The Region of Pilsen
Thanks to its unique location in the basin of four converging rivers, the region of Pilsen quickly became an important historic crossroads and the influencial meeting place of European business and culture.
The centre of the area is the City of Pilsen, which is the economic, cultural and social metropolis of the entire West Bohemian region. Pilsen became world-famous mainly for the product of its Burgher Brewery, the present-day Pilsner Urquell.
We would like to invite you to the region where you can choose according to your tastes - from the abundance of cultural and historical sights, scenic nature, attractive events or excellent gastronomy, which made the region famous. This is the perfect destination for all those who seek a respite from the stress and load of their working days.
The Treasury of Baroque
Following the Trails of the Gifted Builder, Jan Blažej Aichel Santini
Fantasy and courage are the distinctive features and the secret of success of gifted master builder Jan Blažej Aichel Santini, whose work is by right rated among the most original displays of European Baroque.
Several of his creations can be seen in the northern part of the Pilsen region – they are the Pilgrimage Church of the Annunciation of the Virgin and the Provostry in Mariánská Týnice, the chapel in Mladotice, the churches in Kozojedy, Všehrdy and Nové Mitrovice, or the estate in Hubenov.
Magnificent religious edifices by another significant architect of the region, K.I. Dienzenhofer, are the prominent features of large areas. The Cathedral of the Assumption of the Virgin in Přeštice has the surrounding country in firm grip, the Church of St. John of Nepomuk, built in place of the saint's native house, is the foreground of the vista of the Nepomuk region in perfect harmony with the Chateau Zelená hora. The Baroque necklace laid around the city of Pilsen is completed by a series of buildings by Jakub Auguston – the monumental cloister in Chotěšov, Chateau Dolní Lukavice or the unique Baroque twin chateau in Nebílovy.
The mansions of the Pilsen region provide little evidence of the wealth of noble houses, as the largest land areas were managed by powerful convents and monasteries – in Kladruby, Plasy, Chotěšov and Nepomuk.
Therefore, the Pilsen region offers chateaus and manors charmingly harmonized with the landscape, comfortable and proving that their owners heeded the call of Ars vivendi, or the art of "enjoying life", more than ostentation.
Traces of Jewish Culture
Traces of Jewish culture can be found very often in the Pilsen region; after all, the first records of Jewish inhabitants in the region date from the 14th century. They couldn't always settle directly in Pilsen, so they sought refuge in nearby towns and villages. Only in the 2nd half of the 19th century, were all the restraints lifted and Jews began to settle and establish businesses in cities, such as Pilsen, freely. As the local Jewish community grew larger and wealthier, the need arose to build a new, sufficiently spacious synagogue to contain all believers.
The Great Synagogue of Pilsen was built in the outskirts of the historical city in 1892. The two-towered edifice with oriental elements became the second largest preserved synagogue in Europe (and the third in the world). Its remarkable interior with a rare three-dimensional carved alter and a unique organ can contain 2,000 people. Besides regular services, there are concerts leveraging the special acoustics and enthralling air of the place.
Three Springs of the Pilsen Region - Pilsner Urquell, Fernet Stock and Bohemia Sekt
The three alcoholic beverages produced in the Pilsen region are more than typical products. Pilsner Urquell, Fernet Stock and Bohemia Sekt carry the taste of the region, which is bitter, mysterious, heady and inimitable.
The Fame of Pilsner Urquell
The vision of a dewy glass of genuine Pilsner beer with its cap of white cream is, for many, the best invitation to Pilsen. After all, who wouldn't want to taste the well-known Pilsner beer directly in the city, from which it takes its name?
Pilsen has been a city strongly connected to beer since the Middle Ages. Almost any house in the inner city had the right to brew its own beer. Soon, small breweries were established, but the quality of beer was often rather low.
In the early 19th century, the brewing trade of Pilsen was undergoing a deep crisis, which resulted in an incident in the town square, when 36 kegs of beer, found harmful to human health, were poured out into the street. This was the event which gave the impulse to the bearers of the brewing rights to build their own modern brewery.
The first brew made by the new technology was produced in the Burgher Brewery on October 5, 1842. The resulting product was simply ingenious, as the new lager had an excellent taste, which it has retained to this day and which the world tries to imitate in vain. Modern technology, many kilometres of cellars, where the legendary beer matured, traditions passed from one generation to another, together with the "mysterious" recipe, these were the things that quickly made Pilsner Urquell one of the most popular beers in the world.
The Bitter Secret of Fernet Stock
Advocates of bitter liquors the world over know Fernet Stock, which has been produced by Stock Plzeň - Božkov since 1927. The secret of Fernet Stock is hidden in its unique manufacturing process. The recipe is strictly guarded, but we can reveal that the Fernet Stock recipe is based on fourteen herbs imported from, among other places, the Pyrenees, the Atlas mountains, Cameroon, and Pakistan. The genuine Czech Fernet Stock also contains gentian root, quinine and orange peels, Roman chamomile and the haulm of blessed thistle.
However, the popularity of Fernet Stock is not based solely on its unique taste, but also on its beneficial health effects. The herbs actually improve the condition of both the digestive and nervous systems, purify blood and regenerate the entire organism. Plus, Fernet Stock is manufactured "without chemicals" and unlike other herbal liquors contains only a very small quantity of sugar – only about 18 grams per litre.
Bohemia Sekt – the Hallmark of Uniqueness
The wine cellars of Bohemia Sekt, Českomoravská vinařská a.s., the largest wine producer of the Czech Republic are situated in Starý Plzenec, perhaps in the same place as hundreds of years ago.
The ten meter deep cellars, spanning 3,800 sq. m, and with a constant temperature – provide the perfect conditions for maturing wine. And it's here that the old winery tradition joins state-of-the-art world-class technology. The experiences passed by the famous winery expert Louis Girardot from Champagne, France, more than fifty years ago, found attentive recipients and creative followers in Starý Plzenec.
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