The White Tower is the most dominating feature of the city. Standing some 71.5 m in height, this Renaissance campanile was finished in 1589 and served the town as a fire lookout and watchtower. The White Tower was named after its building material, which is white stone.
Points of interest: The tower houses the third largest and heaviest bell in the Czech Republic. The Augustine bell weighs 10 tonnes and is 2 metres in diameter. On special occasions it rings out even today. And if the hands on the clock seem to you to be the wrong way round, then your eyes are not deceiving you. One of the explanations is that in the past, minutes were not as important, and it was possible to see the large hand from a greater distance – e.g. from a nearby field.
Tips for visitors: Evening tours of the WhiteTower, Wandering with Monsters, Welcoming tourists under the White Tower.
Opening hours and more information: www.bilavez.cz
Hydroelectric Power Station and Renewable Sources Information Centre
The unique Art Nouveau building designed by the architect F. Sander in 1910 – 1912, which today is still a functioning and used technical monument, is the site of the newly opened information centre, which focuses on renewable energy sources. The exposition leads via a projection room onto the first floor where you can try out various models of facilities producing alternative energy or compete in knowledge games.
Points of interest: The exposition displays the real historical Kaplan and Pelton turbines and a functional model for a safely whipping up a tornado.
Tips for visitors: From the opposite bank you can feast your eyes on the evening festive illumination of the power plant. During various events or by agreement you can take a look inside the actual small hydrologic power station.
Opening hours and more information: www.cez.cz/cs/kontakty/informacni-centra/ic-obnovitelne-zdroje.html
Gallery of Modern Art in Hradec Králové
With its collections of works of Czech art of the turn of the 19th and 20th century this establishment ranks among the most prestigious galleries in the Czech Republic. Apart from the permanent exposition, exhibitions on the ground floor are regularly exchanged, presenting also work of contemporary artists. See for yourselves that art does not necessarily have to be dull. Families with children will receive a workbook containing artistic tasks so you can learn something interesting in an enjoyable way and in addition develop your artistic talent.
Points of interest: If you have time, come and see one of the private viewings. The top floor of the gallery commands an interesting view of theLarge Square.
Tips for visitors: On your visit to the nearby Kuks Hospital, take a detour to a meadow in Slavonice u Žirče where you can admire the set of sculptures called the “Story of the Trials, Tribulations and Hopes of Man“.
Opening hours and more information: www.galeriehk.cz
Holy Spirit Cathedral
The majestic gothic brick structure of the cathedral Church of the Holy Spirit was founded by Queen Elizabeth Richeza in 1307. The three oblong naves of the former basilica with a presbytery and towers were probably built in the period preceding the 1339 fire. After the fire, it was totally reconstructed, the towers were finished and the so-called Royal Antechamber was set up together with the adjoining vestry. In 1788–89 Baroque adaptations of the cathedral were implemented and one hundred years later the architect F. Schmoranz carried out demanding building adaptations in the Pseudo-Gothic style.
In 2007 busts of the Czech Queens, Elizabeth Richeza and Elizabeth of Pomerania, were installed in the Royal Antechamber commemorating their significant contributions to the foundation and completion of the cathedral.
The Holy Spirit Cathedral is open to visitors, for contemplation and meditation: Tuesday - Friday and Sunday.
Opening hours and more information: www.diecezehk.cz
Church of the Assumption of the Virgin
The original Jesuit Church of the Assumption of the Virgin was built by the architect Carlo Lurago in 1654–66. After the fire in 1762 it was restored by the Hradec Králové architect F. Kermer. The adjoining Jesuit College was founded as early as 1629, but remained unfinished until 1710. When in 1775 its original function was abolished, it was reconstructed in the then-Empire style for civil purposes in 1810-34 according to the design of the engineer J. Lauer.
Opening hours and more information: www.diecezehk.cz
Museum of dolls
Constant exhibition of dolls made since 1900 up to now.
Opening hours: Thursday - Sunday 10 AM - 4 PM, book group tickets.
More information: www.panenkarium.cz
Observatory and Planetarium
Apart from the regular viewing of the night sky, the Sun or other fascinating celestial bodies and demonstrations of telescopes as well as the description of the starry sky in the planetarium, the observatory offers a number of interesting lectures, exhibitions and a programme with an astronomic fairy tale – not just for children.
Points of interest: The observatory was built on one of the most beautiful spots – a ridge between Zámeček and Nový Hradec Králové, commanding a magnificent view of the Elbe lowlands to the west and an elongated valley with the Datlík and Roudnička ponds to the south.
Tips for visitors: You definitely should not miss out on the chance of taking a walk along the Galactic or Planetary Trail, which will take you not only through the beautiful scenery of the city woods but also along our Solar System and Milky Way.
Opening hours and more information: www.astrohk.cz
The Labyrinth of the Drak Theatre
The Labyrinth of the Drak Theatre consists of three basic areas: a studio stage, non-traditional museum of puppets and a theatre laboratory. The theatre laboratory is an experimental place where visitors will learn about the process of creating a theatrical performance. Why not become a stage artist, costume designer, director or even an actor? In the laboratory you will be given a chance to try out each of these jobs.
