The Gothic castle was founded in mid 13th century as the fortified point protecting the Bohemian- Kladsko pass. There were many noble houses taking turns in keeping it, above all the House of Poděbrady, Pernštejn and Smiřice, followed by House of Trčka, Piccolomini, Desfours, Curland and Schaumburg. There were among owners even Czech kings. Until the 18th century it had been often rebuilt, in Renaissance style during ownership of House Smiřický in Baroque one, led by significant Italian master builder Carlo Lugano.
The huge portal of the gate leading through the castle alley to the military cemetery, where are the family members of Duke Schaumburg-Lippe and other war dead from the Prussian-Austrian war 1866 buried, is an example of the top Baroque style.The castle is large, with five courts. The interiors boast a big collection of rare tapestries, there are held many celebrations and cultural performances during the tourist season , not only inside but also in the castle garden. Visitors can view the town from the terrace or the tower. They can explore Gothic cellars , the chapel, the Piccolomini garden, the English park and live bears called Ludvík and Dáša.
Churches and Charges
St. Lawrence Church in the main square is already mentioned in 1310. The neighbouring Baroque building of the deanery was built in 1727, the Baroque St. Michael Church at Komenský Street in 1716, the oldest church of St. John Baptist, located in the Municipal cemetery is recorded in 11th and 12th century.
The Czechoslovak Hussite Church, a charge of Jan Hus, is in Raisova Street, near the District Court. The charge house of Unity Brethren is situated at the corner of Purkyňova and Březinova Streets. The Evangelical Unity of Brethren has its house in Purkyňova Street, No. 535.
The Regional Museum - History of Náchod and the Náchod Area
The Museum can be found in a pleasant house in Masaryk Square. Period exhibits from primeval ages till the present times as well as 25 life-size figurines showing the significant personalities and historical events from the life of the area can certainly attract the attention of visitors. There are also 3 large models on the display. First one show the original medieval Gothic stronghold of Náchod, second one, 3,5 metres long model shows the town in the first quarter of 19th century, with 150 houses and town-walls joined together with the castle ones. The third, 12 metres long model ,shows the Náchod basin with three infantry forts built within years 1936 - 1938. It is the biggest model of this period of time shown in Czech Republic.
The Art Nouveau building of hotel U Beránka and Dr. Josef Čížek Municipal Theatre was built between 1912-1914after Dr. Alois Čenský design, with the restaurant, café and theater part. Between years 1989 - 1994 was this protected cultural complex entirely reconstructed under the supervision of the Institute of conservation in Pardubice. Hotel "U beránka"belongs to leading Czech hotels because of its furnishings and high level of services. Municipal theatre is proud of its original interiors full of paintings and rich golden ornaments. Many prominent artist took part in the decorations. The rare theatre curtain by Mikoláš Aleš hangs at the stage.
The New Town Hall
The building was constructed between years 1902 and 1904 in pseudo-renaissance style according to architect Podhájský´s design. The front part is abundantly decorated with colourful, figural sgraffito by Mikoláš Aleš, representing a mayor, two councillors and King George of Poděbrady. There is also pictured St. Wencesles on the side wall. At the tower corner is placed the statue of Knight Hron - the founder of the town, created by sculptor Čeněk Vosmík after model of Mikoláš Aleš. The Assembly Hall as well as the adjacent saloon (serving as a Ceremony Hall), both stylishly decorated are on the second floor.
Municipal Office resides recently in this building.
There is the seat of State Art Gallery in former castle riding -school of the state castle complex. Large collection of Russian paintings from 19th century creates the permanent part of the exposition . Attractive exhibitions focused on contemporary artists are continuously held here. There is also a small gallery in the centre of the town, at the corner of Zámecká and Tyršova streets, where there are the monothematic exhibitions held. There are some other galleries in Masaryk square, one in the Regional museum and the private one of the local painter V. A. Šrůtek in the restaurant "Slovan" . At the bottom of Komenský street is located "Master With a Palm" gallery.
Brewery Náchod, joint stock company
Náchod citizens had the brewing rights for centuries. But the recent municipal brewery itself originated in 1872. Today, after reconstruction, it belongs to the most modern breweries in this country as to equipment and technology. The stock is owned by the town of Náchod.
