The Highlands region straddling the historic divide between Bohemia and Moravia is one of the least polluted regions in the country. It is exactly as you would imagine an idyllic rural region to be: hills, woods, lakes, meadows, streams meandering through shallow valleys and country roads lined with trees wending their way from one village to the next. In this paradise on Earth for walkers and skiers you´ll also discover many historical towns and remarkable tourist sights.
Three of the last of these can be found on UNESCO´s list of world cultural heritage. They are the pilgrimage Church of St John of Nepomuk at Zelená hora on the outskirts of Žďár nad Sázavou, the Romano-Gothic Basilica of St Procopius and the Jewish Quarter and cemetery in Třebíč, and the historical centre of Telč. Other towns worthy of mention include Jihlava with its underground passageways, Pelhřimov, Kamenice nad Lipou, Velké Meziříčí, Přibyslav, Humpolec with its unique museum, Havlíčkův Brod with its partially intact defensive walls, the glassmaking town of Světlá nad Sázavou, picturesque Pacov, Třešť – the town of nativity scenes – and Polná with its well preserved Jewish heritage.
Highlighted from the region:
The historical centre of one of the most attractive towns in the Czech Republic is listed by UNESCO as a world cultural heritage site. In addition to its Renaissance chateau and park, these listed sites include the main square with its townhouses sporting Renaissance facades and arcading, fountains, Baroque statues and other features.
The town´s superbly preserved Jewish quarter, including two synagogues and a Jewish cemetery, is listed by UNESCO as a world cultural heritage site, as is the Romano-Gothic Basilica of St Procopius.
The Pilgrimage Church of St John of Nepomuk at Zelená hora just outside Žďár nad Sázavou
This is an exquisite example of the so-called Baroque Gothic style created by architect J. B. Santini. Legend has it that five stars appeared above the body of the drowned John of Nepomuk, hence the layout of the building in the shape of a five-pointed star. The church also has five entrances, and there are five stars and angels on the main altar. The church, which stands in the midst of a cemetery lined with cloisters, is also a UNESCO-listed site.
Thanks to the silver mining industry, this was once one of the wealthiest cities in the land and still retains some of its original defensive walls and a number of other interesting localities. The Gustav Mahler House, the underground passageways, the Highlands Museum with its silver mining and coin exhibitions, the town hall, the zoo and the Vodní ráj water park are all well worth a visit . Get a bird´s eye view of Jihlava from the Mother of Our Lord Gate or from the top of the tower belonging to the Church of St James.
This town with a charming historical centre has a range of interesting sights such as the Museum of Records and Curios, the Ghost Museum, the Lipský Halls and the Highlands Museum with its permanent exhibitions including cells, a torture chamber and a prison chapel. With its summer pavilion and aviary of exotic birds, the Deacon´s Garden is a great place to find a bit of peace and quiet.