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Location - Eastern Europe; Capital - Prague; Population - 11 million; Currency - Czech Crown (Koruna) MORE CZECH REPUBLIC

From Olomouc in the east it's about five hours by train and bus via Brno to the small town of Telc in South Moravia - January 2012.


Czechnote100 Czech Crowns. Eventually the Czech Republic will enter the Euro zone.









czech286The colourful building facades of Telc's main square, known as Nam Zachariase z Hradce


czech309I was hoping for a scene of the town reflected in the surrounding lake, but Ulicky Pond (foreground) was iced over and covered with snow -Telc




czech285The main square's buildings date back to the 16th century - Telc















czech288They were designed in Italian Renaissance style - Telc













czech294Taking her son for a 'walk' - Telc



czech295One of the main square's covered arcades which is made up of cafes, shops and a few restaurants - Telc


czech297 At the tip of the square is the 16th century Chateau and St George's Chapel - Telc












czech301The icy waters of Ulicky Pond outside the old town - Telc













czech303Snow settles on a doorway near the Water Chateau - Telc


czech314Ducks make the most of the melt - Telc


czech317Namesti Premysla Otakara II is Ceske Budejovice's main square















czech315Samson's Fountain stands in front of the Town Hall - Ceske Budejovice












czech324A night view of Namesti Premysla Otakara II with the 16th century Town Hall on the left - Ceske Budejovice


czech328czech328aCeske Budejovice is famous for Budweiser Budvar (not to be confused with the American Budweiser, with whom they have a naming rights issue). Tours to the Budvar brewery are available. BB Budweiser is another brew from this Czech city.


czech325The Gothic style Rabenstejn Tower in the old town of Ceske Budejovice












czech332 The area of the old town around Panska near the Rabenstejn Tower is colourful and worth a wander - Ceske Budejovice












czech333Several old town streets are pedestrian-only - Ceske Budejovice


czech335On the left is St Nicholas Cathedral and on the right is the 16th century Black Tower - Ceske Budejovice


czech337I only include this 15th century Gothic building as it's called the Iron Maiden Tower.
An influence on the naming of the band? Probably not - Ceske Budejovice












czech342An hour's drive from Ceske Budejovice is the beautiful town of Cesky Krumlov


czech347Cesky Krumlov is known for its castle and historic old town


czech345The ornate Round Tower is part of Cesky Krumlov Castle - Cesky Krumlov













czech349A Marian Plague Column stands in the central square Namesti Svornosti - Cesky Krumlov













czech353Walking the old town streets towards the Round Tower - Cesky Krumlov



czech359The Vltava River runs beneath Lazebnicky Bridge and past the former St Jost Church - Cesky Krumlov


czech362It might not look it here but Cesky Krumlov is a very popular tourist destination, full of restaurants and souvenir shops - Cesky Krumlov













czech361Go to the top of the Round Tower for fantastic views of Cesky Krumlov













czech368Bottom right is the castle's second courtyard which leads to the main building, with the Vltava River below - Cesky Krumlov


czech370The balcony pillars of the Round Tower - Cesky Krumlov


czech372The snow covered roofs of the old town. Lazebnicky Bridge is at the bottom and top left is St Vitus Church - Cesky Krumlov












czech379The view from the castle's fifth courtyard. Again, St Vitus Church dominates the opposite side of the river - Cesky Krumlov












czech382The castle was originally built in the 13th centuryLords of Krumlov. in 1302, their relatives the Rosenbergs inherited the castle. In 1602, the Emperor Rudolf II. von Habsburg bought the Krumlov dominion- Cesky Krumlov


czech386A covered walkway linking the castle's courtyards - Cesky Krumlov


czech371Na Ostrove is a tiny island opposite the castle - Cesky Krumlov













czech390The Vlatava curves around the old town - Cesky Krumlov













czech391The sun reflects off the Vlatava waters - Cesky Krumlov


czech395The Round Tower rises high above the city (left) while centre-right is St Vitus Church - Cesky Krumlov


czech399The castle and its colonnade - Cesky Krumlov













czech404Take a walk along the river: there's plenty of restaurants to rest at waterside - Cesky Krumlov













czech407The 14th century St Vitus Church - Cesky Krumlov


czech410A sidestreet leading to what I think was the wax museum - Cesky Krumlov


czech412There's a few eye-catching designs around Cesky Krumlov













czech417..Not all relating to fingers and toes - Cesky Krumlov













czech414St Vitus Church pops up again, behind a row of riverside houses - Cesky Krumlov


