Walking routes - The short town walk
Learn to know the town by means of walks, tourist-information system consisting of information boards placed on important buildings and by means of a booklet giving important information about attractiveness of the given objects and making orientation in the town easier. You find here three topic walking tours: a small circle, a middle circle and a large one. The small circle takes about half an hour, the middle circle about an hour and the large circle about one hour and thirty minutes walking. It is possible to combine these circles together. Become guides to yourself!
1. The Town Hall and the Tower
The Town Hall was originally built in 1362 to be
used as a cloth market, though there were meetings
of the municipal council there. Since the Hussite
Wars the whole building has served the local authorities.
In 1559 the building was given the
Renaissance design by Jiří Všetečka of Pardubice.
The place was used as a prison for prominent people
of the time. Assets confiscated during the Thirty
Years´ War, such as hops and corn, were stored
there. In the 18th century, following the foundation
of district authorities and two big fires, more radical
changes were made. The 47-metre-high tower then
took shape. Today it serves as a watchtower from where there is an excellent
view of the town and its surroundings. If you are lucky enough and can see the
Házmburk Castle from its gallery, one of your secret wishes will come true.
2. The Sloup Nejsvětější Trojice
Killer epidemics of the plague inevitably led to tragedy
in the Middle Ages. The most serious one afflicted the
town in 1582.To protect the town, between 1707
and 1713 the Holy Trinity Column (12.7 metres
high) was erected by the sculptor František Tollinger
of Litoměřice with the help of the pharmacist
Calderar. The statues are the work of J. K. Vetter
(1735). Round the column there stand the statues of
the Saint Joseph with the Infant Jesus, the Saint
Wenceslas, Sigismund, Florian, Anthony, Prokop,
Charles Borromeo and John Nepomuk. The column
is topped by the Holy Trinity and a copper cross.
3. The Oldest Beer Drinker´s Grave
A grave with the oldest beer drinker was discovered in this place on 1st April
2001, thereby confirming beyond doubt the existence of the ancient hop civilization
of Homolupulus. In the grave there was a 0.49 litre vessel, a fragment
of a travel beer barrel and an earthenware tablet with seven engraved strokes
- the oldest known beer bill. The deceased man was named Lojza Lupulín, and
the symbol of seven engraved strokes became the logo of the Cathedral of
Hop and Beer Association, the aim of which is to give publicity to the uniqueness
of the Žatec hop region.
4. The Libočanská branka
The Libočanská Gate is one of the four original accesses
to the town centre which has been used by pedestrians
since the turn of the 13th and 14th centuries. It
links the centre with the Podměstí (Lower Town). Jan
Willenberg, the painter of the oldest picture of Žatec
and of many other notable towns, used the same gate
to get into the town at the beginning of the 17th century.
The gate has remained unchanged for centuries.
Since 1843 it has been used as a residential building. Until 1879 there stood
a bastion in proximity to the gate with a plaque and date of 1463 - the year
when the construction of late Baroque ramparts was finished.
5. The Kněžská brána (see the photo on the front page)
The second preserved entry to the inner town is the Priests´ Tower. Originally,
there was a big fortification and another tower ahead where all the routes from
the west converged. The name indicates its proximity to the former Minorite
Monastery. In the 14th century it was called the Gate of Our Lady Beatified,
the Women´s Gate or the Lower Gate as a twin gate to the Prague Gate, also
called the Upper Gate. Its facade is practically a copy of the one built between
1899 and 1906. The commemorative inscription on the inner side of the gate
was written in Latin by Karolides of Karlsperk, a poet at court of King Rudolf II.
6. The žatecký pivovar
The brewery stands on the site of the former Žatec
castle. The fact that Břetislav II. and the future Polish
ruler Boleslav III. spent Christmas here together in
1099 shows the importance of the building. The castle,
separated from the town by a moat, ceased to
exist at the beginning of the 15th century. At present,
the so-called Water Tower is the only preserved
part of it. In 1419, the nearby Minorite monastery of
St. Peter was burned down. Then the abandoned
place was fenced off by newly built town walls. In 1751 new barracks and a
brewery (1797 - 1801) were built nearby. The Baroque Loretánská Chapel,
dating from 1713, stood in front of the brewery until 1945.