The trade mark "Primátor" represents the variety of beers satisfying all of the direct consumers and business clients: well known 12% Light and Lager, classical 10% Light, non-alcohol "Pito", diabetic "Diamant" and some original specials: 15% Semi-Light, 16% Light Lager, 21% Light "Primátor Knight" and the strongest Czech beer - 24% Dark "Primátor Double. The latest novelty is the leaven beer.
Dobrošov Fortress and Chalet
There is a hill above Náchod, 624 metres high, called Dobrošov. Lately reconstructed Jirásek hiking chalet is a beautiful building by architekt Dušan Jurkovič, built in 1914 with the outlook-tower, where there distant surroundings can be seen from - even Giant Mountains and town towers of Hradec Králové when the weather is fine.
The artillery fortress nearby is part of the border fortification line of 1936 till 1938. While visiting the fort you can see the underground space . There is an instructive trail around the fortress with information boards, explaining the fortification themes of the late thirties of the past century. In the entrance centre there is a permanent display of Czechoslovak pre-World War II army in miniatures from Lubor Šušlík collection. Fort "Jeřáb" is open for public on bank holidays only.
Infantry Fort "Březinka"
The Infantry Fort "Březinka" is a ferro-concrete fortified building originating from 1937. It was formely a part of the Czechoslovak border-line fortification constructed before the expected German attack pre-World War II. After the country's occupation in 1939 the fortification was partially destroyed by the Wehrmacht.Fort "Březinka" was restored in 1989, including the technical equipment, thanks to local Military History Club. The site is open to public all year long on Saturdays, more often during the summer season. Information are available at Dobrošov Fort. The green hiking trail brings you here either from Dobrošov or from the hotel Bonato, Běloves.
A walk through the pedestrian zone
The pedestrian zone leads through the historical part of the town , from Masaryk Square, along Palackého Street and the busy shopping road Kamenice with many imposing houses and new shopping passages. The recent seat of the Komerční banka, placed at the bottom of Palackého Street, was designed by Pavel Janák. The sculpture facade decorations are works of Břetislav Benda and Josef Bílek. The Square of Charles has recently been under repair. The horseshoe in its pavement is said to bring luck. The story tells, that it was lost here by the horse of the "Winter" King Frederic running away from Bohemia in 1619. It is said that stepping on it brings you luck. The building of Municipal Library in Kamenice Street is a fine example of Art Deco style. It was originally designed by Otakar Novotný as a residence of entrepreneur Cyril Bartoň and the interior decorated by significant artists Karel Dvořák, Otakar Španiel and František Kysela. It is an architectual jewel creating one of the dominants of the town centre. The sculptute of God Merkury on private "At Havlíčeks'" house in Kamenice Street is by Jaroslav Horejc from 1930.
In this part of the town is also cinema Vesmír.
A walk along the commemorative plates
The commemorative plates remind remarkable events and significant personalities. In the town centre on the Komerční Banka building was in 1930 placed the bronze plate by the design of sculptor Břetislav Benda, commemorating the restoration of state in 1918 and those, who sacrificed their lives - our legionaries. There is also mentioned noted burgher of Náchod
Tobiáš Štefka z Koloděj, participant of Czech rebellion in 1618-1619, executed together with 27 Czech noble men in the Old Town Square, Prague, in 1621. On the same building, but from Palackého Street side is placed the plate of Věnceslav Metelka - the founder of Krkonoše violin-making school ,who lived in years 1807-67 and taught violin-making here.
There is a plate from 1985 on the New Town Hall commemorating the 30th annivesary of town liberation in 1945. Another plate placed at the Post Office reminds that captain Otakar Jaroš, hero of Soviet Union, who died in 1943 in the battle at Sokolovo had shortly worked here in 1939. The plate of Náchod native astronomer, meteorologist and mathematician Antonín Strnad was placed at Regional Museum , in the year of 200th anniversary of his birth.
At hotel " U Beránka " is a plate from 1928, reminding the place, where Dr. Josef Čížek announced the Czechoslovak independence from. Another plates commemorate above all the citizens of Náchod, victims of World War I. and World War II.