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Klatovy Medieval Town

Catacombs with mummies, Baroque pharmacy

Order Tour Code: C SWW2
Tour availability: Tour available in summer season Tour available in winter season Recognized by UN as an unique heritage site

A tour of the town is invigorated with a visit to the Baroque Pharmacy, ‘U Bílého jednorožce’ (At the White Unicorn). This unique exposition of the pharmacy of the time maps the development of this ‘trade’ from 1776 to 1966, when the pharmacy stopped being run as a business. With its interior and furnishings and equipment, not lacking elements of curiosity, coming mainly from the 18th century, is a recognised monument of cultural history placed in the register of UNESCO.
Opening Times:
May-October daily except for Mondays 09.00 – 12.00 13.00 – 17.00
November-April by arrangement

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The Black Tower, the work of Antonio de Salla, reaches the height of 81 metres. The tower was built in the period 1547 to 1557 of unplastered ashlar blocks. This unmistakable feature was meant as the place from which to overlook and control the centre of the town and to serve as a lookout against fire and enemies. It was an ostentatious symbol of wealth. To reach the gallery on the fifth floor there are 226 steps. The beautiful view of the surrounding area, and in clear weather the distant peaks of the Šumava National Park, is your reward.
Opening Times:
May – September daily except Monday 09.00 – 12.00 13.00 – 17.00
October – April Saturday & Sunday only 09.00 – 12.00 13.00 – 16.00
November – March Closed

The still majestic appearance of the Baroque Jesuit Church of the Immaculate Conception of the Virgin Mary and Saint Ignatius with its richly wrought decorative façade and interior attracts us from the first glance. The architect Carlo Lurago began the building in 1656, later sharing its design and completion with the architect Giovanni Domenico Orsi. During the ensuing centuries it has reconstructed been many times. The church is built in the form of a Latin cross with a cupola on the shoulder of the cross and maintains in such a way the classic concept of a Jesuit Cathedral. The Baroque portals are the most marked external feature, coming from the work of the recognized architect Kilian Ignatius Dienzenhofer.
Concurrent with the church in this period of Jesuit activity in Klatovy must be included the building of the Jesuit College, which served their objectives of raising the standard of education of the local people. After the dissolution of the Jesuit order the building was turned into a barracks and a school of brewing. From 1990 it has been used as a shopping centre, but is also the seat of the Town library.

Almost every town has its Town Hall. From here have sprung the decisions and impulses which have influenced the development of the town and the surrounding area. The building of the Town Hall was begun in 1557, but various repairs and alterations over the centuries have completely changed its appearance.The last big transformation was in the pseudo-Renaissance style, based on the plans of the architect Josef Fanta and completed in the period 1923 – 1925. The sculptures are the work of C.Vosmik and F.Rouse, the painting are by L.Novak and J.Cejka. This building still houses the Town Hall administration.

The Catacombs
The mysterious underground rooms under the Jesuit Church of the Immaculate Conception of the Virgin Mary and Saint Ignatius evoke a feeling of religious reverence. In this church crypt were buried members of the Jesuit order and important people of the town. Even before the completion of the building at the beginning of the 1670’s the first dead were laid to rest here. The Emperor Josef II forbad by decree burial in the catacombs, which also forbad burial in churches. Because of the ingenious system of ventilation it was possible to maintain the optimum temperatures necessary for the conservation of the mummified bodies. 30 mummies are preserved at present.
Opening Times:
May – September daily except Monday 09.00 – 12.00 13.00 – 17.00
October & April Saturday & Sunday 09.00 – 12.00 13.00 – 16.00
November – March Closed

The gothic Archdeacon’s Church of the Virgin Mary offers a moment of peace and spiritual reflection, situated on one of the little streets off of the square. This 13th century building is the oldest in Klatovy although it has been many times altered and enlarged. Alterations in the 15th century completely changed its original appearance. Largely as a result of this intervention a unique atrial space was created, which now just as then impresses with its particular church atmosphere. Within its confines is the miraculous picture of the Virgin Mary of Klatovy holding in her arms the child Jesus, and to which is related not only the centuries old legend of miraculous healing, but also the authenticity of human blood on her injured brow. Also preserved is the Chapel of the Revelation to the Virgin Mary, ‘Chaloupka’, (the Little Cottage) built in 1696 at the place where the original house stood in which the miraculous picture was for some time stored. Ever year at the time of the Klatovy Fair an important church procession takes place through the streets of the town honouring the memory of this painting.

A little apart from the cathedral stands the White Tower, originally a belfry built in 1581. After the fire of 1758 it was raised and altered into its present form. The portal of the tower was originally sited in the façade of the Archdeacon’s church.

Worth mentioning is the nearby Dominican Church of St Vavřinec built between 1694 -1709 and like all the other monuments significantly altered over time. The Klatovy builder, Marco Antonio Gilmetti, of Italian origin, directed the construction of the church. With its plain, unadorned style it suggests how the Dominicans were not as wealthy as their counterpart Jesuit brethren. The church is not open to the public.

SW from Prague – 2,5hours

Trip :
1)Klatovy Medieval Town{trip number SWW2} – 8hour round trip

Trips combinations :
2)Klatovy (SWW2) + Plzen{SWW1} - 9hour round trip
3)Klatovy (SWW2) + Krivoklat castle{W1} - 9hour round trip
4)Klatovy (SWW2) + Karlstejn castle{SW1} - 9hour round trip
5)Klatovy (SWW2) + Nizbor crystal factory{W3} - 9hour round trip
6)Klatovy (SWW2) + Karlovy Vary spa{WW2), (WW3-Moser Glassworks}– 10hour round trip
7)Klatovy (SWW2) + Nizbor crystal factory{W3} + Krivoklat castle{W1} - 11hour round trip
8)Klatovy (SWW2) + Nizbor crystal factory{W3} + Karlstejn castle{SW1} - 11hour round trip
9)Klatovy (SWW2) + Karlstejn castle{SW1} + Krivoklat castle{W1} - 11hour round trip
10)Klatovy (SWW2) + Nizbor crystal f.{W3} + Karlovy Vary spa{WW2,WW3} - 12hour round trip
11)Klatovy (SWW2) + Krivoklat castle{W1} + Karlovy Vary spa{WW2,WW3} - 12hour round trip
12)Klatovy (SWW2) + Karlstejn castle{SW1} + Karlovy Vary spa{WW2,WW3} - 12hour round trip
13)Klatovy (SWW2) + Marianske Lazne spa & Porcelain Factory Slavkov (trip number WW1)+ - 10hour round trip
14)Klatovy (SWW2) + Marianske Lazne spa & Porcelain Factory Slavkov (trip number WW1)+ Karlovy Vary spa{WW2,WW3} - 12hour round trip
15)Klatovy (SWW2) + Marianske Lazne spa & Porcelain Factory Slavkov (trip number WW1) + Karlovy Vary{WW2,WW3} + Village of F.Kafka (B3) - 13hour round trip

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Last updated on Mar 27, 2010