I’ve planned to visit Telc at numerous occasions but I haven’t made it there until recently. I didn’t even mind it’s the end of November and the weather is far from being perfect, the 3 days long weekend seemed like the perfect opportunity to finally go to southern part of Czech Republic.
As I stumbled across the website dedicated to the Emperor Charles IV with already made itineraries I didn’t even had to plan all that much, the frame of my trip was all there. After spending some time in Jihlava – the oldest mining town in Czech Republic – I moved to Telc to see what the whole hype is about.
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Short history of Telc, Czech Republic
The town was founded in the 13th century, being perfectly located at the crossroads of trading routed between Bohemia, Moravia and Austria. In 1335 it was redeemed by the (then) margrave Charles IV only to exchange it shortly after with Jindrich of Hradec for the border castle in Banov. Seems like it was the best that could have happened to Telc as under the rules of that family the town burgeoned: the castle, church, houses and water fortifications were built and the town was given the right to hold annual markets by Charles IV.
The best period for Telc happened when Zacharias of Hradec took over the town – most of his restorations as well as the developments we can admire still today! For centuries the town was ruled by noble families and until now it feels like this perfect little town transferred in time from its great times.
Did you know that the year 2016 marks 700th anniversary of Charles IV birth? You can follow footsteps of the most notable Czech ruler during your travels around Czech Republic! Just visit Charles IV travel website for more details!
What I expected to see in Telc
I must admit that as much as I wanted to visit Telc, Czech Republic I also didn’t have my expectations way too high. I thought there is just the picturesque market square that can’t be as big in real life as it is on the pictures, and that’s all. How wrong I was!
Telc might be a small town but it is full of attractions. From the already pleasant area you need to walk through the gate on Palackeho street to find yourself in a different world.
If you fell for the Golden Lane in Prague then you will like streets surrounding the market square in Telc too – small colorful houses are just the cutest! But still the best is yet to come!
Stunning market square in Telc
The market square in Telc – Namesti Zachariase z Hradce – is one of the most beautiful I’ve ever seen! It quickly turned my worries before visiting Telc were ridiculous! The place is spacious – on the hazy day like the one I had it was difficult to see the other side clearly – and so very charming!
The majority of the houses has the same dimension – the front is between 8 and 10 meters wide – and I think this is the reason why the place looks so unique, there is some kind of harmony in the urban planning here. Houses were built in the Gothic style but they were reconstructed at numerous occasions and so what we can admire now represent Renaissance period – that’s also when impressing arcades were added.
All of the houses look really spectacular with all the small details but there are some that deserve more attention, particularly those at numbers 15, 32 or 61. At number 10 you will find the town hall.
I don’t even want to count how many pictures I took of this very square. It was so charming and so picturesque I just couldn’t stop clicking on my camera., even the far from perfect weather didn’t stop me.
But houses are not the only things worth paying attention to! In the upper part of the square there’s the Plague column from the beginning of 18th century, two fountains and a water pump that is still working (I’ve checked).
Christmas market at Telc Chateau
At the end of the market square Telc Chateau dominates the area. Originally it dates back to the 14th century and was built in the Gothic style but the most noble man of Telc – Zacharias of Hradec – rebuilt it into the Renaissance Chateau (he even invited Italian artists to do so). The chateau is surrounded by green spaces – an inner Renaissance garden and a lovely park around.
When I visited the premises a little yet busy Christmas market took place there. It just gave the place much more charm and authenticity. There were mostly local people strolling around, the place was vibrant and lively and it was easy to imagine how the life in the chateau used to look like! I really loved the idea of placing the Christmas market in such a special place, it was like putting new life in it!
The park with the view
I wish I could have stayed longer at the Christmas market and enjoy some Czech goodies that were for sale. But it was getting dark (the downside of travelling in November…) and I still wanted to see how the town looks like from behind the surrounding ponds.
As soon as I entered the small bridge a whole bunch of ducks approached me, probably expecting food – too bad I didn’t have any.
Again, the view from here was much better than I expected, the buildings gave a perfect reflection in the water, sometimes disturbed by the ducks passing by. The dusk was well on, I was on my own in the park and the place looked and felt kind of surreal to me, that it is just in my imagination, too beautiful to exist.
How much time do you need for visiting Telc
Even if I’ve stayed overnight in Telc I only had some 2 hours of the daylight there. I thought it will be enough for such a small place. It wasn’t.
At some point I felt like I’m rushing around a little bit, to see all the details on the houses at Namesti Zachariase z Hradce, to check all the backstreets or to enjoy the Christmas market and the view from the waterside. And I didn’t even enter the chateau or went up to see the view from the Tower of Holy Spirit as both were closed.
So if you plan to visit Telc give yourself at least half of the day, to see everything properly and to fully enjoy the place!
Visit Telc before everyone else does!
While most of the people I met in Telc were locals, especially at Christmas market, I was really surprised to also see two Asian groups (in November!). I really thought that the town is still undiscovered, a hidden gem of Czech Republic but it seems I was wrong.
So if you want to visit Telc do it as soon as possible, or in the off season – I’m sure it is a matter of time that more tourists will find out about it! But I can’t blame them – this town really is like from a fairy tale!
If you think of visiting Czech Republic or just want to read more about the country take a look what else I wrote about it:
- Cool places to visit in the Czech Republic
- Visit Brno – a perfect Central European city
- Photo walk through Zizkov – the authentic Prague
- and many more!
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