After the delight that was Hradec Kralove’s museum, we utilised our new found geographical knowledge to explore the rest of the old town. The diorama on the upper floor is like a giant 3D tourist map that lets you easily get your bearings and figure out what to explore next. We made our way to an interesting looking bridge further down the river, with what looked like a long old fashioned warehouse beside it. Turns out the “Hučák” bridge, and the accompanying hydroelectric power station next door are rather delightful indeed. You can learn more about their construction here.
On the north bank of the river behind the power station, is a lovely little park complete with a variety of trees, for all you dendrophiles out there, a lovely bandstand and a 16th century wooden church. Beside the park there’s a shiny new…ish ice hockey stadium, that is the subject of a dispute with the city council.
We next made our way across the confluence of the Orlice and Labe rivers to another bridge/plant combo. Bridges here are very practical creatures, not just your average run of the mill crossing mechanism, but a way of harnessing the power of the river. Like the Hučák bridge, this fella is also the best part of a century old.
By the time we had checked out the museum, the bridges and the river it was getting late in the day. We made our way back towards the train station, stopping to admire the little details along the way. As I’ve said before, you always have to look up when exploring a new town as often the most interesting features are high above, or at least above ground level.
A wonderful day of exploration complete and a new found appreciation for the architecture and history of this country we now call home, we made tracks for the station. After getting a little lost, but ending up pretty much on the right track, we arrived back at the train station.
These last few posts on Hradec Kralove are by no means an exhaustive exploration of everything the town has to offer. I’d highly recommend a visit to this “mini Prague” if even for the museum alone. Can’t wait for the next adventure in the Czech Republic, and if you have any suggestions of places to see, please do let me know in the comments.