From entire town centers to castles and gardens, we recommend trying to see these cultural points of interest during your Czech Republic itinerary. You won’t be disappointed!
Here’s our breakdown of all 12 Czech Republic UNESCO World Heritage sites.
All 12 Czech Republic UNESCO Sites
1. All of Prague
Besides being one of the most beautiful cities in Europe, no the world, all of Prague is a UNESCO site! It attracts millions of visitors each year to explore the amazing historical monuments and city center.
Most of the city was built between the 11th – 18th centuries, but the most notable city monuments are from the 14th century built by Charles IV.
The colorful row of historic homes that make up the historic city center of Telc in Southern Moravia was named a Czech Republic UNESCO site since 1992.
The beautiful city center is made up of beautifully preserved Renaissance and Baroque homes. What you see today was built after a devastating fire in the 14th century when Zacharias of Hradec decided to change the castle from Gothic to Renaissance and the townspeople followed.
Highlights include the row of gorgeous homes in the city center and the chateau.
There are also a maze of underground tunnels that interconnect the entire town below the streets used for food storage and a way to escape town if there was another huge fire or invaders.
3. Cesky Krumlov
The entire historic city center of Cesky Krumlov has been crowned a UNESCO site in the Czech Republic. It’s a great example of a central European medieval town that has been carefully preserved over the years.
There are many things to do in Cesky Krumlov, but the big one is to visit its 13th century castle made from a mix of Baroque, Renaissance, and Gothic architecture. The castle is the focal point in town and can’t be missed. It is said that Cesky Krumlov castle is the 2nd largest in the Czech Republic, coming in closely behind Prague Castle.
Located on the banks of the winding Vltava River in South Bohemia, it really does look like like something straight out of a fairytale.
Cesky Krumlov Castle is home to one of the world’s best-preserved Baroque Theaters. You can tour the theater but spaces are limited as humidity and temperatures must be controlled at all times for preservation.
4. Kutna Hora
The rich silver mining town of Kutna Hora made the Czech Republic UNESCO list thanks to the historic town center, Church of St. Barbara, and Cathedral of our Lady at Sedlec.
Because of the silver mining that brought much wealth to Kutna Hora, it was an important place not only for Bohemia but also as a political player in Europe.
There are many things to do in Kutna Hora. This includes the Gothic church of St. Barbara, Santini’s Church of the Assumption of Our Lady, Sedlec Ossuary, the Italian Court, and the Jesuit College.
The Church of St. Barbara was completely funded by the locals and took over 600 years to complete.
5. Lednice & Valtice Cultural Landscape
Located in the heart of Czech Republic’s wine country in Southern Moravia the ruling Lichtenstein family shaped the landscape after their two Baroque, classical, and Neogothic castles. This makes the area one of Europe’s largest artificial landscapes.
The entire surrounding landscape underwent man-made design with architects to be fashioned like English landscapes. This included tedious and extensive work such as digging new channels of the Dyje River to raising the level of Lednice Park.
You can go wine tasting in the Wine Salon in the cellar of Valtice Chateau for an unforgettable experience. Two of our favorite Czech castles are also in this area, Valtice and Lednice Chateaus.
6. Litomysl Castle
One of the largest Renaissance castles in the country, Litomysl Castle was named a Czech Republic UNESCO site in 1999.
It was built in an Italian arcade style architecture as well as having Baroque touches.
7. St. John of Nepomuk in Zelena Hora
The Pilgrimage Church of St. John of Nepomuk is another example of fine work by Santini. The star-shaped complex and design are between Neo-Gothic and Baroque styles of architecture.
The star shape of the entire structure has 5 points to reference the 5 stars in the halo of St. John of Nepomuk, who was martyred in 1393 in the Vltava River by Wenceslaus.
It is said that Nepomuk was the confessor of Wenceslaus’ wife which led to jealousy and caused his death.
The five stars on his halo represent the stars in the sky the night of his death. He is now considered the protector from floods and drowning and is often seen as statues on bridges including the Charles Bridge in Prague.
The historic village of Holasovice, not to be confused with the Prague neighborhood, is a great representation of a traditional central European village. Visiting was actually one of our favorite things to do in the Czech Republic.
Set in South Bohemia you can get an idea of what rural life consisted of here in Holasovice.
Named a Czech Republic UNESCO site in 1998, the town is so remote that it doesn’t see the hoards of tourists other popular Czech Republic UNESCO sites see.
The entire population was almost completely wiped out between 1520 – 1525 due to the bubonic plague. There were only two survivors! It took years for the local population to recover and ended up recruiting people from Austria and Bavaria to move here.
If that wasn’t hard enough, many of the inhabitants left and abandoned their farms during the Communist regime in the 20th century. It wasn’t until 1990 when Holasovice was restored and soon after became a UNESCO site.
Holasovice has its very own “Stonehenge” located in a field just a few steps away from the city center.
9. Holy Trinity Column in Olomouc
Olomouc is home the Czech Republic UNESCO site of the Holy Trinity Column. It’s located in the Upper Square of town.
The column was made as gratitude by the locals for the of the plague that swept across Moravia in the 16th century.
The column took 40 years to complete and is very symbolic to the locals. During the Prussian War, the Holy Trinity Column was struck by a shot and severely damaged. The locals begged their enemy to stop shooting near the column, and they did.
The column has since been repaired and there is a golden cannonball in the place where the column was struck.
Olomouc has its very own cheese and a socialist-themed astronomical clock. The original clock was destroyed by the Germans during the last night of fire in 1945 when rebuilt locals decided to make the clock to honor the people during socialist times.
10. Jewish Quarter & St. Procopius Basilica in Trebic
Trebic is home to not one but two Czech Republic UNESCO sites. The first site being the Romanesque and Gothic Basilica of St. Procopius and the other being the Jewish Quarter of Trebic.
The Basilica is home to the second oldest fresco paintings in Moravia. The best-preserved area is the crypt that was once the burial place of the monks that ran the monastery.
The Jewish Quarter is considered one the best preserved Jewish ghettos in Europe. Made up of two synagogues, a cemetery, and narrow roads with small homes and buildings.
The Jewish Quarter is the first independent Jewish monument to be honored outside of Israel.
11. Gardens and Castle of Kromeriz
Located in the Zlin region, the gardens and castle in Kromeriz have been named a Czech Republic UNESCO World Heritage site for their well preserved Baroque castle and gardens.
The garden is known as a pleasure garden for the Bishop who would bring his guests here to admire the ornate patterns of the beautiful baroque gardens. The gardens were built with complete symmetry and if you can catch a peek from above on the top of the colonnade you will easily see the patterns and symmetry for yourself.
Some of the garden’s highlights include their collection of exotic trees, the Classicist semi-circle colonnade, and the elegant rotunda situated as the centerpiece for the gardens.
Zlin is also home to Thomas Bata, founder of Europe’s most famous footwear brand.
12. Villa Tugendhat
The youngest of Czech Republic UNESCO sites is Villa Tugendhat. While there are a lot of cool things to do in Brno, this by far tops the list. It represents the movement of modern architecture to make its way to Europe in the 1920s.
The three-story villa was designed off more of a minimalist principle, which is opposite of all the local Baroque, Renaissance, and Gothic details found in many buildings and monuments throughout the country and Central Europe.
The family who owned Villa Tugendhat were a wealthy Jewish family and had to flee to Switzerland in 1938, only 8 years after the completion of their home. You can read their whole story in the book, the Glass Room.
For more tips on planning you trip, don’t miss our massive Czech Republic travel guide!
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