The most surprising trip so far- Namest nad Oslavou
Namest nad Oslavou is a small town, remoted 40 kilometers west from Brno, associated with the castle up on the hill and the baroque bridge over the Oslava river.
For quite a long time Namest nad Oslavou in my opinion was one of the towns you just drive by when heading to other destinations or even worse one of the towns you don’t really expect much of. But after the visit I changed my mind.
One sunny afternoon we decided it’s time to give a chance to Namest nad Oslavou. We live relatively close, so afternoon seemed appropriate time to start the trip. It took us around 20-30 minutes to arrive.
First of all, we were nicely surprised by the local café U Racku, which served their own delicious coffee and underpriced desserts. We went for a quick tour by the inner city, got a closer look at the town hall building, studied the interactive map and explored all the events happening there.
Obviously, later on we couldn’t head anywhere else than the famous castle. We went through the bridge, which is currently being under reconstruction unfortunately. Once we reached the park, we found out there’re two paths leading to the castle. One is a shortcut through the woods, the other is a concrete path.
And here is where the real exploration started. We could look into every corner, go up and down the stairs, hide behind the arch and get a good look at the statues. I loved the fact the castle was accessible from every corner. The castle as I remembered it form the car window as gloomy and not appealing was now inviting me to see its hidden beauty. We spent the rest of the afternoon searching for mysterious places, playing hide and seek in the castle’s park and gazing at the sunset over the wooden dome. This destination took me by surprise and I am glad we decided to give it a try. Even if the castle is closed, there’s plenty to see outside of it.
Not to diminish, but this 74,8-meter-long baroque bridge built in 1737, does look like the little version of Prague’s Charles bridge. It consists of 7 arches, where the central one is 9,7 meter wide. The statues were a part of the bridge from 1744. However, don’t be mistaken, those we see today are not the originals, the restored originals are stored in castle’s lapidarium. Among the statues you may find archangel Gabriel – his statue with other angels serves as guardians. It total 20 statues of different saints.
HISTORY IN A NUTSHELL
The castle has quite colorful history with many different families living in it. The first mention of the castle comes from XIII century. The oval stone tower is the only thing preserved from that time. Later on, castle went through a metamorphosis. In XVI century Žerotín family rebuilt it to the spacious renaissance one. While in 1949 castle was opened to public. Finally, in 2001 the castle was declared a National Cultural Monument.
BEFORE THE VISIT
You may choose to go on a guided tour around representation rooms or Count Haugwitz´s Apartment. Both tours last 55 minutes, cost 130 kc each and are available during the weekend in October from 9 till 3 pm. Remember from November till March the castle is closed. You may pay with a credit card as well as cash. If you’re staying longer, you may accommodate yourself in the Castle Guest House and feel like a royal. The double bedroom cost 1150 kc per night.
HOW TO AND WHERE TO PARK
You may either go by train – a direct link from Brno or by car using part of the highway 1. There’s a parking place at the top of the hill by the castle. We on the other hand, decided to park the car in the city center, so that we get a good hike up the hill and visit the town at the same time. We used the spacious parking at Penny market and walked by the river till we reached the bridge.
WHAT ELSE TO SEE IN NAMEST NAD OSLAVOU
The town is quite small, only around 5 thousand inhabitants and 862 ha. Not that far from the castle is Restaurant Na statku, with a mini golf, playground for kids and mini-ZOO with some farm animals.
Between two towns: Namest nad Oslavou and Kralice nad Oslavou stretches across vast green area: Obora. Like the one in Brno, it’s fenced and if you’re lucky you may spot wild forest animals there.