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UNESCO Sites, Part 2 – Vysočina

 
photo:  (czechtourism.com)
 

The Vysočina Region is proud of two UNESCO World Heritage Sites – the historic downtown of Telč and the Basilica of St. Procopius and Jewish Quarter in Třebíč.

 

Telč (map)

Telč is a picturesque ancient town with a population of nearly 6 thousand. It is situated in the south-western part of the Czech-Moravian border region. It is a significant tourist destination in the Czech Republic, mainly for its historic downtown comprising a large complex of buildings of the Telč renaissance castle with a church, and the square with its prevailing renaissance and baroque houses. In 1970, the town was declared an urban monument. It was inscribed in the UNESCO list in 1992.

The present look of the Telč square originates from its reconstruction in the 16th century, mostly due to Italian architects and their innovative solutions for facades, which greatly inspired many local builders. The original burgher houses around the square were built in the 14th century. They were made of wood but after catastrophic fires were replaced by houses of brick. Along the medieval, narrow and long grounds, houses with arcades, and with gables in the renaissance, baroque and classicist style were built.

A part of the historic downtown is a large renaissance castle from the 16th century, designed by architect B. Maggi from Arogno. It is a true jewel of Moravian renaissance architecture. The value and the attractiveness of Telč Castle are extremely big as the original magnificent interiors and period furniture have been preserved in very good condition. The castle premises are now used by the ethnographic museum. In the castle gardens, you will come across an art gallery dedicated to the renowned Czech painter, Jan Zrzavý.

Třebíč (map)

The city of Třebíč is situated at the edge of the Czech-Moravian Highlands. The most significant monuments are the Roman-Gothic Basilica of St. Procopius and the Jewish Quarter and Cemetery. In 2003, both monuments were inscribed in the UNESCO World Heritage List. By the way, after Jerusalem, the Jewish monuments in Třebíč are the only monuments inscribed in the UNESCO List separately.

The Basilica of St. Procopius originates from the mid 13th century. It was built in the Roman-Gothic style and has survived in its original layout and architectonic design. First, the basilica was consecrated to the Virgin Mary. Later, during several wars, the basilica was devastated and for more than 200 years it was used for secular purposes (stables, granary, beer warehouse). After renovations which lasted from 1725 to 1731, the basilica was consecrated to St. Procopius. At present, it is used by the church.

The city of Třebíč used to be an important centre of Jewish culture in Moravia, which is obvious if you come closer to its unique and well-preserved Jewish Quarter. It consists of a compact complex of 123 preserved houses. Besides the residential houses, there are, for example, two synagogues, the Jewish Town Hall, the rabbi office, the poorhouse, the hospital and two schools. The Jewish Quarter in Třebíč is one of the best preserved židovských quarters in Europe. Another rarity is the cemetery, located some 400 metres from the Jewish Quarter. The tomb stones originate from different periods, from the renaissance to present times. The oldest tomb stone reads the year 1630. A part of the cemetery is the ceremonial hall built in 1903 whose interiors are truly unique: they allow ceremonies to be conducted according to old Jewish traditions.
 


 
Author: Romana Kuncová
 
Source: unesco-czech.cz
 
Added: 12.06.2011
 
 
 

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