Points of interest: The Labyrinth offers a number of art workshops for the young and old.
Tips for visitors: During the theatre festival in June make time for the traditional Dragon Fair with merry-go-rounds, a swan carousel and other attractions.
Opening hours and more information: draktheatre.cz/en
Museum Exposition of Communication and Safety Technology
The exposition in the grounds of the Signalmont Company, visible also from the train on the Hradec Králové - Týniště nad Orlicí route, displays a collection of 370 mostly functional pieces of equipment from the beginnings of the railway until the end of the 20th century. You will see mechanical and light signals, pre-signalling and advancing bell equipment, as well as crossing and safety devices. Inside one can view telegraph mechanisms, telex devices, a public address system, time measuring and information equipment. You can walk freely among the exhibits and even try them out.
Points of interest: The first of the rooms of the internal exposition is furnished as a true copy of a dispatch office from the early 20th century including a copy of a painting of Emperor Franz Joseph I.
Opening hours and more information: www.tudc.cz
Museum of Eastern Bohemia
The almost certainly most beautiful building in the city was erected in 1908-1912 according to the design of the significant Czech architect Jan Kotěra. Other renowned Czech artists such as the sculptor Vojtěch Sucharda, painters Jan Preisler, František Kysela and Josef Novák participated in its decoration. Every year up to 10 -15 topical exhibitions are staged here, the permanent exposition displays three interactive models depicting the town during the period of the Middle Ages, as a military fortress and in its present day appearance.
Points of interest: From the very beginning the building was designed as a museum and today it is the only building listed as National Cultural Heritage in the city. Arch. Jan Kotěra also designed its interior including the furniture and other fittings. A bronze statue of a boy holding an allegorical depiction of Industry on the façade (the second one represents History) symbolises the city of Hradec Králové.
Tips for visitors: Museum Nights, Museum Advent Markets
Opening hours and more information: www.muzeumhk.cz
You do not need to travel half way across the world to admire the exotic fauna and flora of South andCentral America. More than 40 fish and 150 plant species await you in the grounds of the ENVI House in Hradec Králové. The largest fresh water aquarium with an underwater tunnel provides its visitors with first-hand contact with tropical nature. In the building there is also a ricochet court, sauna and weights room, which offer active private relaxation for the whole family.
Points of interest: The volume of the exhibition tank is130,000 l water. The aquarium is5 m long and8 m wide. The height of the surface from the bottom is4.8 m. The view from the bottom of the pool is facilitated by a tunnel made of6.5 cm thick acrylate glass.
Tips for visitors: You should definitely see the regular feeding of the fish by divers who are actually in the aquarium or savour a cup of coffee at the Piranha Café, where you can watch predatory fish of the same name.
Opening hours and more information: www.obriakvarium.cz
Šrámek’s Farm in Piletice
The timber building together with other wooden farm structures ranks among the unique sites of original folk architecture of the 19th century in the Královéhradecko Region. The interior of the timber house serves as an ethnographical exposition, which comprises of functional period items and furniture. Throughout the year this place is the venue of various folk celebrations and presentations of folk tradition. If travelling by bike you will undoubtedly enjoy the menu and atmosphere of the stylish local pub.
Points of interest: During various events at the farm home-made bread is prepared in a reconstructed oven.
Tips for visitors: Come and enjoy the real Czech Shrovetide or the hop harvest festival.
Opening hours and more information: www.sramkuvstatek.cz
Flošna Swimming Grounds
Since 2010 it has been possible to take a dip in the outdoor swimming grounds near the city centre on hot days. Finally, Hradec Králové can boast an excellent sporting and leisure centre. A fifty metre swimming pool, as well as recreational and children’s pools will satisfy every lover of water games. There are other attractions, such as a Jump slide, two toboggans, wild river simulator and a number of various massaging water jets. When you have had enough sunbathing on the grass you can have a game of beach volleyball. The grounds also contain a building of a wellness studio which is open all-year round. Moreover, the building houses a restaurant with bowling, fitness centre and squash court.
Points of interest: The outdoor swimming grounds were awarded the title 2010 Construction of the Year.
Opening hours and more information: www.koupalisteflosna.cz
Aquacentre – City Bath
Up to this day the building of the City Bath designed by Arch. Oldřich Liska and completed in 1933 is a functional and still-used technical monument in the city. After the 1998 reconstruction the City Bath was converted into an aquapark with a thirty-metre long swimming pool and many various attractions, such as a toboggan, whirlpool, many water jets and an artificial torrent. Furthermore, you can try out the sauna, pool-side bar, solarium or have a massage. However, the artificial waves have remained the biggest crowd puller. The admission fee also covers entry to the fifty-metre swimming pool, which is connected to the aquapark by a corridor.
Points of interest: The artificial wave apparatus was produced by the famous Kolben and Daněk company and installed as early as 1932, which suddenly made the City Bath the most modern facility of its kind inCentral Europe.
