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Prachatice Medieval Town, Saint John Nepomucene Neumann, Husinec Village - Birth place of Jan Hus

Sumava National Park ( a reserve of UNESCO)- Boubin primeval forest.

Order Tour Code: C SS11
Tour availability: Tour available in summer season Tour available in winter season Recognized by UN as an unique heritage site

Prachatice Medieval Town
Prachatice was founded at the turn of the 13th to the 14th centuries on an important commercial route, called the "Golden Trial" , which led from Bavaria to Bohemia, bringing prosperity to the town. This town at the foot of the Bohemian Forest ranks among the best-preserved urban complexes in this country, the historical centre has kept its Renaissance appearance inside the ring of the still existing fortifications. For this reason, the town was proclaimed an urban conservation area in 1981.
The place worth seeing there is the sundial, the largest in Central Europe. What makes it remarkable is not only the size and horizontal location, but especially its conduct.


Historic Monuments

The Old Town Hall – This most significant Renaissance sight was buil in 1571. As a proof of this there is a carved date with the municipal coath of arms at the top of the archway. The whole frontage is covered with a chiaroscuro decoration (dark plaster on a light layer) shows allegories of eight virtues decipted in red ovals under the main ledge. Between the first and second floor windows there is a row of pictures with Latin inscriptions and motifs relating to the judiciary. Between the windows on the ground floor there are two paintings ispired by Holbeins cycle „The Dance of Death“. The building is a seat of The Municipal Office.
Church of St. James The Greater – is one of the most significant historical buildings. It achieved its final form in the late Gothic period (1505 – 1513). The Church has three naves with a net vaults. There are The Rožmberk and the municipal coats of arms on the archway. The main altar is Baroque.
Hus´house n. 71- is locate on the left side of Husova street. It is said that according to tradition Master Jan Hus lived in this house during his studies. Originally the Gothic house was rebuilt to its Renaissance form in the 16th century. It has been a seat of the Distric Library since 1906.
Sts. Petr und Pavel´s Church is in the town cemetery. Archoelogical exploration provides evidence of Roman stonework remains from the 12th century. Drawings and inscriptions created by students of the Municipal School in the 16th and 17th century have been preserved in the cell under the church tower.

Bozkovský´s House – n. 45 It is the corner of the Main Square and Solní street. In the 16th century the house belonged to the Prachatice citizen Jiří Bozkovský of Bozkovice. The remaining coats of arms of the odl town dwellers were discovered baring the painrer´s inscription“ it has been painted but not paid for“. Now it is the ceremonial assembly hall.

The Lower Gate “Písecká” – has two parts. The inner part was built in the first half of the 16th century and the outer part in the 15th century. There is a picture of Vilém Rožmberk on his horse on the front of the gate. The pulleys of the drawbridge have been preserved on both sides of the gate.

St. Karel Bartoloměj´s Monastery - formely a parental house of St. Jan Nepomucký Neumann. There is a commemorative plaque written in Czech and German.

