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Písek - Sightseeing

A stroll through the city

Royal Castle

Passing through the Town Hall, we find ourselves on a quiet green area headed by Medieval walls with three Gothic arches. This is the western and only remaining wing of the former Royal Castle. The castle originally had a squared layout with four wings lined with arcades and surrounding a small courtyard.

Písek - Gothic Hall in the only preserved wing of the Royal Castle, photo by: Archiv Vydavatelství MCU s.r.o.The castle used to hold three fortification towers, but none of them are standing today. In the still-existing western wing we can visit the large Gothic Hall which displays copies of frescoes from the end of the 15th century. The castle was first mentioned in writing in 1254 and was built (under the supervision of King Přemysl Otakar II himself) at the same time as the town, which explains why it fits so perfectly into the town's layout. The last ruler to live in the castle was King Wenceslas (Václav) IV. In 1419, the castle passed into the hands of the Písek burgrave Jan Hájek of Hodětín, but it went through many owners soon afterward. It was purchased by the city of Písek in 1509, where it remained until 1547. Over the following years and centuries it was abandoned and gradually fell into disrepair. The western wing, entrance tower, and parkán were demolished in 1851, and the castle was transformed into the torso we see nowadays. The remaining part of the castle houses the Prácheň Museum today.

Prácheň Museum

Písek's Prácheň Museum was founded in 1848 in the only preserved wing of the former Royal Castle. The museum fund was brought in 1902, when the museum director was the renowned historian and Písek native August Sedláček (see personages).

Písek - The Prácheň Museum's modern approach to exhibitions earned it the title of European Museum of the Year in 1996, photo by: Archiv Vydavatelství MCU s.r.o.The museum is open to the public and features the following exhibitions: Prehistory and the Slavic Period, Beginnings of the Písek Town and Castle, Regional History, Protected Areas, Minerals, Písek Cultural Traditions, Gold in the Otava, and Fish and Aquaculture.

The Prácheň Museum's modern approach to exhibitions earned it the title of European Museum of the Year in 1996. It oversees other museum branches as well, such as the Adolf Heyduk Monument and the Protivín Monument.

Malthouse (Sladovna)

Písek - The Malthouse is a cultural centre in the very heart of Písek with something for every generation, photo by: Městský úřad PísekLeaving the former castle courtyard, we now turn right to another open area just before the massive building which used to serve as the Písek Malthouse (Sladovna). This building served for the production of malt for the Písek and Protivín breweries for over a hundred years (1864 to 1973). Despite its size and height, it was built over the course of a mere two years, from 1862 to 1864. When the production of malt was terminated in 1973, new uses for such a large industrial architectural monument were sought out, including a textile storehouse for a while. Following vast reconstruction of part of the Malthouse, completed in 2007, an entirely new space was opened up. Two years later, this 1700 m2 of exhibition space found its new use as a cultural centre. The courtyard of the Malthouse has been transformed into a peaceful relaxation zone in the centre of the city, used in the summer months for more modest cultural events under the open sky.

The Malthouse is a cultural centre in the very heart of Písek with something for every generation. The focal point of its program is the Centre of Children's Illustrations which features a permanent exhibition of the most notable Czech illustrators. One part is devoted to the Písek native Radek Pilař, creator of the favourite Czech figures of "Večerníček" and Cipísek. The rest of the exhibition covers illustrators and exhibitions of regional authors. There is a newly installed large interactive exhibition here for children and adults. A visit to the entire Malthouse will take you through a gallery, past the singing fountain, while children can play in an inspiring and cultivated environment. If you're lucky, you can take part in one of several workshops, debates, concerts, and theatre performances.

The building also houses the municipal infocentrum which provides information on the city, accommodations, cultural events, transportation, and so on.

House at the Golden Ship

Now let's return to Velké Náměstí. We'll take advantage of our location on the northern side, and at the beginning of Karlova Street we can see an interesting house sign as a sailboat on the House at the Golden Ship. The house's Late Baroque façade is worth noting.