cafes & Food review
Good choice for lunch
Upon recommendation of the friendly ladies at the Tourist Information I chose restaurant U Karla IV for lunch. This restaurant (and hotel) is located … read entire review
Kadan General Tips & Advice review
Getting to Kadan by train
I travelled to Kadan by train. The major railway route goes from (Prague or Decin - ) Usti nad Labem via Teplice, Most, Chomutov to Karlovy Vary. Comi… read entire review
Kadan General Tips & Advice review
Very helpful info
Kadan's Tourist Information centre is located in the pedestrian street Jana Švermy, one block off the main square. Take the little alley by the town … read entire review
Kadan Sights & Attractions review
Panoramic views
West of Kadan's old town, above Smetana park and the Franciscan monastery, rises a small mountain which is called "Holy mountain". The top reaches an … read entire review
Kadan Sights & Attractions review
Museum in a former medieval Franciscan monastery
Correctly named Franciscan monastery of the fourteen Holy Helpers, this is a National Czech Heritage site. It is located about a 10 minutes walk west … read entire review
Kadan Sights & Attractions review
A beautiful park
West of the old town, at the foot of Svaty kopecek (hill), is a nice park, named after Czech composer Bedrich Smetana. On my walk from the old town to… read entire review
Kadan Sights & Attractions review
City Gate of the Saints
This city gate is at the western side of the old town. It was built in the second half of the 14th century. Through this gate ran the road to Mikulovi… read entire review
Kadan Sights & Attractions review
Kadan Castle
The four-winged castle was built in the 13th century, commissioned by Premysl Otakar II. It was residence of the royal burgrave until the 15th century… read entire review
Kadan Sights & Attractions review
Nice stroll along the Ohre river
Probably the most scenic place in Kadan is the stretch along the Ohre river, I walked it from the old hospital church below the barbican to the castle… read entire review
Kadan Sights & Attractions review
remains of the fortified old town
Kadan's city walls are in large parts well preserved, especially on the eastern and southern side of the old town, where they are most impressive. On … read entire review
Kadan Sights & Attractions review
narrowest lane
Roughly in the middle on the eastern side of the main square Mírové námestí is the entrance to the "narrowest lane in the Czech Republic", named K… read entire review
Kadan Sights & Attractions review
Kadan's main church
The main catholic church of Kadan is another prominent building at Mírové námestí, the main square in the old town. The present church is a Baroqu… read entire review
Kadan Sights & Attractions review
Historic town hall with unique tower
The town hall was originally built after plans of local master builder Hundt in the first half of the 14th century. Well preserved from this time is t… read entire review
Kadan Sights & Attractions review
A beautiful square
Kadan's main square in the old town, called "Mírové námestí", is very beautiful. Two buildings catch the visitor's eye right away: The Gothic town… read entire review
Kadan
photo by: german_eagle