Another day, another tip for a trip! This time we explored Pardubice, examined its history & its best places you can visit this summer! Going for a pleasant walk and learning new things at the same time is possible in Pardubice through the Path of Vilém of Pernštejn. The total length of this circuit is 2.5 km and it doesn’t require much time to see it (approx. 2 hours), which means that even visiting seniors or parents with small children will not get very tired walking this distance.
I recommend you to follow the next route to have effective sightseeing of Pardubice:
The Green Gate
The Green Gate represents one of the most important features of Pardubice. Together with the castle, it dominates the historical center of Pardubice. The area of the “Green Gate” includes two buildings – the Gate and an approximately 60-metre-high-tower.
In 1521, the town was reconstructed. Back then it was not even called “Green”, but “Prague” as the road to Prague started there. The legend says that after a grand fire in 1538, the Prague Gate underwent a radical change. It was rebuilt and adorned with an impressively intricate roof with 8 turrets and a high pyramid surrounded by gold-plated balloons, banners, and a sun. The roof was covered with copper sheet, which glittered an aureate gloss for miles around. It might have inspired the proverb “shine like Pardubice”. Through the process of oxidation, however, the copper sheet became green over time. Hence it became the “green” tower.
The climb up the 60-meter-high tower is livened up with newly opened historical expositions. The Green Gate also offers a fairytale-like trip into history particularly intended for children. These are meant to tell the visitors about the history & legends of Pardubice (for example about the apparition of the coat of arms of this city). By getting to the top of the tower, visitors are rewarded with a fantastic view of Pardubice and its surroundings.
DID YOU KNOW? The legend about the coat-of-arms of the City of Pardubice:
Bohemian King Vladislav II set off to Italy in 1158 with Emperor Friedrich Barbarossa to conquer the town of Milan in a war that brought renown to Bohemian warriors for their bravery. During one night-time raid, they were able to capture the horses and the war standard of Milan. However, the people of Milan began to deflect the attack and forced the Bohemians out of the town. They released the portcullis just as the last of the warriors was fleeing on his horse. The white horse was cut in half but still managed to carry its master for a while. The brave squire, named Ješek, took his faithful half-horse on his shoulders and carried it all the way to the camp of his king, Vladislav II. As a reward for his bravery, he was given the front half of the horse as his coat-of-arms.
This square holds the town hall of Pardubice, built in the Neo-Renaissance style. It went through a historicizing reconstruction of older houses dating back to the period from 1892 to 1894. In 1775, the plague column with the statue of St. Mary dating from 1695 was decorated by Jakub Teplý with a costly sandstone balustrade, in which he also included figures of local saints in addition to heraldic decorations and symbols of the Czech lion and the local saints. The houses in the square and in adjacent streets show the oldest traces of the late Gothic style.
The Chateau (Zámek)
Pardubice Castle ramparts form a unique territory. Although it is situated within sight of the vibrant city center, visitors can find here an oasis of calmness, inviting to walks and relaxation opportunities in the shadow of fully-green trees. A unique characteristic here is a couple of Dutch goats and peacocks walking freely on the territory.
According to archaeological finds, the origins of a manor house on the spot date back to the end of the 13th century. Since those times, it has undergone numerous reconstructions. The most significant took place at the end of the 15th century and beginning of the 16th century when the original castle was transformed into a palace. In 2001, the castle was added to the list of National Monuments of the Czech Republic.
The area near the Chateau (Přihrádek)
This territory represents a connection line between the castle and the town. As previously mentioned, most of the tourist attractions from Pardubice are mainly concentrated in the city center, so it is not very difficult to get to any of them. Přihrádek provided the function of a fortified area in front of the gates and also served as the economic background of the domain administration.
Other interesting attractions to be visited are the Church of St. Bartholomew, Tyrš Park & the East Bohemian Museum, the exhibition of Czech glassmaking, the exhibition of weapons & money, etc. All in all, Pardubice has genuinely flourished in recent years. We suggest you visit it at least for a couple of hours and convince yourself. By the way, Pardubice is just 20 minutes (by train) apart from Hradec Králové, so you can visit both of them on the same day, just the way we did! 🙂
Photo credit: Jakob Bartošík