Čapek

All week with the Čapeks

A tip for spending an entire week with a Čapek theme.

1.st Day

Hradec Králové

How to get there

It’s the city with the attribute ”The Saloon of the Republic” and is holder of the award ”The Best City for Living.“

It is the city where Karel Čapek spent his study years and experienced his first loves. That is why Hradec will forever be connected to his first work – love ”Epistles for Anielka.”


Hradec directly invites everyone for walks – either in the city center or along the river. In the historical city center in the Big Square, you will find the building of the former grammar school where Karel attended, and in the streets around the square you can think about which house it is where Karel used to meet his peers from his studies.
Also, take a walk to Klicper’s Theater where his theatrical play ”R.U.R“ debuted for the first time – at that time still in the hands of the amateur group known as Klicpera. You can walk along Dlouhá Street to the Small Square to the Hotel of Queen Elizabeth (Hotel U Královny Elišky), where Čapek used to live with his grandma Helena and later on with his sister, who attended dance lessons in Hradec, as well.

With your children you should certainly visit the magical Dragon Theater Labyrinth, where even little visitors will surely have fun at the interactive exhibition or who can experience themselves how the theater works.

The renaissance White Tower (Bílá věž) offers a view of the city.

The city offers splendidly prepared walking trails around architectural points of interest – in particular, it is necessary to mention the amazing buildings of the architects Gočár and Kotěra, whose work is undeniably bound to the urban development of the town at the beginning of the 20th Century.

From that period of time, there is also the Museum of Eastern Bohemia which invites its visitors to a beautiful brick building presenting permanent exhibitions about the city and also to numerous other exhibitions around the entire museum grounds.

Those who travel by car can visit the 1866 War Museum on Chlum located approximately 12 kilometers from Hradec Králové. Besides the museum exhibition, there is also the possibility to surmount the 35-meter-high viewpoint.

 

2.nd Day

Žernov

How to get there

From Hradec start to drive towards the town Česká Skalice and stop by in Žernov. The local viewpoint offers a lookout over the entire region and the Ratibořice Castle and its surroundings. The father Antonín Čapek was born on a farmstead in Žernov, and because of plenty of tales that were narrated on the farm, it often brought back memories of crazy Victoria (Viktorka) and the weir. Helena Čapková, on the other hand, placed the story of one of her fairytales – ”Grandma’s Apron Fairytale“, in Žernov.

Certainly don’t miss a beautiful walk to Grandma’s Valley (Babiččino údolí) or to the castle, which you might know both from the book ”Grandma“ (Babička) written by Božena Němcová. If you still have some time, stop by at the Museum of Božena Němcová in Česká Skalice. In summer, you will be able to refresh at the local water reservoir Rozkoš.

3.rd Day

Hronov

How to get there

Helena, Karel a Josef used to spend their holidays in Hronov‘s mill. Although the mill doesn’t serve its purpose anymore, you can still find it on the way in the direction towards the town Police nad Metují. If you still want to visit a mill, you can try the Dřevíček Mill, which still works and where Mister Millman himself will walk you through.


You can also stop by at a birthouse of another local writer - Alois Jirásek.

His name is carried not only by the local theater, but even by the festival known as Jirásek‘s Hronov (Jiráskův Hronov) that takes place here.

The Hronov residents, however, offer another great attraction for children visiting Hronov! It’s The Interactive Museum of Smart Entertainment called Under the Cap (Pod čepicí). Try to find out what you have under your cap ...

4.th Day

Úpice and Malé Svatoňovice

How to get there

At an excursional pace continue to Úpice, where the Čapeks used to live. The Čapeks‘ family villa is currently used as the local police station, however, the officers will gladly walk you through. Memorial plaques located on the villa and on the wall of the local school that the Čapeks attended serve as a reminder of the Čapeks‘ lives.

The unique observatory is also worthy of a visit – it is one of two professional observatories in the Hradec Králové region.

Drive from Úpice to Malé Svatoňovice, where you can visit the Museum of the Čapek Brothers – the birthouse of Karel Čapek. The exhibition will get you acquainted with the work of both brothers, their literary and theatrical creations as well as numerous personal items.

Your free time can also be used to stroll around the surrounding area. Stop by at the Church of Virgin Mary Sedmiradostná (Panna Marie Sedmiradostná), which is located exactly opposite the museum, and from there you can walk through Marian’s Orchard (Mariánský sad) and continue towards the Žaltman viewpoint. 

The local fresh air and beautiful nature of the Hawk Mountains (Jestřebí hory) have always attracted travelers to wander in the surroundings. If you still have some time left, stop by at the nearby Bohumír Mine, where you can travel back in time to when Antonín Čapek used to work as the establishment’s doctor.

Even you can enjoy one day in the region where, according to Čapek, the robber Lotrando used to ”practice.“

5.th Day

Žacléř

How to get there

On the way from Malé Svatoňovice visit the city Žacléř. Before he began to attend school in Vrchlabí, Josef Čapek studied at a burgeois school in Žacléř with the aim to improve his German language knowledge. He lived in the tavern of Johannes Ziszka (Žižka) – in the dance hall. Above all, he loved excursions around the area of Žacléř.

The tavern and the school can be easily found – currently it serves as a public library and a local preschool. You can even find a commemorative plaque of Josef Čapek in the square.


Worthwhile of a visit is also the City Museum of Žacléř and the Žacléř Outdoor Mining Museum, where you can look through the engine rooms, mine shaft buildings, preserved portions and air ventilation ducts of the pit called Julie.

If you still have some time left, visit Rýchory – the place where it is rumored that Josef loved going the most.

6.th Day

Vrchlabí

How to get there

Vrchlabí became the second home of Josef Čapek during the years of 1901–1903. There he spent time as a student at the German weaving school. Nowadays, you can find the school building at 265 Krkonošská Street. Josef is memorialized by a commemorative plaque right here.

In the city you can visit a part of a renaissance castle from the 16th Century. You can also see pictures of the last captured bears. Only the entry hallway is accessible; the city office is located in the other areas. However, you can visit the surrounding castle park.

An interesting tour is offered by the Krkonoše Museum, which is housed in four wooden houses reconstructed to the appearance of the original urban development. The Neo-Gothic castle of St. Laurence (sv. Vavřinec) located in the city is also available for a visit, where you can find, among other things,  a valuable copper baptismal font.

7.th Day

Špindlerův Mlýn and Sněžka

How to get there

If you arrive at the city of Špindlerův Mlýn, you should surely visit the Savoy Hotel where Karel Čapek and Olga Scheinpflug used to stay and spend time together. But what is the biggest precedence of Špindlerův Mlýn? Certainly the nature – in summer it entices hiking as well as cycling. In winter, the city lives by skiing and snowboarding.


From Špindlerův Mlýn you can continue a mere 50 km to the city Pec pod Sněžkou, where you can climb up the highest mountain in the Czech Republic – Sněžka. Its peak reaches the elevation of 1603 meters. You can conquer the mountain by hiking or help yourself with a lift that is available during favorable weather. The climb takes approximately two and a half hours. At the top you can use the services of the highest located Czech postal office from the architects Hoffman and Rajniš who gave it the name Anežka. The meteorological station of the Czech Hydrometeorological Institute is also located on the top of Sněžka. After descending, you will surely appreciate the option of getting some refreshments in Pec pod Sněžkou.