Saint John Nepomucene Neumann
Saint John Nepomucene Neumann, C.Ss.R., (Czech: Jan Nepomucký Neumann, German: Johannes Nepomuk Neumann, 28 March 1811 – 5 January 1860) was a Redemptorist missionary to the United States who became the fourth Bishop of Philadelphia (1852–60) and the first American bishop (and thus far the only male citizen) to be canonized. While Bishop of Philadelphia, Neumann founded the first Catholic diocesan school system in the United States.
John Nepomucene Neumann was born in Prachatice, Bohemia (modern-day Czech Republic), then part of the Austrian Empire. He attended school in České Budějovice before entering seminary there in 1831. Two years later he transferred to the University of Prague, where he studied theology, though he was also interested in astronomy and botany. His goal was to be ordained to the priesthood, and he applied for this after completing his studies in 1835. His bishop, however, had decided that there would be no more ordinations for the time being, as Bohemia had a high number of priests already.
Neumann, who was accomplished in several languages,[1] then wrote to other bishops in Europe, but they all replied that they also had too many priests. He was inspired by the missionary writings of Bishop Frederic Baraga in America, and because he had learned English by working in a factory with English-speaking workers, Neumann wrote to bishops in America, requesting to be ordained in the United States. In 1836, he arrived in the United States with very little money, and was accepted for ordination by the New York diocese. This took place in June of that same year, at Old St. Patrick's Cathedral in lower Manhattan.
After his ordination, he was assigned by the bishop to work with recent German immigrants in mission churches in the Niagara Falls area, where he visited the sick, taught catechism, and trained teachers to take over when he left. From 1836 until 1840 he served as the founding pastor of Sts. Peter and Paul Catholic Church in Williamsville, New York. In 1840 he applied to join the Redemptorist Fathers, was accepted, and entered the novitiate of the Congregation in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania--becoming their first candidate in the New World. He took his vows as a full member of the Congregation in Baltimore, Maryland in January 1842, and, after six years of difficult but fruitful work, he was appointed the Provincial Superior for the United States. Neumann was naturalized as a citizen of the United States in Baltimore on 10 February 1848.
Bishop of Philadelphia
In March 1852 Neumann was consecrated in Baltimore, as Bishop of Philadelphia. He was the first bishop in the United States to organize a Catholic diocesan school system, and he increased the number of Catholic schools in his diocese from one to one hundred. His construction campaign extended to parishes churches as well. He actively invited religious orders to establish new houses within the diocese and founded a congregation of Franciscan Sisters, the Sisters of the Third Order of St. Francis of Philadelphia. He brought the School Sisters of Notre Dame from Germany to assist in religious instruction and staffing an orphanage and intervened to save the Oblate Sisters of Providence from dissolution. He established and built so many new parish churches within the diocese that one was completed almost at the rate of one every month.
His facility with languages endeared him to the many new immigrant communities in the city. As well as ministering to newcomers in his native German, he also spoke Italian fluently and ministered personally to a growing congregation of Italian-speakers in his private chapel. He eventually established the first Italian national parishes in the country for them.
Neumann's efforts to expand the Catholic Church throughout his diocese was not without oppostion. The Know Nothings, an anti-Catholic political party, was at the height of its activities, setting fire to convents and schools. Discouraged, Neumann wrote to Rome asking to be replaced as bishop, but he received a reply from Pope Pius IX insisting that he continue. In 1854, Neumann traveled to Rome and was present at St. Peter's Basilica on December 8, along with 53 cardinals, 139 other bishops, and thousands of priests and laity, when Pope Pius IX solemnly defined ex cathedra the dogma of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary.
While running errands on January 5, 1860, Neumann collapsed and died on a city street, due to a stroke. He was 48 years old. Bishop James Frederick Wood, who had been appointed his coadjutor with right of succession, then took office as Bishop of Philadelphia. Neumann's date of death, January 5, is now celebrated as his feast day in the Roman Catholic Church in the United States of America.
National Shrine of St. John NeumannThe first step toward proclamation of Neumann as a saint was his being declared ""Venerable"" by Pope Benedict XV in 1921. He was beatified by Pope Paul VI during the Second Vatican Council on 13 October 1963, and was canonized by that same pope on 19 June 1977. His feast days are January 5 on the Roman calendar for the general Church and March 5 in the Czech Republic.
Following his canonization, the National Shrine of Saint John Neumann was constructed at the Parish of St. Peter the Apostle in Philadelphia. The remains of St. John Neumann rest under the altar of the shrine within a glass-walled reliquary.
In 1980, Our Lady of the Angels College, founded by the congregation of Franciscan Sisters he had founded and located within the archdiocese, was renamed Neumann College. It was granted university status by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania in 2009 [3].

