I. Walking Route “Historical Town”

Historical Town The 2.5 km-long route around the historical town takes over 1.5 hours at a gentle walking pace. The first of the 13 stops can be found in front of the Tourist Information Centre on the Large Square close to the Holy Spirit Cathedral. When strolling through the old town and its romantic spots you will see the best of Gothic, Renaissance and Baroque styles.

Stop 1 – Town Hall | Stop 2 - John Paul II Square | Stop 3 – Former Brewery | Stop 4 - Bono Publico Staircase | Stop 5 – Jesuit College | Stop 6 - Gallery of Modern Art | Stop 7 – Small Square | Stop 8 - Mýtská Street | Stop 9 - L. J. Pospíšil Monument | Stop 10 – Žižka’s Park | Stop 11 – Klicpera’s Theatre | Stop 12 – At the Castle | Stop 13 - Svatojánské Square


Map-historical-town

Historical Town - map for download.pdf


Stop 1 – Town Hall

The first records of Town Hall No. 1 date back to 1418. During the Baroque reconstruction two clock towers were added (1786–87), and in 1850-52 the frontage was extended with another floor and adapted in the Classicist style.

The seventy metre high White Tower, which served as a campanile and a watch tower, was built in 1574–80 from white sandstone (hence its name). On the second floor hangs the eight-tonne Augustine Bell, one of the largest in Bohemia. Looking at the tower clock, one will undoubtedly notice the unusual way of measuring time – the small hand pointing to minutes and the large one to hours. The entrance, above which the motto of the then Emperor Maximilian is inscribed, reading “Deus providebit, vigilandum tamen (God will be provident though we ought to be awake), does not lead into the White Tower, but into the Chapel of St. Clement.

The Baroque Chapel of St. Clement was erected on the spot of the former oldest church in Hradec Králové in 1714–17 probably according to the design of G. Santini. The chapel's dome is decorated with a golden-plated papal tiara and two keys, symbols of the two former town gates.

Large Square in the 1870s

 Large Square in the 1870s

the Holy Spirit Cathedral, the White Tower and the Town Hall no. 1 dominating the city

 the Holy Spirit Cathedral, the White Tower and the Town Hall no. 1 dominating the city

the Town Hall No. 1 on Large Square

 the Town Hall No. 1 on Large Square

Stop 2 - John Paul II Square

The Holy Spirit Cathedral is the oldest preserved monument in the territory of the city. The Gothic triple-nave cathedral was built during the 14th century, the western entrance frontage with an organ loft dates back to 1463. The original church was promoted to a cathedral by Pope Alexander VII in 1664 after the establishment of the Hradec Králové Episcopate. The interior of the cathedral boasts the late Gothic painted triptych from 1494, an altar painting of St. Anthony by Petr Brandl and a pewter baptismal font from 1406, one of the oldest fonts in Bohemia, which the Hussite troops brought to Hradec Králové from the captured Podlažice Monastery.

The original Gothic Houses Nos. 48-52 served as the Canon’s prebend. Around 1725 they were rebuilt and fitted with Baroque gables.

Classicist Building No. 60–61 from the second half of the 19th century, which used to be owned by the Petrof entrepreneurial family, houses the Rectorate of Hradec Králové University.

Deanery No. 58 is a Baroque structure from the late 17th century, rebuilt in the Classicist style around 1780. In the 15th century the first Hradec Králové school was established at the rectory.

the Holy Spirit Cathedral

 the Holy Spirit Cathedral

the Canon's houses

 the Canon's houses

Deanery

 Deanery

Stop 3 – Former Brewery

Despite extensive reconstruction, the Municipal Brewery (currently the seat of the Regional Authority of the Hradec Králové Region) is still an interesting example of 19th century industrial architecture. The entire grounds were constructed gradually according to the designs of Johann Bělský, Viktor Weinhengst and Václav Nekvasil. The walls of the brewery cellars are decorated with stone slabs from the demolished Prague Gate and a statue of Gambrinus - the Patron Saint of brewers made by the sculptor Martin Ježek. The new staircase was built in 2007 during the reconstruction and conversion of the buildings into the cultural and administrative centre, the seat of the Regional Authority of the Hradec Králové Region.