czech418Photographing doors/doorways seem to be my current whim - Cesky Krumlov


czech420Plzen's central square is Namesti Republiky, dominated by the hefty St Bartholomew Church













czech424Namesti Republiky also has a Plague Column (right) - Plzen













czech427The West Bohemian Gallery is set in a centuries-old butchers' stalls building - Plzen


czech436I wondered if this was a comment on the current state of the world's economy - Plzen


czech428Beer lovers may want to visit Plzen to tour the Pilsner Urquell brewery (Plzensky Prazdroj in Czech), the world's first pilsner beer, brewed in Plzen.
This is Na Parkanu, the Brewery Museum's bar in the town centre, where you can taste unfiltered Pilsner Urquell.











czech429The 19th century Great Synagogue is the third largest in the world - Plzen















czech437The city is also famous as the original home of Skoda - Plzen


czech485There's quite a few spa towns in the Czech Republic and Karlovy Vary is one of the most well known













czech490Lots of grand buidlings line the Tepla and Ohre rivers - Karlovy Vary













czech491Sheltering from the sleety snow at Cafe Elefant - Karlovy Vary


czech492A soggy puppet outside U Svejka cafe bar - Karlovy Vary


czech493The Market Colonnade houses two of Karlovy Vary's hot springs














czech49564°C Pramen Karla IV is the oldest spa in Karlovy Vary














czech499Steam billows out from the Hot Spring Colonnade. This colonnade contains the 15m-high spring Pramen Vridlo but it was closed for renovation works - Karlovy Vary


czech501I peered through the window and wondered if this is where Pramen Vridlo spouts its stuff. Surely it can't be switched on and off though, so maybe not - Karlovy Vary


czech508The 18th century Mill Colonnade has five springs - Karlovy Vary













czech507The spring waters I drank either tasted sulphurous or more often than not, metallic - Karlovy Vary













czech503Many locals and apparently Russians come to the spa towns to drink the mineral-rich (and medicinal?) thermal waters and partake of various health treatments - Karlovy Vary


czech505Waiting in line to fill their bottles - Karlovy Vary


czech509Becherovka is a herb liqueur created in the 18th century by Dr Becher using the spa waters of Karlovy Vary













czech440An hour's drive north of Prague is Terezin, a Jewish transit camp during World War II. The above photo is the National Cemetery - headed by the Star of David - for those bodies found in mass graves after the war.


czech468The entrance to Small Fortress, a converted prison - Terezin


czech446'Arbeit Macht Frei' (Work Sets You Free) is the chilling but familiar slogan that greets visitors to Nazi concentration camps - Terezin












czech448The Terezin fortresses were originally built in the 18th century. This is the male prison section of the Small Fortress - Terezin













czech452The Small Fortress also had isolation cells - Terezin


czech455This is the isolation cell of Gavrilo Princip, one of the assassins of Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria, the act of which precipitated World War I - Terezin


czech459A huge network of tunnels exist below the Small Fortress, excavated long before the Nazis took control - Terezin














czech460We exited the tunnels in the former moat, close to a WWII execution field - Terezin













czech464Terezin was portrayed as a model Jeiwsh settlement - a propaganda film was even made to reinforce this, using Jewish prisoners. This section of the Small Fortress was built to accommodate the expanding number of prisoners.


czech469Less than a kilometre away is the Main Fortress. In 1941 the local population living inside the fortress grounds was expelled and a Jewish ghetto was created for use as a transit camp; a prison had already been set up in the Small Fortress in 1940 - Terezin


czech480It's estimated that 33,000 people died in the camp, mainly from hunger and disease; 88,000 were deported to Auschwitz.
The Ghetto Museum, pictured, was used to house the camp's Jewish boys - Terezin












czech477The Church of the Resurrection stands to the right of the former Commandant's Office - Terezin












czech471The Magdeburg Barracks housed the Jewish 'self government' during the ghetto period. It now forms part of the Ghetto Museum - Terezin


czech474Prisoners would arrive via rail. The Columbarium is behind - Terezin


czech475A menorah sits at the end of the mortuary. This lies close to the Ceremonial Hall where the last rites took place - Terezin













czech473Bodies were taken to the Crematorium, which now houses a small museum. The Jewish Cemetery surrounds it - Terezin













czech482Sun pierces the clouds above the Main Fortress - Terezin


czech483Many of the buildings in Terezin are decaying and long in need of restoration. I presume many have too close an affiliation with WWII events for anyone to want to restore them.


czech484A rather graphic sign. I get the gist.. Terezin













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