Žďár nad Sázavou was originally a market town, established on an ancient regional route, and at its inception it was closely linked with the establishment of the Cistercian monastery in 1252. The town was elevated to city status at the beginning of the seventeenth century. Today the city plays host to several cultural and social events, and for tourists it offers a whole range of active recreation options thanks to its advantageous position. The Pilgrimage Church of St John of Nepomuk at Zelená Hora was inscribed in the UNESCO List in 1994. The building, which dates from the beginning of the 18th century, is one of the finest projects by the architect Jan Blažej Santini-Aichl (1677-1723), and is also an example of ‘baroque gothic’. The church, which is not large in size, defies all description, and this is sufficient reason to make a visit to see it with your own eyes.
Tour of the City Using the Stará radnice (Old Town Hall) as our starting point, we walk to the Church of St. Prokop and the Regional Museum on Tvrz Street, where the various exhibitions are worth a visit. A visit to the château and its surroundings would require a separate visit. The tour starts with a visit to the Pilgrimage Church of St John of Nepomuk at Zelená Hora and continues to the Taverna inn, where we turn right onto the bridge adorned with statues of the saints and we continue to the château. We can visit the Book Museum, Convent Church of Nanebevzetí Panny Marie (The Assumption of the Virgin Mary), an exhibition on the architect Santini and the Kinský Gallery. From the Chateau we go to the Dolní (Lower) (or also plague) cemetery and the Pilská nádrž (Pilská pond). We can return to the city either by public transport or using the route by which we came.
Pilgrimage Church of St John of Nepomuk at Zelená Hora is one of the most important works by the baroque architect Jan Santini. The church was built in the baroque gothic style from 1719 to 1722 and was commissioned by the abbot at the Cistercian monastery. The purpose of the building was to commemorate John of Nepomuk as a powerful patron and saint.
The Château grounds and the historical centre of the city of Žďár nad Sázavou are to be found in the grounds of the former Cistercian monastery. After the dissolution of the order in 1784 the grounds were re-designated as an agricultural centre and château. Today we can visit the Book Museum, an exhibition on the architect Santini and the Kinský Gallery.
The Santini cycle route is marked as a 64 kilometre route that joins two cycle routes leading through the Vysočina region – the Czech-Moravian route and the Prague route. It takes you through Vojnův Městec, Radostín, Vepřová, Polnička, Žďár nad Sázavou, Hlinné, Obyčtov, Bobrová, Zvole and to Bystřice nad Pernštejnem. It also joins the Jeseník–Znojmo route.
The Sázava cycle route is a cycle route of medium difficulty which runs along the River Sázava, and offers romantic corners, an attractive river valley and almost along its whole route there is a large number of historical monuments. It takes you through Lísek, Nové Město na Moravě, Žďár nad Sázavou, Přibyslav, Havlíčkův Brod, Světlá, Ledeč, Zruč, Poříčí and Týnec nad Sázavou, to Jílové u Prahy and to Davle.
The Vysočina Skansen on Veselý kopec is an ideal tip for a family outing, which takes you along the border of the Železné hory and the Žďárské vrchy. Of the original buildings standing on Veselý Kopec only a small cottage remains - the dwelling place of the poorest levels of society. The other buildings were brought here from the surrounding villages, and the skansen today has thirty buildings.
Havlíčkova Borová is a trip to see one of the most important figures in Czech history during the Czech National Revival. We shall visit the house where Karel Havlíček Borovský was born which was built in 1818 by his father who had a shop here. In 1931 a museum was opened in the Borovský house with a permanent exhibition dedicated to the life and works of the village’s famous native son.
The Horák museum in Nové Město na Moravě was established in 1892 as the second largest of its kind in western Moravia. It is situated in the historical building of the former renaissance town hall. Its exhibitions are centred on the folk culture of the Moravian Horák region, glassmaking, iron founding and the history of the city with a special emphasis on skiing.
Polička was once a royal dowry town established in 1265 by the Czech King Přemysl Otakar II. Visitors to the town will be interested by the layout of the town, which is confined by the remarkably preserved fortifications. It is the birthplace of Bohuslav Martinů, who came from the family of a Polička shoemaker and watchman, and was born in a room in the tower of the Church of St. Jakub.
The educational Žákova hora – Tisůvka trail is a trip into the nature of the Czech-Moravian highlands and the Žďárské vrchy. You can find here for example the sources of the rivers Sázava and Svratka and the remains of the original virgin forest on Žákova hora. The round trip commences in the village of Cikháj, is 10 km in length, has 12 stops and each of the two trips takes approximately two hours.