The cavalry and artillery barracks (at present the District Court) were erected in 1786–87 during the conversion of the town into a military stronghold. The building is of a rectangular shape with two internal courtyards. The ground-floor vaulted premises used to house stables, the rooms above served as living quarters for the men as well as offices and a storage area.

the Municipal Brewery

 the Municipal Brewery

the Brewhouse

 the Brewhouse

the Holy Spirit Cathedral and the White Tower, a view from the barracks

 the Holy Spirit Cathedral and the White Tower, a view from the barracks

Stop 4 - Bono Publico Staircase

This Empire style Bono Publico Staircase connecting Komenského Avenue with the Large Square was built at the place of the former Fishermen’s Gate for “the benefit of the public” in 1810 according to the design of the military engineer Josef Lauer. The staircase is illuminated by daylight coming through the windows of three turrets, erected above the three landings.

The infantry barracks were built in 1785–88. The vast grounds consist of four large buildings connected into a rectangular shape stretching over an area of 163 x 67 meters. Thanks to its vast size the inner courtyard ranked among the largest in the then Austro-Hungarian Empire. The construction of the buildings came under the project of converting Hradec Králové into a military stronghold, when on the order of Emperor Joseph II the old town was surrounded by massive defensive walls. The construction work took place in 1765–1789.

the Bono Publico Staircase

 the Bono Publico Staircase

the entrance gate into the infantry barracks

 the entrance gate into the infantry barracks

the artillery barracks

 the artillery barracks

Stop 5 – Jesuit College

Episcopal Residence No. 35 was built in 1709–16; in 1777 its frontage was extended with the second floor. The stone portal above the entrance is decorated with the emblem of the fifth Hradec Králové Bishop Tobiáš Jan Becker (1701-1710).

The originally Renaissance burgher house called “At Špulák's” dating back to the second half of the 16th century was adapted in the Baroque style by František Kermer in 1750. The house was the birthplace of František Ulrich (1895–1929), who later became the most significant Mayor of Hradec Králové. A weather vane in the shape of an Austro-Hungarian eagle can be seen on the top of the tower to these days.

The new Adalbertinum, the former Jesuit College, was built according to the design of Pavel Ignác Bayer in 1671–1710 on the spot of former burgher houses. One of these houses was in 1621 the birthplace of the historian Bohuslav Balbín. After the abolition of the Jesuit Order in 1773 the college was used as military barracks and later it housed a grammar school, where the dramatist V. K. Klicpera used to teach and many important personalities studied, such as the dramatist J. K. Tyl, the composer F. Škroup, the historian V. V. Tomek, the writers A. Jirásek and K. Čapek as well as many others.

The Column dedicated to the Virgin Mary was made in 1715–17 probably by Jan Křtitel Bulla and it carries the oldest depiction of the current emblem of the city – the Czech lion holding the letter G.

the emblem of the city

 the emblem of the city

Episcopal Residence

 Episcopal Residence

the Column dedicated to the Virgin Mary

 the Column dedicated to the Virgin Mary

Stop 6 - Gallery of Modern Art

The Gallery of Modern Art is located in the building of the former Credit-Saving Institute, which was built in 1911–12 according to the design of the architect Osvald Polívka. The front portal is decorated with the sculptures of Science and Nature by Ladislav Šaloun.

The neighbouring House No. 141 (originally the Václav Špalek Department Store) was constructed in 1910–11 according to the designs of Vladimír Fultner and Oldřich Liska. The project, which together with the adjoining House No. 139–140 disrupted, due to its height, the horizontal line of the northern side of the Large Square, faced many negative responses from both the public and experts at the time of its creation.

The Jesuit Baroque Church of the Assumption of the Virgin Mary was built according to the plans of Carlo Lurago in 1654–66. The towers were erected in 1857, and the interior was rearranged several times, most noticeably in 1903–4 and 1941–5.

The staircase built in 1909–10 on the spot of the demolished Late Gothic Kropáčka Water Tower was designed by the architect Josef Gočár. With the daring composition design of the structure together with the technique of using reinforced concrete, this staircase was well ahead of its time.

