About Bohemia - Bohemia (West Czech Rep)
When most people think of Bohemia in the Czech Republic, Pilsen (Plzeñ in the local language), the fourth largest city in the Czech Republic, has long been the recognized cultural centre for the entire Bohemia. The district of Pilsen has impressed many visitors to this part with its beautiful countryside, deep forests, rivers, lakes and wealth of cultural monuments. You will find just about all architectural styles, as well as wonderful spa towns like Karlovyary and its national parks with ski resorts in the Krkonose Mountains.
Located in western Bohemia, Pilsen was established at the meeting of four rivers and during its existence of 700 years has managed to preserve its prominent position among Czech towns. With a population of more than 165,000, Pilsen is an important cultural, economic, transport, commercial and industrial centre. It is an industrial city famous for its brewing of Pilsner beer; engineering home of the Skoda works, as well as its many historic sights, international exhibitions, symposia and festivals. If your interest is other than the famous brewery, plan a stop at the 13th-century Gothic church, and the 16th-century Renaissance town hall.
If your interests lie with a spa vacation, begin your explorations by bus or train west from Prague to Karlovy Vary or Marianske Lazne. The best known spa towns, Karlovy Vary, Marianske Lazne once frequented by Goethe, and Frantiskovy Lazne are in Western Bohemia.
Baroque is the most significant architectural style of West Bohemia but it is represented mostly in the church monasteries. The chateau of Nebilovy represents this typical architectectural style. From an earlier period one can see small hunting and leisure chateaux such as Kozel, Kynzvart and Luzany.
The Krkonose (or the Giant Mountains) form the border between Poland and the Czech Republic. The Krkonose are the highest mountains in Bohemia and have historically formed part of the north east of country. The Krkonose are one of three national parks and the most visited mountain region in the Czech Republic. Established in 1963, Krkonose National Park has an area of 363 square kilometers. The entire mountain area is a paradise for skiers and mountaineers and is considered the most important Czech touristic region.
Rokytnice nad Jizerou is a tourist and sport centre of the western Krkonose mountains. Apartments and hotels of Horni Rokytnice and Dolni Rokytnice (Upper and Lower) are surrounded by as many as thirty ski lifts plus the chair lift to the Lysa Hora Mountain, being the main attraction of the resort in winter. The resort is located in a beautiful valley, with stunning views of the slopes of Studenov and Kotel jutting upward 1434 metres above sea level. Visitors to Rokytnice nad Jizerou can make use of numerous ski slopes of varying difficulty, cross-country trails as well as slopes fit for snowboarding.
Regional events take place throughout the year including - in May, the International Jazz Festival Karlovy Vary; in June, the Opera and Musical Festival; in July, Mozart and Karlovy Vary; in August, the Days of Beethoven; and in September, Dvorak's Autumn of Karlovy Vary.
Fly to Prague from most major European hubs. Also, low cost airline EasyJet provides flights from Gatwick, Stansted, Bristol, Newcastle and Nottingham East Midlands.
General routes from Prague include:
Drive: Prague - Mladá Boleslav - Jicín - Nová Paka - Jilemnice - Rokytnice nad Jizerou
Bus: Prague- Brno- Ústí nad Labem- Liberec- Mladá Boleslav
Train: Prague - Chlumec nad Cidlinou /change/ - Martinice v Krkonoších /change/ - Rokytnice nad Jizerou.
For information on bus and rail connections visit: www.idos.cz