Holašovice… some might confuse it with the Holešovice suburb in Prague 7, but in fact, it is a lovely town in the south of Czechia. Its history is also tragic – but today, it is one of the greatest hidden gems you can visit in the country.
The first mention of Holašovice dates back to the middle of the 13th century. It was a village discovered during the colonization mission in South Bohemia, approximately 16 kilometers west of České Budějovice, near the border. Soon, the tiny town was formed, and people started living there. The name of the city originates from the word ‘Holaš,’ which was the surname of its founder. Throughout the centuries, approximately 140 inhabitants have lived there – and this beautiful, small city experience a lot of horrors.
In the first half of the 16th century, the plague took place, which exterminated the entire population of Holašovice. Everybody suffered from the disease and, in the end, died from fatal injuries. German settlers came to replace the citizens and stayed in the village.
Holašovice experienced the second disaster right after World War II. Since the entire population was german, they wanted the city to be a part of Germany. Nevertheless, after the war, in 1946, the city had to deal with expulsion. This has affected the majority of Holašovice citizens. Most of them lost their homes, families, and had to relocate again.
In the following years, no one had rebuilt or renovated the village – the complex connected by enclosing walls with gates and magnificent arches. All of the 120 buildings were built in the rural Baroque style (stucco decor). The oldest site and the most visited tourist attraction is Farmhouse #6, which has remained in its original shape since 1530.
In 1998, Holašovice was recognized for the unique architecture by UNESCO.
What are some of the things to do in Holašovice? The most popular activity would be to visit the village and its outstanding gables of farms. The exhibitions are changing from time to time, so stop by the Tourist Information Center and take a free leaflet. It is also possible to request a private or group tour: the route starts in the center of the square and continues to the eastern part of the village. Some of the buildings are used as guest houses, restaurants, and souvenir shops. There is also a possibility to participate in a ceramic workshop, which is a great experience for kids! You can learn more about the houses and the route on the official website – just click here! Today, the ‘Peasant Festival’ is held in the area every year in July, where you can buy traditional and modern craft from Bohemia, Morava, and Slovakia.
The other things that you might be interested in doing are visiting other villages and towns such as Zliv, Pištín, Tupesy, Radošovice, Záboří, Břehov, Čejkovice. For example, in Zliv, you can see the ancient two-arched bridge, the neo-gothic chapel of St. Wenceslas, and the natural swimming pool. In other villages, you can see the baroque style architecture with rural and folk motives.
Moreover, you can discover a couple of farms which are located near Holašovice. The first farm is called Vondrov, and it was initially a Schwarzenberg farm. If you love horse riding, this place is for you! There is an enormous hall which is designed specifically for horse riding activities. The second farm is Farm Sucha. Interestingly, it was also a Schwarzenberg farm. Today, you can visit the brewery and have a beer tasting. Great experience for beer-lovers and for people who want to try something new and local!
If you’d like to get more romantic, there are two magnificent ponds in the area. Dehtar Pond is the tenth-largest pond in the Czech Republic, where ducks are bred. The other pond is Bezdrev, which is the third-largest pond in Czechia. You can enjoy swimming there, or you can go to the nearest swimming pool and aquapark.
The activities in the Holašovice area are diversified: from enjoying the historical buildings to participating in fun activities, such as horse riding. We hope you find something you would love to do there as soon as it gets safe to travel!