Opening hours and more information: www.snhk.cz, http://www.mesto-hradeckralove.cz/products/mestske-lazne-aquapark/
The indoor fifty-metre swimming pool with eight lanes is the perfect place for both serious and recreational swimming. In the week it is open from6 a.m. and at the weekend you can watch interesting sporting events there. The grounds also include a children’s pool and a steam cabin.
Opening hours and more information: www.snhk.cz, http://www.mesto-hradeckralove.cz/products/mestske-lazne-aquapark/
Rope-climbing Parkand Climbing Walls
You do not need to cut down on your climbing during the holidays. Perhaps you and all of your family can start this leisure activity here.
Since 2008 the outdoor rope climbing centre has been in operation at Silver Pond, offering an enjoyable experience for all age categories. The grounds which are situated on a romantic peninsula include a children’s park, high rope obstacles, centre for team-building and water world.
Other information: www.piranhaagency.cz
The recreational and camping grounds are situated in the spectacular landscape of the Nový Hradec woods and the Orlice Nature park. It is a very popular cycling stop-over, but from the centre you can get there by city public transport bus Nos. 17 and 11. The area offers a wide range of activities for either a family holiday or a one day trip. Fishing fans will find excellent conditions here and naturists can head for a nudist beach. Moreover, it is possible to hire a boat or a pedalo, use the beach volleyball court, mini-golf or have a paintball battle. There is also a rope climbing and leisure centre.
Opening hours and other information: www.stribrny-rybnik.cz
A non-traditional means of transport which will take you through the city centre and teach you some interesting facts about its history. The train is in service from May to October and starts at the Museum of Eastern Bohemia.
Time table and other information: www.dpmhk.cz
Expo Children’s Railway
The children’s railway has been in operation since August 2010. It is situated in a park at 5. května Square, stretching over350 mand leading over two small bridges. This train with three coaches runs from spring to autumn, weather permitting.
Time table and other information: www.nabreziparomilu.cz
Elbe Paddle Steamers and Rowing Boat Hire
Queen Elisabeth, Hradec and Pirate Boat steamers run a service from May to October, starting at the mooring on Smetana’s Embankment. An approx. fifty-minute cruise on the River Elbe will take you to romantic corners offering unusual views of the city. If you want a workout for your muscles, head for the local boat hire facility. Now one can also try out travelling on a motor boat on the Předměřice –Smiřice route.
Time table and other information: www.paroplavba.wz.cz
Botanical Garden of Medicinal Herbs
The Botanical Garden was founded together with the establishment of the Pharmaceutical Faculty of Charles University as a teaching pavilion in 1969. The premises are divided into several systems: recognition, botanical, phyto-therapeutic sections, poisonous plants and production areas.
Other information: +420 495 067 111
Expedition to Tongo Island
Tongo is an excellent entertainment park for the whole family. The hall stretchng over an area of 2,915 m2 contains many and various attractions, which offer enjoyment not only to your children. Each of these attractions represents a different island in the ocean. In one day you and your children can visit coral islands, a volcanic island, meet an octopus and a shark, climb up a cliff, make friends with “Nemo the Fish“ and get involved in a pirate battle.
Points of interest: The youngest children can enjoy themselves using a large play area with slides, climbing frames or in vehicles in which they can drive about throughout the whole park. Older children and adults can put their skills to the test with a climbing wall, huge climb-on volcano, trampolines, canon-ball area, slides and toboggan. There i salso a football pitch – basketball court as well as game tables for billiards, football, hockey and table tennis.
Opening hours and more information: www.tongohradec.cz
The gardens are situated on a triangular area bounded by the confluence of the Elbe and Orlice rivers. You will find there a number of rare tree species, the rests of the military fortification and St. Nicolas wooden Church from the begining of the16th century.
Opening hours: Apr – Sep 6 AM – 9 PM, Oct – Mar 6 AM – 4 PM
The city woods are not only a paradise for hunters, fishermen and mushroom pickers, but also a sought-after leisure-time destination for other visitors. An orientation map of this area can be obtained at the information centre and the city website, or even directly at some of the entrances to the wood, which are marked with information boards. The woods offer nature trails, cycleways of various ratings and facilities for in-line skaters, sports people and tourists, as well as horse riders, and in winter maintained tracks for cross-country skiers. In summer you can enjoy swimming in the Biřička Pond or have a barbecue and siesta at one of the three sheltered fireplaces. There are also children’s playgrounds and gazebos as well as benches and tables if you need a rest.
More information: www.mestske-lesy.cz
The multi-functional Festivalpark grounds are a unique project set up for musical, cultural and sporting events. On an area of 40 hectares with mature trees and asphalt roads/pavements it offers facilities for both small and large events. Every year it is the venue of the festivals – Hip Hop Camp and Rock for People. The Festivalpark also includes the one year-old CzechRing autodrome with three circuits and a unique multi-level crossing. Newly, visitors to the Festivalpark may try out the Adrenalin Zone with paintball battles, motorised skateboards, slack-line and other attractions as well as go-kart rides on the 700 metre long track.
Opening hours and more information: www.festivalpark.cz