Pseudo-Baroque House No. 30, formerly the renowned Golden Lamb Hotel, was designed by the architect Rudolf Němec in the early 20th century.

the original buildings on the spot of gallery

 the original buildings on the spot of gallery

the original houses on the spot of Golden Lamb Hotel

 the original houses on the spot of Golden Lamb Hotel

the Church of the Assumption of the Virgin Mary with the Water Tower

 the Church of the Assumption of the Virgin Mary with the Water Tower

Stop 7 – Small Square

Corner House No. 129 with a Baroque façade is decorated with Renaissance sgraffiti depicting Hope from the Revelation of St. John. The local general store and the fate of its owner was the topic of the novel “The Eaten out Shop” by Ignát Herrmann. The marble plaque of 1892 honours the fact that the dramatist V. K. Klicpera used to live here.

Originally built in the Gothic style in the early 16th century, House No. 111 was rebuilt in the Classicist style in 1780–90. A Latin inscription commemorates the event when the house burnt out during the Prussian invasion in 1762.

Classicist House No. 120 is the place, where an Imperial and Royal Company called V. F. Červený & Sons was founded in 1842. It produced musical instruments, which were known throughout many countries of the world.

New Town Hall No. 124–125 is a result of the mid 19th century Classicist reconstruction of the original Renaissance houses. In 1868 municipal offices were moved here from Town Hall No. 1.

Originally Renaissance House No. 126 from the second half of the 16th century, reconstructed in the Classicist style, used to be the renowned “Golden Eagle Pub”, where among others the dramatist Václav Kliment Klicpera directed his theatrical performances. Now it is a studio stage of Klicpera’s Theatre.

In the middle of the square stands a fountain, which is decorated with a copy of the   original sculpture of St. John of Nepomuk from 1772.

the former New Town Hall

 the former New Town Hall

northern part of Small Square in the 1930s

 northern part of Small Square in the 1930s

a fountain with of St. John of Nepomuk

 a fountain with of St. John of Nepomuk

Stop 8 - Mýtská Street

In Mýtská Street between Houses No. 2 and No. 126 there once stood the Late Gothic Silesian Town Gate from the late 15th century, which was pulled down in 1873.

Late Baroque House No. 219 was built in 1787–1797 as the seat of the Corps Headquarters. This place was known as “At the Generals’”, because even after the abolishment of the military stronghold commanders of the garrison still resided there until 1945.

The Evangelical Church of Czech Brethren with a parsonage was built in 1911–1912 according to the design of the architects Oldřich Liska and Josef Fňouk. In the garden stands a monument of Jan Hus by Josef Bílek.

The building of the Regional Court was constructed on the plot of the former stronghold cavalier of a pentagonal ground shape, which was preserved in the design of the architect Václav Rejchl. The court building was officially opened in 1934, and a prison located in the back wing was completed one year later. The frontage is decorated with sculptures of Law and Justice made by the sculptor Josef Bílek.

Mýtská (Silesian) Town Gate

 Mýtská (Silesian) Town Gate

the Evangelical Church of Czech Brethren

 the Evangelical Church of Czech Brethren

the Regional Court

 the Regional Court

Stop 9 - L. J. Pospíšil Monument

The statue of the Deputy Mayor Ladislav Jan Pospíšil was created by Josef Škoda in 1933. The base, which was designed by the architect Václav Rejchl, bears the inscription "Ladislav Jan Pospíšil, Liberator of the City from the Manacles of the Ramparts ". The monument was unveiled at the spot, where the demolition of the walls of Emperor Joseph’s fortification system was officially commenced on October 4, 1884.

The building of the artistic metal work school (currently the Secondary Hotel School) was built according to the plan of Tomáš Suhrada in 1892–93.

Corner Building No. 395 used to be a Jewish Synagogue. The Moorish style building designed by the architect Václav Weinzettel was completed in 1905. The frontage reveals a Hebrew inscription "Together we went to the House of the Lord ".

