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Czech Republic
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Plzen is a city in western Bohemia in the Czech Republic.It is the capital of the Plzen Region and the fourth most populous city in the Czech Republic.It is located about 90 km west of Prague at the confluence of four rivers the Radbuza, the Mze, the Uhlava,and the Uslava which form the Berounka River.The city is known worldwide for Pilsener beer. Plzen was in September 2010 selected by an official jury to be put forward to join the Belgian city of Mons as the European capital of culture in 2015.

Plzen was first mentioned as a castle in 976,as the scene of a battle between Duke Boleslaus II of Bohemia and Emperor Otto II.It became a town in 1295 when King Wenceslaus II granted Plzen its civic charter as a special "Royal City" and established a new town site located some 10 km away from the original settlement, which is the current town of Stary Plzenec It quickly became an important town on trade routes leading to Nuremberg and Regensburg; in the 14th century, it was the third-largest town in Bohemia after Prague and Kutna Hora.During the Hussite Wars, it was the centre of Catholic resistance to the Hussites Prokop the Great unsuccessfully besieged it three times,and it joined the league of Romanist nobles against King George of Podebrady.In 1468, the town acquired a printing press; the Troyan Chronicle, the first book published in Bohemia, was printed on it.

Emperor Rudolf II made Plzen his seat from 1599–1600.During the Thirty Years' War the town was taken by Mansfeld in 1618 after the Siege of Plzeň and it was not recaptured by the Imperial troops until 1621.Wallenstein made it his winter quarters in 1633.The town was unsuccessfully besieged by the Swedes in 1637 and 1648.The town and region have been staunchly Catholic despite the Hussite Wars.Plzen has been selected to be a European Capital Of Culture in 2015, along with Mons, Belgium.

How to Reach

By Train

Trains leave from Prague's main train station (Praha - Hlavni nadrazi CD) on an hourly basis during daytime.Buses leave frequently from Prague's terminus metro station Zlicin (line B).The trip takes approximately an hour and 40 minutes by train and about an hour by bus.

By Bus

The Plzen metropolitan area is largely served by a network of trams,trolleybuses and buses operated by the PMDP.Like other continental European cities, tickets bought from vending machines or small shops are valid for any transportation ran by the city of Plzen.For residents of the city, a Plzen Card can be purchased and through a system of "topping up" be used on any public transport with no limitations,as long as it is paid up and valid.

Key places to visit
Puppet Museum, Patton Memorial Pilsen, Historical underground network, Cathedral of St. Bartholomew, Dohany Street Synagogue, The Town Hall, Pilsner Urquell Brewery, Pilsen Zoo


Places to Visit

Puppet Museum

Located in the completely adapted historical house No. 24 in the Square of the Republic, the Puppet Museum is expected to be opened in 2009. Exhibitions and workshops will map the unique history and present of Pilsen puppetry and offer interactive activities for both children and adult visitors.

Patton Memorial Pilsen

The only American Army museum in Bohemia,opened on the occasion of the 60th anniversary of the liberation of Pilsen and South-West Bohemia.It features the stay of the American soldiers in the region May through November 1945.

Historical underground network

A sophisticated system of cellars and tunnels of up to three levels under the whole Old Town area.It is accessible from the Brewery Museum in Veleslavinova street.

Cathedral of St. Bartholomew

The Cathedral of Saint Bartholomew dominates the city center of Pilsen in the Czech RepublicThe construction of the Gothic style building,located on the main square,started in 1295 and was finished by the beginning of 16th century.The Madonna of Plzen, a statue situated next to the altar, dates from 1390. The statue is an example of the "beautiful style" of the Czech Madonnas in gothic art. Sternberk Chapel, built during the first half of 16th century and decorated with Renaissance wall paintings, was restored from ruins during 20th century.

Dohany Street Synagogue

Is located in Erzsebetvaros, the 7th district of Budapest.It is the largest synagogue in Eurasia and the second largest in the world,after the Temple Emanu-El in New York City.It seats 3,000 people and is a centre of Neolog Judaism.Dohany Street itself, a leafy street in the city center, carries strong Holocaust connotations as it constituted the border of the Budapest Ghetto.Theodore Herzl's house of birth was next to the Dohány street Synagogue. In the place of his house stands the Jewish Museum, which holds the Jewish Religious and Historical Collection, built in 1930 in accordance with the synagogue's architectural style and attached in 1931 to the main building.

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