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Husinec Village - Birthplace of Jan Hus
Not far from Prachatice, in the valley of the Blatnice River, is situated the village of Husinec, which used to be a branch of the Golden Trail. Owing to this fact, big cattle markets were held here and a variety of goods were traded. Husinec experienced a boom in the trade and crafts development. Husinec is a birthplace of a most important church reformer - Jan of Husinec (around 1369). His native house, nowadays housing an exhibition of the Jan Hus Memorial, was proclaimed a National Cultural Monument. The exhibition introduces visitors to the life and work of this personality of Czech and European history.

There is no doubt that Jan Hus was and is one of the signally important figures of Czech history. If the number of statues and squares bearing someone's name can testify to their significance, then Hus, dominating the Old Town Square in Prague and with streets bearing his name in almost every city, is still a dominating presence in national consciousness. In October 1968 and again in November 1990, surveys were conducted in the Czechoslovakia determining which historical figures the Czechs regarded with pride. Not coincidentally, both dates come shortly after dramatic political changes and hence the surveys reflect nationalism riding high. In both cases, Hus is amongst the first four names for frequency, in 1968 appearing in the second place, behind only Tomáš Garrigue Masaryk.
At first sight, the grounds for Hus' prominence are plainly obvious and hardly need justification. He led the first religious movement in Europe which could be considered Protestant, 100 years before Martin Luther. He directly challenged both the Catholic Church and Holy Roman Empire and gave his name to a movement which brought about revolution. During the Hussite period, the Bohemian lands also became enormously significant for the whole of Europe. They sparked potential unrest in the very heart of the continent and the Holy Roman Empire, drawing down the attention of the Pope and the Emperor and firing ecclesiastical arguments. When the reform movement grew into a violent and armed rebellion, their military successes seriously upset the possibility of stability in Europe, and crusades were sent by the Pope . Their military successes were such that the Pope had to grant a unique doctrinal concession for the Czech lands, that they could exercise their religion as they saw fit, as long as they gave up their expansive territorial aims on the rest of Europe. The climate which the Hussite revolution had created led ultimately to the crisis which precipitated the 30 Years War with all its repercussions for the shape of Europe today.
The Hussite movement also had far reaching effects within the Czech Lands. Initially, the edict of religious tolerance issued would seem a victory on their behalf. However, it had the effect of isolating Bohemia from the rest of the Christian world, setting it outside the mutual exchange of ideas between monasteries and universities which constituted the intellectual glory of the late Medieval period. The recatholicisation which followed the defeat of the Protestant armies in 1620 brought on what traditional Czech historiography calls the doba temna, the sleep from which the Czech patriotic feeling had to be awoken by the National Revival.
The Hussite period was thus highly significant not only for the development of Bohemia, but for European and ecclesiastical history as a whole. To evaluate the significance of a single individual is however more complicated. Hus did not even belong to the movement which bore his name and cannot be said to have intentionally inaugurated it.

Sumava National Park - Boubin Primeval Forest (Sumava Park - a Reserve of UNESCO)
Lovers of beautiful scenery will be primarily interested in the Bohemian Forest. It was proclaimed a National Park in 1991. Well over a half of the district area is covered with forests, the most attractive of them being the primeval forest of Boubin, which has been a reserve since 1858. It ranges from Lukenska road to the Kaplicky Brook as far as a lake. To prevent damage caused by deer game and visitors, part of the forest had to be closed. The sightseeing tour therefore only leads along the edge of the reserve. The most interesting are are spruces standing on their stilt-like roots. This phenomenon came about when young spruces were growing around the body of its fallen predecessor. There are seedlings of new spruces, which have been growing out of the giant rotting trunks for the past 15-20 years. The clearings are the result of mass collapse of several huge over-aged trees. At the foot of the hill Cerna hora springs the Vltava River. There is a rarity of the local countryside below the hill Plechy (1378 metres) - Plesne Lake. All places of interest are easily accessible along tourist trails, and the countryside naturally well suited for hiking, winter and water sports and cycling.

It is 2,5 hour to drive from Prague to the South.
It is a 10 hour round trip.

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Last updated on Mar 01, 2011