Hop and Beer Temple

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In March 2019 there are 256 tours remaining

Tour Route - Short Loop

Tour Route - Short Loop










1. Town Hall and Tower
The town hall was built in 1362 as a cloth market. As early as then, the town council met in sessions there as well. From the Hussite Wars on, the entire building was used only for the purposes of local government. In 1559, it was rebuilt in the Renaissance style by Jiří Všetečka of Pardubice. In those days, the town hall housed a prominent prison called rathaus jail. At the time of the Thirty Years' War, “heretical books” and war fines (hop and corn) were stored there. In the 18th century, further reconstructions were caused by the establishment of a regional office and by two great fires. Those were the days of formation of today's appearance of the 47-metre tower, which is now used as an observation tower. If you are lucky enough to see the castle of Hazmburk from its terrace, one secret wish of yours will come true …

2. Holy Trinity Column
Plague epidemics were the blight of the Middle Ages. The harshest outbreak hit the town in 1582. The measure taken to ward off the plague was the construction of plague columns. Žatec was supposed to be protected by the 12.7-meter high Holy Trinity Column. It was built between 1707 and 1713 by František Tollinger of Litoměřice thanks to the contribution of the pharmacist Calderar. In 1753, the column was completed by a sculptor from Žatec named Jan Karel Vetter. Below a copper cross, there is a sculpture of the Holy Trinity. On the columns of a balustrade, there are sculptures of Saint John of Nepomuk, Saint Charles Borromeo, Saint Procopius of Sázava, Saint Anthony of Padua, Saint Joseph with the infant Jesus, Saint Wenceslaus, Saint Sigismund and Saint Florian.

3. Oldest Beer Aficionado's Grave
On 1 April 2001, the world's oldest beer aficionado's grave was found here.   The remains were found with a 0.49L clay vessel, parts of a wooden cask and a clay tablet with seven imprints – the oldest preserved beer bill. The grave proves the existence of the ancient culture of Homo lupulus. The buried was named Lojza Lupulín and a symbol of the clay tablet became the logo of the unincorporated association “Hop & Beer Temple” promoting the uniqueness of the Žatec hop-growing area.

4. Libočany Gate
One of the four original entrances into the town. From the turn of the 14th century on, the gate was used to walk to and from the Lower Suburb. The portal, which has remained the same to this day, was also walked through, at the beginning of the 17th century, by Jan Willenberg, the creator of the oldest image of Žatec and many other important Czech towns. Since 1843, it has also been used for residential purposes. Before 1879, there had been a bastion at the gate, with a commemorative plaque and inscription of the year 1463 – the year when the construction of the Late-Gothic fortification was finished.

5. Priestly Gate
The other preserved entrance into the inner town is the Priestly Gate. Originally, there was a massive forward fortification with another tower, where roads from the west converged. It was named after a monastery of the Conventual Franciscans that is no longer existing. In the 14th century, it was called the Gate of the Blessed Virgin Mary or the Women's Gate. Standing opposite the Prague Game, also called the Upper Gate, it also used to be called the Lower Gate. Today's facade copies the appearance of the structure between 1899 and 1906. The glorifying text on the inner side of the gate was written in Latin by Karolides of Karlperk, Rudolf II's court poet.

6. Žatec Brewery
The brewery is located on the site of the ruined castle of Žatec. The importance of the place is documented by the fact that in 1099, Bretislaus II and Boleslav III, the Duke of Poland, spent Christmas here together. The castle, separated from the town by a ditch, was ruined at the beginning of the 15th century. The only preserved part of the castle is probably the Water Tower. In 1419, the nearby St. Peter's Monastery of the Conventual Franciscans was abandoned as well. After that, the deserted place was separated from the town by a new fortification section. Only after 1751, barracks were established there, and later also a brewery next to them between 1797 and 1801. Before 1945, there was a Baroque Loreta chapel, built in 1713, in front of the brewery.

7. Cathedral of the Assumption of the Virgin Mary
The Cathedral of the Assumption of the Virgin Mary is situated on the site of a large Romanesque basilica. Its brickwork has been preserved in both towers. Between 1340 and 1370, the famous works of Peter Parler took part in the reconstruction of the church. The main altar with a painting of the Assumption of the Virgin Mary dates back to the 17th century. The side chapel of John of Nepomuk was constructed between 1724 and 1728. The face of the church was baroquised between 1740 and 1741. The belfry was built between 1770 and 1773 by the architect Pavel Loschy. Most of the surrounding sculptures were created between 1728 and 1729 by a sculptor from Žatec named Jan Karel Vetter.

8. Former Gymnasium
The building of an old local brewery. Between 1802 and 1807, it was rebuilt to become a gymnasium. Later, the adjacent house no. 126 was purchased and the gymnasium was extended. On 6 August 1833, the Emperor Franz Joseph I and the Empress Caroline paid a visit to the school. Emil Holub, a world-famous traveller, was a student there for a short time as well. In 1903, the gymnasium was moved to a new building. This house was then used for other educational purposes, and it housed the town museum between 1929 and 1939 and the town archives after World War II.

9. St. Florian's Column
In memory of the great fire of 1738 and for the protection from further disasters, a column dedicated to St. Florian, the patron of firefighters, masons and miners, was built between 1742 and 1746. The funds for the construction were collected from the people of Žatec. The construction work was entrusted to the sculptor Jan Karel Vetter. The sculpture of St. Florian is placed on a high triangular pedestal, and there also are sculptures of Saint Lawrence and Madonna. At the top of the column, there is a sculpture of the God – Father, sitting on a globe.

10. Jewish Synagogue
The second largest synagogue in Bohemia.  Between 1871 and 1872, it was built by the architect Johann Staněk from the funds of the Jewish community. The solemn consecration was carried out by the rabbi Abraham Frank on 18 March 1872. In 1911, it was refurbished and its interior was completely decorated with paintings. During the so-called Kristallnacht on 9–10 November 1938, it was burnt down by Nazis. Since then, it has never served the original purpose. The structure was famous for its exceptional acoustics.

11. World's Smallest Hop Garden
Since 1967, a local rarity, the world's smallest hop garden, has been located on the site of the Church of St. Cross.  The church was replaced with a guardhouse in the 18th century. In 1882, a memorial of the Emperor Joseph II was erected on this site. In 1919, the memorial was pulled down and the Emperor's statue was thrown to the river Ohře. In 1930, a bronze lion – a memorial of the victims of World War I – was placed on the empty pedestal.

12. Old Post Office
The original brewhouse was purchased in 1584 by the mayor Maxmilián Hošálek, who reconstructed and decorated it with sgraffiti and frescos.  This is why people used to call it the “Painted House” back then. Hošálek's life was ended by the sword of the executioner Jan Mydlář at the Old Town Square in 1621. His head was then hung as a warning on the Prague Gate and his family was forced to leave the house. In the 17th century, the building was bought by J. C. Calderar, who established a pharmacy named “U zlatého pelikána (At the Golden Pelican)” there. The pharmacy was open until 1870. At the end of the 19th century, a balcony and a new Neo-Renaissance face was added to the building. From 1872 on, it housed a post office and later also a telegraph. That is why the people of Žatec still call it the “Old Post Office”.

© 2010 Chrám chmele a piva Žatec
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