Telč is situated at the south-west tip of Moravia, half-way between Prague and Vienna. According to legend the foundation of the city is associated with the victory of the Moravian Prince Otto II over the Bohemian King Břetislav in 1099. It was this victory that meant the building of a chapel, later to become a church, and a settlement which forms today’s Staré Město (Old Town). The city saw its greatest period of expansion under the rule of Zacharias of Hradec in the 2nd half of the 16th century. At the beginning of the 19th century Telč played an important role in the entire south-west region of Moravia, which was still growing with the arrival of the railway. Because the historical centre of the city, surrounded by fish ponds and city gates, has retained its unique shape over the centuries, in 1992 it was inscribed in the UNESCO List, which brought with it increased interest and a subsequent influx of tourists from around the world.
A Tour of the City. We can begin our tour by entering through the Svatodušní věž (Tower of the Holy Spirit), from where we will have beneath us Telč and its vicinity. Of note are the townhouses, the two fountains in the eastern part of the square, the Marian Plague Column, and the parish church of St. Jakub with its sixty-metre spire. We can also see the renaissance castle directly below us. We leave the square along Palackého Street passing the Svatodušní věž and the Horní brána (Upper gate) and we arrive at the Staroměstský rybník (Old Town Fishpond), where we pass by the former steam mill and continue along the narrow path around the fishpond. We then go down Mašková, Na Korábě and Svatoanenská Streets and arrive at the gateway to the St. Anna cemetery with its statue of St Donát. From here we continue along Na Parkáně Street to the former Jewish Synagogue, which is where our tour ends.
A tour of the Old Town begins at náměstí Zachariáše z Hradce and continues past the Svatodušní věž (Tower of the Holy Spirit) to the Upper Gate (Horní brána), which once consisted of two towers on either side of the castle ramparts. The exterior of the tower has been preserved, but the inside was demolished in 1883 and the drawbridge between the towers was replaced by a stone bridge. We continue the tour to the Ulický fish pond and thence to the Old Town.
The Chapel of St. Karel Boromejský is three kilometres from Telč in the ‘vlčí jámy‘ region (Wolf’s Abyss), into which Františka Slavatová’s son, Jan Karel Jáchym, fell in 1662 whilst on a hunt. To commemorate his rescue the Countess had the chapel built in 1663. The red tourist trail will take you here along a beautiful path which is hundreds of years old from the centre of the town, but the chapel is shut all year round.
A walk around the Štěpnický fish pond begins by the Lower Gate (Dolní brána) and takes us along a footpath under the gardens that surround the fish pond. The path continues around the St. Anna Cemetery, the Pod poštou estate, along na Posvátné Street, the Štěpnice district and to Oldřichovo náměstí. We walk along Štěpnická Street past the folk-baroque houses on the little square with the fountain and then we follow the causeway back to the Lower Gate.
Through the Telč area by foot We follow the green route, walking along the ancient majestic tree-lined path to the relatively extensive ruins of Štamberk castle. From the castle only part of the towers, the palace, bulwarks and fortifications have been preserved. From here we continue along the blue route along the Horní and Dolní Mrzatec fish ponds, via Mrákotín to Dobrá Voda, and then along the yellow route back to Telč.
The yellow tourist route will take you through Volevčice and Doupě to Roštejn castle. This late Gothic castle was built in the first half of the 14th century by the Lords of Hradec and in the 1670s it was rebuilt by Zachariáš z Hradce as a hunting lodge. Continue along the blue trail along the Pařezitý fish ponds, along the red route to Řásná, past the Chapel of St. Karel, and along the tree-lined path back to Telč.
Along cycle route no. 16 you go through Kostelní Myslová, to Zadní Vydří, past the Jewish Cemetery and then along cycle path no. 5124 via Velký Pěčín, Černíč and to Strachoňovice, Dolní Vilímeč, and Červený Hrádek. From here you follow road no. 407 to Nová Říše with its Premonstratian monastery and church of St Peter and St. Paul. Cycle route no. 5125 takes you back to Telč via Zvolenovice.
Along cycle route no. 5091 you can reach the source of the Dyje River via Mysliboř, and Panenská Rozsíčka. From here you continue to Stajiště, Pavlova and along cycle route no. 5092 via Nepomuky, Stará Říše, Rozseč, Krasonice and to Knínice. Then you continue along cycle route no. 5124 to Bohusoudovo, the hunting lodge in Kouty, Červený Hrádek, Dolní Vilím, Strachoňovice, Radkovo and back to Telč.
Three places to stop in Telč. Walk around the square, first to the Dolní kašna (Lower Fountain), decorated with a statue of St. Markéta and then the Horní kašna (Upper Fountain) with its statue of Silenus and the young Dionysus. Both fountains were once made of wood. The third place to stop is the Marian Plague Column dating from 1716-20 with statues of St. John Nepomuk, St. James, St. Francis Xavier, St. Roche, St. Sebastian and the Guardian Angel.
Three churches in Telč. Walk around náměstí Zachariáše z Hradce, which will lead you first to the 14th century parish church of St. James with its 60 metre tower. The second church is the Church of the Name of Jesus (kostel Jména Ježíš) with its Jesuit college and grammar school dating from 1663-67. The third is the originally romanesque Church of the Holy Spirit (kostel sv. Ducha), which today serves as the Czech Brothers Evangelical Church.