‘Our type of place . . .’

Kunětice village lies directly below Kunětice Mountain Castle. It has only 270 inhabitants. Pictures by Phil Newdick
The Pardubice gingerbread tradition is a very long one.
Pardubice Castle is large and well-preserved.
Liberation Monument in Pardubice is a memorial to the fallen in the 2nd World War. The sculpture in sandstone is of a Red Army soldier and a girl, placing a wreath.
Kunetice Mountain Castle is a historic building. Today the castle is open to the public as a museum. It has the oldest known Renaissance mural in Bohemia, a 1523 work depicting Samson and Delilah. The castle also hosts music and theatrical performances.
Pardubice’s coat of arms is the front half of a horse.
Pardubice Town Hall in Pernstejn Square.

Phil and Sue Newdick continue their world wanderings with a visit to Pardubice in the Czech Republic . . .

Our journey to Pardubice in the Czech Republic was to be the last of our purchased paper tickets. We have discovered “E tickets”, downloadable to our phone. The train was booked solid and we had not booked seats. It was just a tad uncomfortable — never mind it was only an 80-minute journey from Brno and not the worst travel experience we have had.

Pardubice more than made up for it. A city of some 90,000 people and a bit of a backwater, it is very friendly and full of history.

Tourists have not yet found it, or have passed it by so the cost of staying there was inexpensive . . . and the locals seemed almost apologetic for charging the very low prices that they were asking. We had dinner and drinks, for less than $NZ10.

A lot of the old city has survived WW2, time and the world seems to have just passed it by. A very clean, graffiti-free town, it was our type of place. There seems to be no restriction on dogs and they are welcome in shops, restaurants and other places that one normally does not see them.

It proved almost impossible to find the touristy-style trinkets that pass as souvenirs, but they have gingerbread. The Pardubice gingerbread tradition is a very long one. However, the real boom did not come until the beginning of the 20th century, thanks to which gingerbread became an inseparable symbol of Pardubice.
Private companies continue to produce gingerbread both filled and decorated — it is a traditional souvenir of the town.

The Pardubice coat-of-arms is the front half of a white horse and is prominent around the city. There is a legend surrounding the origins of this coat-of-arms. Their king set off to Italy in 1158 to conquer Milan — however, the people of Milan forced the Bohemians out of the town. They released the portcullis just as the last of the warriors was fleeing on his horse. The horse was cut in two, but still managed to carry its master for a while.

He took this faithful half horse on his shoulders and carried it to the camp of his king.

'Great memories'

As a reward for his bravery he was given a coat of arms that depicted the front half of the horse.

The Czech Republic has its fair share of medieval castles and is doing its best to preserve them. We took a very economical bus ride out of the city to Kunetice Mountain Castle, a castle built originally in the 13th century. It’s showing the ravages of time but well enough presented to give a very good indication of how things were during its useful life. It is sited on a hill overlooking Kunetice and productive farmland.

We decided to use up the last of our Czech currency, the equivalent of about $NZ6, to buy lunch on the train to Leipzig — we ended up with filled rolls, sweet slices and fruit in abundance.

The train was delayed into Pardubice by 25 minutes and as we had a connection to make at Dresden with only 36 minutes between trains, we were a bit concerned. What had been a generous amount of time was looking decidedly scanty . . . and we really didn’t have a plan B.

Czech Rail made up 10 minutes of the lost time and delivered us to Dresden with enough time to transfer onto the German Bann train for the rest of our trip to Leipzig. Not quite the same as the Czech train, it was a 200kmh train that seemed to just float on the rails and on time all the way.

We had booked the rest of our trip on line while we were in Pardubice and had loaded electronic tickets onto the phone for Pardubice to Leipzig, Leipzig to Hamburg, Hamburg to Bremen and Bremen to Frankfurt.

We had also arranged apartments in each city. It was necessary to book this far ahead as accommodation was becoming scarce and quite expensive in Germany. We even dropped our plan of stopping in Berlin as we could not find a suitable place to stay.

The smaller towns in the Czech Republic have been amazing places to visit, the people are friendly and helpful, the cost of travel, accommodation and food inexpensive. We leave this country with just great memories, an insight into their history and heaps of photos.

Phil and Sue Newdick continue their world wanderings with a visit to Pardubice in the Czech Republic . . .

Our journey to Pardubice in the Czech Republic was to be the last of our purchased paper tickets. We have discovered “E tickets”, downloadable to our phone. The train was booked solid and we had not booked seats. It was just a tad uncomfortable — never mind it was only an 80-minute journey from Brno and not the worst travel experience we have had.

Pardubice more than made up for it. A city of some 90,000 people and a bit of a backwater, it is very friendly and full of history.

Tourists have not yet found it, or have passed it by so the cost of staying there was inexpensive . . . and the locals seemed almost apologetic for charging the very low prices that they were asking. We had dinner and drinks, for less than $NZ10.

A lot of the old city has survived WW2, time and the world seems to have just passed it by. A very clean, graffiti-free town, it was our type of place. There seems to be no restriction on dogs and they are welcome in shops, restaurants and other places that one normally does not see them.

It proved almost impossible to find the touristy-style trinkets that pass as souvenirs, but they have gingerbread. The Pardubice gingerbread tradition is a very long one. However, the real boom did not come until the beginning of the 20th century, thanks to which gingerbread became an inseparable symbol of Pardubice.
Private companies continue to produce gingerbread both filled and decorated — it is a traditional souvenir of the town.

The Pardubice coat-of-arms is the front half of a white horse and is prominent around the city. There is a legend surrounding the origins of this coat-of-arms. Their king set off to Italy in 1158 to conquer Milan — however, the people of Milan forced the Bohemians out of the town. They released the portcullis just as the last of the warriors was fleeing on his horse. The horse was cut in two, but still managed to carry its master for a while.

He took this faithful half horse on his shoulders and carried it to the camp of his king.

'Great memories'

As a reward for his bravery he was given a coat of arms that depicted the front half of the horse.

The Czech Republic has its fair share of medieval castles and is doing its best to preserve them. We took a very economical bus ride out of the city to Kunetice Mountain Castle, a castle built originally in the 13th century. It’s showing the ravages of time but well enough presented to give a very good indication of how things were during its useful life. It is sited on a hill overlooking Kunetice and productive farmland.

We decided to use up the last of our Czech currency, the equivalent of about $NZ6, to buy lunch on the train to Leipzig — we ended up with filled rolls, sweet slices and fruit in abundance.

The train was delayed into Pardubice by 25 minutes and as we had a connection to make at Dresden with only 36 minutes between trains, we were a bit concerned. What had been a generous amount of time was looking decidedly scanty . . . and we really didn’t have a plan B.

Czech Rail made up 10 minutes of the lost time and delivered us to Dresden with enough time to transfer onto the German Bann train for the rest of our trip to Leipzig. Not quite the same as the Czech train, it was a 200kmh train that seemed to just float on the rails and on time all the way.

We had booked the rest of our trip on line while we were in Pardubice and had loaded electronic tickets onto the phone for Pardubice to Leipzig, Leipzig to Hamburg, Hamburg to Bremen and Bremen to Frankfurt.

We had also arranged apartments in each city. It was necessary to book this far ahead as accommodation was becoming scarce and quite expensive in Germany. We even dropped our plan of stopping in Berlin as we could not find a suitable place to stay.

The smaller towns in the Czech Republic have been amazing places to visit, the people are friendly and helpful, the cost of travel, accommodation and food inexpensive. We leave this country with just great memories, an insight into their history and heaps of photos.

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