"TABOR: THE BIRTH PLACE OF BOEHIMIA" Tabor by thinking
Tabor Travel Guide: 2 reviews and 9 photos
88km (55 miles) S of Prague, 59km (37 miles) N of Ceské Budejovice
The center of the Hussite movement following religious leader Jan Hus's execution in Prague, Tábor was officially founded in 1420 and named by the Hussites after the biblical Mount Tábor. Forsaking their property, the Hussites came here to receive Christ on his return to earth. The group of soldiers leading Tábor, some 15,000 in all, felt that they had been commanded by God to break the power of the Catholics at that time.
Legendary warrior Jan Zizka led the Táborites, as this sect of Hussites was known. Time and time again, Zizka rallied his troops to defeat the papal forces, until he was struck down in battle in 1424. For 10 more years the Hussites battled on, but their loss at Lipany signaled the end of the uprising, and an agreement was reached with Emperor Sigmund of Luxembourg of the Holy Roman Empire. Later, the town submitted to the leadership of Bohemia's Jirí z Podebrad (George of Podebrad) and blossomed economically, creating the wealth needed to construct the Renaissance buildings now found in the historic Old Town.
Most of the city's sights are on or around Zizkovo námestí. On the square's west side is the Museum of the Hussite Movement (tel. 381-254-286). The late-Gothic former town hall now chronicles the movement that put Tábor on the map and in the history books. In front of the building lie stone tables where Hussite ministers gave daily communion. Leading from the museum's entrance, twisting and turning 650m (2,132 ft.) underneath the square, is a labyrinth of tunnels dating back to the 15th century. After visiting the museum, take one of the guided tours that snakes through the underground maze, which has housed everything from beer kegs to women imprisoned for such dastardly things as quarreling with men. The tunnels also doubled as a way to sneak under enemy guards if the town ever fell, allowing Hussite soldiers to launch an attack from behind. Admission to the Hussite Museum is 60Kc ($2.15), to the tunnels 40Kc ($1.40). They're open April 1 to October 31 daily 8:30am to 5pm; November 1 to March 31, Monday to Friday 8:30am to 5pm.
When you emerge from the tunnels, you'll be on the opposite side of the square, facing the Church of Transfiguration of Our Lord, with its vaulted impressive stained-glass windows and Gothic wooden altar. Climb the tower for one of the best views of the town. Open daily from 10am to 5pm.
You can pay homage to the Hussite military mastermind Jan Zizka at his statue next to the church. For a wondrous avenue of Renaissance buildings, stroll down Prazská ulice, off the southeast corner of the square. From here you can turn down Divadelní and head along the Luznice River toward Kotnov Castle (no phone). If your feet aren't up to the walk, you can take a more direct route to Kotnov by heading straight down Klokotská ulice, which runs away from the square next to the Hussite Museum.
A 14th-century castle that forms the southwest corner of the town wall, Kotnov Castle is most recognizable for its round tower, with another great view of the town. Inside the castle is a well-organized collection on the Middle Ages, with old farming tools, armor, weapons, uniforms, and other artifacts. Admission is 40Kc ($1.40), and it's open April to September daily from 8:30am to 5pm.
- Pros:I LOVED THIS PLACE. I WOULD ENJOY LIVING HERE
- In a nutshell:WONDERFUL HISTORY AND LAYOUT OF THE TOWN
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