It all began in 1842, when the beer with a unique colour and taste, Pilsner Urquell, was tapped for the first time at the Měšťanský brewery (today Plzeňský Prazdroj). You can taste this superb beer at the Na Spilce Restaurant – the largest Czech beerhall – which is located in the former fermentation cellar.
The city is dominated by the St. Bartholomew Cathedral, which has the highest church tower in the Czech Republic. From the tower, there is a beautiful view of the historic city centre and the wooded hills of the Plzeň Basin. A strong Jewish community formed in Plzeň in 1893 around the Great Synagogue, which is the third largest in the world. Proof of Plzeň’s importance is its victory in the competition for the title of European Capital of Culture for 2015.
Reason to visit
If you want to learn about the history of Pilsner Urquell beer, be sure not to miss a trip to the world-famous brewery that gave the world the Pils style of beer. An exhibition will acquaint you with the whole procedure of making the excellent beer. You will become familiar with the ingredients used, the historical and current brewhouses, and the bottling plant. A real treat is a tasting of filtered, unpasteurized Pilsner Urquell beer straight from the barrel. Also visit the Brewery Museum, where you can explore the Gothic malt house with a well, a two-level cellar and the former tavern, along with hundreds of unique exhibits illustrating the history of beer brewing from ancient times to the present.
The Liberation Festival is a unique event, expressing gratitude to the U.S. Army for the liberation of Plzeň. In a 1940s atmosphere with the heartstirring appearance of American veterans, Jeeps ride down the street carrying soldiers in American uniforms. Everywhere people are dancing and jazz is playing. Fighter planes fly overhead, and leading the Freedom Convoy is the legendary M4 Sherman tank. Where better to be in early May than in Plzeň?
In the urban conservation area you’ll see typical burgher houses and a historical underground network, built beginning in the 14th century. An 800-metre tour circuit leads through a labyrinth of medieval corridors, cellars and wells.