7. The Chrám Nanebevzetí Panny Marie
It stands on the site of an early Romanesque basilica, the stonework of which can be found in both towers. Between 1340 and 1370 the popular Petr Parléř´s workshop participated in its reconstruction. The main altar, together with the picture of the Assumption of the Virgin, dates from the 17th century. The side Chapel of St. Nepomuk was added in 1724 - 1728. The front was rebuilt in the Baroque style between 1740 and 17. The Chrám Nanebevzetí Panny Marie It stands on the site of an early Romanesque basilica, the stonework of which can be found in both towers. Between 1340 and 1370 the popular Petr Parléř´s workshop participated in its reconstruction. The main altar, together with the picture of the Assumption of the Virgin, dates from the 17th century. The side Chapel of St. Nepomuk was added in 1724 - 1728. The front was rebuilt in the Baroque style between 1740 and 1773. Most of the statues around the church were erected by Jan Karel Vetter, the Žatec sculptor, in the years of 1728 and 1729.773. Most of the statues around the church were erected by Jan Karel Vetter, the Žatec sculptor, in the years of 1728 and 1729.
8. The former Grammar School
The old town brewery was changed into a grammar school between 1802 and
1807. Later, after an adjoining house no. 126 was bought, it was extended. On
6th August 1833, the school was visited by the emperor František Josef I. and
his wife, the empress Karolína. The famous explorer Emil Holub studied here
for a short time. When the school was moved to a new building in 1903, it
served for education purposes only. Then, from 1929 to 1939, it housed a
town museum and, after World War II, the town archives.
9. The Sloup sv. Floriána
The column was erected by the Žatec sculptor Jan
Karel Vetter between 1742 and 1746 in memory of
the great fire which the town suffered in 1738, and as
a protection against possible future natural disasters.
The erection of the column was financed by the
money raised by the inhabitants of Žatec. The high
three - sided pedestal was adorned by the statue of St.
Florián, the patron saint of firemen, masons and miners.
There are also the statues of St. Lawrence and the
Madonna and it was topped by a statue of God the
Father sitting on the globe.
10. The Jewish Synagogue
The Jewish Synagogue is the second largest in the Czech republic. It was built
between 1871 and 1872 by the architect Johann Staněk. Its construction was
funded by the Jewish community. On 18th March 1872 it was ceremonially
consecrated by rabbi Abrahám Frank. In 1911 it was renovated and completely
decorated with paintings. During the Crystal Night from 9th to 10th November
1938 it was burnt out by the Nazis. Since then it has never served its original
purpose. The facility used to be renowned for its excellent acoustics.
11. The smallest hop - field in the world
A local rarity, the smallest hop - field in the world, has been standing on the
site of the Church of the Holy Rood since 1967. The church was replaced by
a police station in the 18th century. The latter was replaced by the monument
to the emperor Josef II. in 1882. His statue was pulled down and thrown into
the river Ohře in 1919. In 1930 the empty pedestal was adorned by a bronze
lion - a memorial commemorating the victims of World War I.
12. The old Post Office
Originally a house entitled to brew beer
was bought by Maxmilián Hošálek in
1584. As Mayor of the town he had it
rebuilt and decorated with graffiti and
frescos which was why the house was
called "Painted". Hošálek was beheaded
by the headsman Mydlář in the
Old Town Square in Prague in 1621. His
head was attached to the Prague Gate
as a warning to others and his family had to leave the house. J.C. Calderar
bought it in the 17th century. He made a pharmacy called "At the Golden
Pelican" there which was in operation until 1870. Towards the end of the 19th
century a balcony and a new Neo - Renaissance front were added. From 1872
it was a post office and a telegraph and that is why it is called the old Post