The foundation of Telč is based on a legend, which was told more than 900 years ago, in 1099. According to it, the city’s establishment is linked with the victory of the Moravian Prince Otto II over the Czech prince Břetislav.
The city is situated between Prague and Vienna. Most people believe that it was the winner who built a chapel, which later became part of the famous church. In the 13th century, the original royal fortress was built on the trade routes’ crossroads; it was the historic core of the city. Only in the second half of the 16th century, the town started to expand – the castle was reconstructed with enclosed ponds and gates by architect B. Maggi of Arogno. The chateau’s exterior and interior were breath-taking – outside, there was a lovely garden with a park. At the time, Zachary of Hradec was in power.
A few centuries later, Telč established itself as the blood vessel of the entire region of southwest Moravia, rapidly growing due to the railway establishment in 1898. With this industrial change, the city gained cultural and economic authority, encouraging people to migrate there. The main square includes the historic complex of buildings in Renaissance and Baroque styles that remained untouched. Interestingly, their arcades and facades are built-in synergies, as was planned centuries ago. In 1992, Telč got listed as a UNESCO heritage site.
The first must-visit place in Telč is the Renaissance-style chateau. In the 16th century, it was reconstructed from the original Gothic style. Visits to the fortress are available only with guided tours – you can choose from a wide range of options. The first tour (route A) takes about 50 minutes and goes through the most sight-worthy interiors. The second tour (route B) lasts 40 minutes and showcases the rooms that were last occupied by Liechtenstein’s Podstatský family in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.
The main square of Telč full of colourful houses straight from the Disney movies is also worth your attention. But that’s not it. This particular place can tell you a lot about the history of Telč without the need to look for a guide. Fun fact: all of the buildings were white until the Renaissance era, when they received the beautiful re-paint and even marks, signifying their original owners. For instance, one of the buildings has pretzels on the pillar (they almost disappeared with time, but are still visible). This sign means that a family of bakers lived there.
There is much to discover on the surface of Telč, but perhaps, some of the most interesting things are buried underground. Beneath the surface, there is a maze of connected tunnels and cellars, which use to connect all the houses from the 13th until the 14th century. The cellars were used to store goods and alcohol (mostly beer) and served as a shelter in case of fires or invaders.
If you’ve seen all of the above in Telč, then drive 30 minutes to Slavonice, in the direction of the border with Austria. It is a town full of mesmerizing Renaissance and Baroque buildings. Surprisingly, there is also an underground area full of cobblestones. Also, there are plenty of cafes and restaurants where you can have a delicious local meal. Great stop before heading back home!
Telč is a city full of picturesque views, deep historical roots, and some great stories to tell. If you are ready to listen, then hop in a car and drive – a lot is waiting for you!