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Not long time ago I had no idea what is more in Pardubice than horse racing. Many people certainly do the same, even without knowing that these races are almost 150 years old. Pardubice, however, have much more to offer!
Pardubice is the capital of the Pardubice region (kraj) and about 100,000 people live in it. City is located near the Chrudimka River (the name of the nearby city – Chrudim) and the Elbe. Pardubice is about 150 km from Prague, and 77 km from the Polish border (Kudowa Zdrój).
The history of the city dates back to the end of the 13th century (1295). The city’s development period was in the reign of Wilhelm II of Pernštejn. In later years, the city was neglected by the Habsburgs. Pardubice began to regain its splendor in the 19th century when it became an important railway junction and industrial center. The city has a history similar to many industrial centers – it was bombed during the Second World War.
One of the most interesting objects in Pardubice is the Palace. During the night walk along the walls he made a great impression on me, and sightseeing during the day only confirmed it. We can get to the Palace from the Market Square. The palace includes the East-Bohemian Museum showing the history of the region and the city in a very nice way. In the Museum you can see how the Pardubice city look originally – with a moated palace and city walls with an old town inside.
Strolling around the old town in Pardubice, we can admire beautiful, baroque and renaissance tenement houses. On the main square (Pernštýnské Náměstí) there is a town hall, a plague column and an interesting tenement house at Jonasz’s. On the Market Square you can also find one of the Pardubice regional products – pernik (gingerbread). They have a protected geographical indication. This delicacy has its own festival and museum. One of the objects that dominate the area is the Green Gate. The actual gate is located in front of 60-meter high tower from which you can see Kuneticka Hora. In the tower you will also find the answer to the questions about the symbol of the city – half of the horse. In short, the story concerns the knight Jeszka, whose horse was cut in half by a falling gate in Milan. The knight brought the remaining half on his back to King Vratislav.
Very close to the old town and the palace, we can observe a very interesting, more contemporary building – automatic mills. It is not open to the public.
If you are a fan of modernism architecture, take a walk outside the walls of the old city.
The area around Pardubice is very interesting. We can visit Chrudim and Museum of Puppetry. The city itself is also interesting. During the walk, you can also visit the Alfons Mucha gallery, the Regional Museum and the Museum of Gothic sculptures. We are also close to Litomyšl. I wrote about the city in the text. Being in Pardubice it is also worth visiting Kuneticka Hora with a beautiful castle at the top. One of the main reasons for my visit in the area were the traditional carnival parades that take place in the region. People’s traditions have been sustained there for years, and places such as Betlem in Hlinsko or the Vesely Kopec open-air museum are living and developing, transferring knowledge to future generations.
Finally, the theme that is associated with Pardubice. Velka Pardubicka is a horse race from 1874. It always takes place on the second Sunday of October. To participate in the race, the horses must complete the qualifying races. This is one of the most prestigious and the most difficult horse races in the world. The races themselves are, apart from competition, a cultural event for visitors.
Definitely worth it! The center of Pardubice is not large and you can easily see them on your feet. After one visit, I feel encouraged to follow. The city is also a good base, and there are plenty of attractions to visit in the area.