Situated near the fairytale town of Cesky Krumlov, Ceske Budejovice is only a short bus ride away. This Czechian town is a perfect travel destination when you are looking for something a little different than the usual large and busy city in Europe. The historic Square of Premysl Otakar II is a great place to explore!
When you arrive in Ceske Budejovice, the bus station is not exactly the shortest walk from the main Square of Přemysl Otakar II, especially dragging around two heavy suitcases. Along the path to the square, the streets of Ceske Budejovice are quite colorful. Even on a chilly day, directly after the Christmas holiday, people will be seen roaming the streets. All of a sudden, you will happen upon the quaint and historic square, and then you know that you have made it!
Though not an absolutely “perfect” square, with one side measuring 132 meters and the other 137, this is not something you are likely to notice just with your eye. The square is named for the founder of the town, King Ottokar II of Bohemia, from back in 1265.
The square has hosted all sorts of events throughout its history, from fairs to executions The erratic boulder, a popular site in the square, also has a legendary history, saying that if you step over the boulder after 10 at night, you will never find your way back home. There is one condition to this legend, however, and that is that you have to unconsciously step over the boulder for the legend to hold true.
The boulder can be found easily by the largest fountain in all of Czechia, right in the center of the square. Samson’s Fountain is a baroque piece built between 1721 to 1727. At 17 meters in diameter, it is the largest in the country.
The fountain is home to four gargoyles as well as four statues of atlantes holding a large stone shell. In the center, you can see a sculpture of Samson fighting a lion. Though the original pieces of the fountain are now kept inside of the town hall, the fountain is still impressive and a site to see, nonetheless.
Though the street vendors mostly serve traditional hot wine as well as other hot drinks, there are plenty of restaurants around the square where you can enjoy a meal. We even had one of the best pizzas we have ever had at a restaurant in the square, which was thankfully open the day after the Christmas holiday!
The Grand Hotel Zvon has a view overlooking the central square. On the opposing side of the hotel is possibly the very first thing that catches the eye in the Square of Přemysl Otakar II, which is the Baroque Town Hall. The town hall was originally a house and was reconstructed from 1727 to 1730 after damages by a fire.
The reconstruction was in a Baroque style, giving it a unique and interesting look that it has today. When looking at the hall, you can see the city’s coat of arms located under the central window. You will also see the four statues on top of the hall, which represent Justice, Courage, Wisdom, and Caution. Perhaps most notably, you will see the copper dragon extending from the building, which was built as a control measure.
You’ll definitely want to keep this historic and lovely town square in mind for your future travels!