Off the Beaten Track
Slavonice, a town close to the border of Bohemia, Moravia, and Austria, stands on a Gothic foundation but is known primarily for its Renaissance architecture. Thanks to Slavonice's distinctive atmosphere, rich history, and local population, it's a town like no other. Come and soak in Slavonice's carefree charm and discover the beautiful sights in spring, summer, fall, or winter.
Slavonice was founded in the 12th century when an older settlement was turned into a fortified town that expanded in the 14th century. During this time, the Eastern Market Square, today called Horní náměstí (Upper Square), and the larger Western Market (Peace Square) were established. Both squares gradually began to be lined with burgher houses built on long plots with thin courtyards.
Slavonice owes its current appearance to several renowned builders and architects from the 16th century, a time when Slavonice flourished and the houses lining both squares were rebuilt. One of the most important builders was Leopold Esteraich, whose stonemason mark bearing the initials "L E" can be found on the most beautiful buildings in town. He not only limited the Renaissance elements just to the exterior features on the facades, but also focused on the interior spaces. Thanks to his ideas and efforts, we can find unique vaulted ceilings in the cellars, which are some of the most historically significant Renaissance architectural vestiges.
Since the Thirty Years' War, the town went through a difficult period, during which many houses fell into disrepair or were destroyed during the fires that broke out in the middle of the 18th and 19th centuries. In the 1950s, cultural conservationists finally began to work on Slavonice's monuments and uncovered hidden facades. Thanks to their work, visitors can admire the late Gothic and Renaissance buildings and their richly decorated facades with sgraffito, figures, and sculptures. The town was recognized as a protected monument zone on August 31st, 1961.
Two Renaissance Squares
The pair of historically significant squares divided by the Church of the Assumption of the Virgin Mary are lined by houses with Gothic cores and Renaissance exteriors. Many have breathtaking gables decorated with sgraffito patterns.
Town Tower
The Renaissance lookout tower is one of náměstí Míru Square's main features. It was built in the first half of the 16th century as an addition to the Church of the Assumption of the Virgin Mary. Visitors must walk up 176 steps to enjoy views of Slavonice and its surrounding area.
The oldest parts of Slavonice are located underground. Mysterious Gothic passageways began to be built in the 13th century, when they served as drainage and very likely also as the town's defense system. Today, visitors can take a guided tour of Slavonice's underground.
Slavonice Underground
Diamond Vault
In house no. 480 on náměstí Míru Square is a fresco hall with wall paintings from the second half of the 16th century that depicts scenes from the New Testament. The building's main room also has a unique vaulted ceiling called the diamond vault that served as the inspiration for Czechoslovakia's pavilion at the EXPO 58 in Brussels.
Church of Corpus Christi
The Church of Corpus Christi is the oldest building in Slavonice. According to legend, it dates back to the end of the 13th century. Inside, there are 10 altars and its outer wall is decorated with a glass mosaic depicting St. Christopher.
Museum of
the 20th Century
The museum's permanent exhibition centers on events that took place on the state border from the 1930s to 1989. Its collection includes the equipment and weapons of the Czechoslovak Army, the contents of bunkers, models, photographs, documents, a First Republic kitchen, or an exhibit of prams and uniforms.
Four hiking trails start in Slavonice. All will take you to interesting local sites and other historic towns—enjoy your relaxing stay to the fullest.
Four hiking trails start in Slavonice. All will take you to interesting local sites and other historic towns. In the summer, everything is in bloom and teeming with life, and in the winter, when everything is covered in snow and ice, the quiet atmosphere has a poetic charm that is worth experiencing.
Slavonice's surrounding area and Czech Canada in general is perfect for bike trips. There are six different types of circuits that offer easy fun for the whole family as well as more challenging paths for seasoned cyclists, who can even follow the signs and bike all the way to Austria or the Dyje River.
Lovers of the green will be happy to know that there are two championship golf courses nearby—Monachus and Telč. There is also a nine-hole golf course in Nová Bystřice, the first public course to open in the Czech Republic. The undulating landscape is ideally suited to all categories of golfers, including complete beginners.
Several swimming pools are easily accessible from Slavonice: the swimming pool in the Dačice sports grounds and the Jemnice natural swimming pool. There are also many ponds in the area, such as the Bejčkův and Dědkův ponds.
There is magical scenery to be found in the untouched nature of Czech Canada, vast forests, precious wetlands and ponds, as well as a large number of historical monuments—recharge your batteries in a countryside full of history.
At the beginning of the 19th century, the infamous Jan Jiří Grasel was hiding out somewhere in Slavonice. He ran away from his investigators and took refuge in the caves and rock formations deep in the nearby forests. Today, you can follow in the footsteps of this outlaw, who once had the whole region running scared. On 182 kilometers of hiking trails, you will pass through enchanting landscapes, shady forests, and ancient tree-lined paths.
of Border Fortifications
Slavonice lies right by Czech Republic's border with Austria. Hidden in the nearby forests is a fortress area with bunkers and military obstacles from the years 1936–1938. A massive defensive wall was built around the entire border of Czechoslovakia to defend the country from attack by Nazi Germany, Austria, and Hungary.
Fairytale Forest Path
This two-kilometer children's hiking trail starts right in the center of Slavonice. It can be stretched to four kilometers if the kids are up to it. The trail has three slightly difficult sections, so there's something for every age fromkindergarteners to high schoolers to enjoy.
Landštejn Castle and a Rope Park
The romantic ruins of Landštejn Castle are hidden in the forests of Czech Canada. In Old Town just below Landštejn, there is a large rope park with more than twenty rope obstacles for kids and adults.
From Slavonice, you can follow the red trail all the way to the remains of the medieval village of Pfaffenschlag. This ancient settlement was founded during the reign of Přemysl Otakar II when he colonized the borderlands. The village was burned to the ground during the Hussite Wars and was never rebuilt.
Dačice Chateau
Originally a Renaissance chateau dating back to the end of the 16th century, it acquired its current appearance in the 1830s, when it was rebuilt in the Classicist style. The Municipal Museum and a gallery are located within its grounds.
Historic Narrow-Gauge Railway
If you are a fan of the Jára Cimrman brand of Czech humor, head out to the small village of Kaproun not far from Slavonice, where you will find a monument to the greatest Czech at the railway station, for it was here that he was famously thrown out of the train. Take a ride on the historic narrow-gauge railway and enjoy Czech Canada's beautiful countryside.
Maříž is a village located only three kilometers from Slavonice. Once a thriving place with a chateau, by the end of the 1970s it was on the brink of complete extinction. Thanks to the efforts of a handful of local residents and artists who had fallen in love with Maříz, the village was revitalized and today it's one of the most popular tourist destinations in the Czech border region.
in South
The landscape that surrounds Slavonice on all sides is home to many valuable habitats, including several wetlands. The Wetlands Association has been dedicated to their protection and management for a long time. When the team behind Hotel Pivoňka asked what it could do to help, a close partnership began and the Maříž Wetlands were founded. Only three kilometers from Slavonice, visitors can come and learn about how water is effectively retained in the soil and how to support biodiversity.
The Maříž Wetlands
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Hotel Pivoňka
náměstí Míru 466
378 81 Slavonice

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Hotel Pivoňka is the patron of the northern crested newt in Slavonice and the Moravian Dyje basin.