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Telč – Renaissance art and beautiful architecture paved the way to UNESCO cultural heritage status


In the 16th century, after several changes in ownership by means of sale, exchange, and inheritance, Telč ended up in the hands of Zacharias von Neuhaus. He was one of the richest and most prudent regents of Moravia. With him in control, the golden era of the city began in 1531. He had his gothic castle transformed into a renaissance palace. He was inspired, just as were many Bohemian nobles during travel in Italy, by the new renaissance style now flourishing there.

Master builders, bricklayers, and stonemasons came to Bohemia and Prague from northern Italy and Switzerland in order to provide a refined renaissance touch to residences and seats of power.

 It wasn’t long before wealthy citizens strived for the same signs of status that the nobility enjoyed. A rivalry for the most beautiful facade in the city began. The baker Michal proved to be particularly ambitious. He wanted to make his house the most beautiful in the city, with a facade in the style of sgraffito. He also had his eyes set on the highest office in the city.

His efforts paid off: he became the new mayor. The collection of renaissance buildings in Telč never fails to impress the visitor. In 1992 the historic centre of Telč received UNESCO cultural heritage status, together with Prague and Český Krumlov.

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