Prague to Vienna on Foot: A Day in Telč
September 19, 2014 • Leave a Comment
A series of posts following David and Gail as they walk 480 kilometers from Prague to Vienna.
Looking out of the window of our pension onto the sunlit square, it is not hard to imagine why Telč was listed as a world cultural resource by UNESCO. Our walk here was a significant, demanding detour from the Greenway. But we are here now, looking forward to a day in town. Telč did not disappoint.
Originally a moated medieval fortress town, it was transformed by Zachariáš of Hradec into a Renaissance jewel with later Baroque touches added by the Slavata and Lichtenštejn-Kastelkorn dynasties as well as the Jesuits. By the 18th Century, the job was complete and any further development to this town of six thousand happened outside of the town centre. Which explains why this is such an intact heritage jewel of a town.
The central square is trapezoidal in plan with its long sides narrowing down to a near point at one end, a wonderful perspective view of the buildings lining its sides. All of the buildings are arcaded, offering protected shopping along the square's perimeter. Above, the buildings are decoratively stuccoed to create deep-relief cut stone effects. Or the stucco is given an engraving-quality finish, using the Italian sgraffiti technique of applying two colours of stucco and scratching the top layer to reveal and create images in the bottom layer.
At the tip of the square is the Gothic-cum-Renaissance chateau, with some unique sgraffiti interior finishes. And for a good aerial perspective on the town, the treacherous assent to the top of the Church of St. James tower is worth the risk. Around the city centre, the original moats have been transformed into ponds with well used paths. A great place for a relaxing promenade before the serious walking continues...tomorrow.
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