Plzen Travel Blog› entry 1 of 3 › view all entries
Since we had to be in Berlin to pick up some of my artwork, but didn't feel like taking to usual route, we came up with the slightly insane idea of taking the long way round and heading into the Czech Republic first. So on saturday morning, we left our hotel in Germany where we had arrived the previous night and headed to the Czech border. We bought a vignet for the highway and drove straight to Plzen.
We arrived sometime around noon, checked in to the hotel, right outside the city center and then went looking for lunch. On the market square, which was only a 10 minute walk from the hotel, we sat outside at a café and both had a ham and cheese sandwich and a pint of Plzen's famous Pilsner Urquell.
The Market Square is dominated by the majestic Saint Bartholomeus Cathedral. On one corner of the square is the Plague Monument and the beautiful Renaissance City Hall. The rest of the square is a mix of pretty old colourfull houses and Soviet concrete. Right outside the city center is the grand Synagoge from 1893, built in a Morish-Roman style. Everywhere you look is interesting architecture. Often even some Art Nouveau buildings.
East and south of the city center is a beautifully kept park, which is home to Plzen's most famous inhabitants: Spejbl and his son Hurvinek, the 2 wooden theatre puppets.
We sat in the park on a bench for quite some time, enjoying the weather and a much needed break in our hectic life, but when it started to rain, we headed back to the market square and the safe haven of one of the cafés there for coffee and pie.
We made our way back to the hotel to get a jacket, since it had cooled a lot now and after a little rest, went looking for dinner. We found a small restaurant in one of the side streets where the menu was in German and had authentic Czech cuisine: duck with red and white cabbage and dumplings, washed down with a few pints of Plzen's other famous brand: Gambrinus.
Feeling rather stuffed, we wobbled back to the hotel for a good night sleep.