A constructivist building, today’s seat of the Municipal Council of Hradec Králové, was deigned by the architect Josef Gočár and constructed in 1932–36 as the seat of District and Revenue Authorities. The structure of the symbolic letter H ground plan consisted of two almost identical buildings. The common entrance is embellished with a sandstone relief of the Czech lion and four steel flagpoles.

the artistic metal work school

 the artistic metal work school

Pospíšilova Avenue with the Synagogue

 Pospíšilova Avenue with the Synagogue

the District and Revenue Authorities

 the District and Revenue Authorities

Stop 10 – Žižka’s Park

Žižka’s Park was founded on the spot of the former military exercise ground in 1905–6. The landscape design over the three and a half hectares of the park is the work of Prague landscape architect František Thomayer.

The Jan Žižka Monument, which dates back to 1971, was created by the sculptors Jiří Dušek and Jan Hejtman.

Žižka's Park Žižka's Park

 Žižka's Park

Žižka's Park

Stop 11 – Klicpera’s Theatre

The building of Klicpera’s Theatre was constructed in 1885 at the place of the residence of the military stronghold commander and the later general hospital according to the design of the architect and builder Viktor Weinhengst. In years to come it was reconstructed several times with the largest adaptations having been implemented in the 1990’s.

Corner House No. 177 was designed as the seat of the Credit-Saving Institute by the Prague architect Václav Nekvasil, whose construction company erected the building in 1903-4. Later, a revenue authority had its offices there and in 1939 to 2013 it served as a municipal library.

Klicpera's Theatre

 Klicpera's Theatre

the Credit-Saving Institute

 the Credit-Saving Institute

the corner house No. 96

 the corner house No. 96

Stop 12 – At the Castle

The former Episcopal Seminary with the Church of St. John of Nepomuk was built in 1709–14 by master builder Vojtěch Schneider. In 1769, 1790 and 1805 the seminary was extended with new wings. The Church is a single-nave Baroque structure in the shape of a Latin cross which is 20 meters in length, 13 meters in width and 15 meters in height. The interior wall paintings were made by monks from the Prague Emmaus Monastery in 1887. The grounds include a Renaissance burgrave house dating back to 1585–86, which was partially adapted in the Baroque style around 1720. The vaulted hall of the burgrave house was probably a part of the royal castle, which had been erected there in the 14th century and in the 15th century it had been used as a seat of the Czech Queens – Elizabeth Richeza and Elizabeth of Pomerania. The whole castle complex was demolished by Hussite troops in 1423 and its remnants definitively disappeared in the second half of the 18th century during the conversion of the city to the military stronghold.

The Late Empire style House No. 230, which was built on the spot of the former municipal granary in 1852–53, served mainly for teaching activities. Throughout the years it used to be a seat of a Teachers’ Institute, a Lyceum and a Girls’ Grammar School.

the Episcopal Seminary

 the Episcopal Seminary

the Church of St. John of Nepomuk

 the Church of St. John of Nepomuk

a Teacher's Institute

 a Teacher's Institute

Stop 13 - Svatojánské Square

Originally built in the Gothic style, House No. 85 “At Glauers” (to the left) was reconstructed in the Renaissance style in the mid 16th century. In 1782 Josef Liboslav Ziegler, later to become a priest and national revivalist, was born here, which is commemorated with a plaque from 1882.

On the spot of the opposite House No. 163 there used to be an originally Gothic building, later adapted in the Renaissance style. Then in 1911–12 it was reconstructed in the Pseudo-Baroque style from the design of the architect Rudolf Němec. The recess displays a statue of St. John of Nepomuk from 1774.

Art Nouveau House No. 169–171 was erected in 1909 on the spot of three structures, which were owned by the entrepreneur Antonín Hanuš. The author of the project was the architect Vladimír Fultner.

In V Kopečku Street between Houses Nos. 79 and 81 there used to stand a Renaissance town gate, called Prague Gate, from the second half of the 16th century, which was demolished in 1875.

construction works on Svatojánské Square around 1909

 construction works on Svatojánské Square around 1909

western part of the square with the Prague Gate in 1866

 western part of the square with the Prague Gate in 1866

Prague Gate

 Prague Gate

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