Czechs are sure to remember the name of the small town not far from Slaný if they paid attention at school. It was here, after all, that writer, clergyman, and revivalist Václav Beneš Třebízský hailed (1849–1884), his style often having been compared to that of Alois Jirásek. He was born at No. 19, where there is a small exhibition and memorial plaque to commemorate him. There is also a monument to the famous native of the village on the sandstone rock above the building. This was built in 1892. Another attraction here is the Ethnographic Museum (Národopisné muzeum), which takes in a number of listed buildings that show the traditional layout of a Bohemian village. The predominant buildings here are the Cífka grange, with its Baroque escutcheon and arched gate (No. 1), the Baroque Church of St. Martin, a chapel and fountain, the Šubrt grange, a cobbler’s, a barter cottage, and the house of Třebízský’s birth. Inside you can look around historical examples of how a rural family lived and of farming and tradesman’s tools.

You begin in the nearby royal town of Slaný, the historic heritage of which is worthy of a detailed look. The centre, a protected monument zone, spreads around Masarykovo náměstí (Masaryk Square), which you reach by passing through Velvarská Gate, built in the 15th century. There are many monuments to see here - a piarist school, now home to the Museum of Local History (Vlastivědné muzeum), the Old Town Hall, the Gothic Church of St. Gotthard, the former Moorish-style synagogue, and the monastery of Discalced Carmelites, with its Holy Trinity Church. You might also like to climb the nearby Slánská Mountain, the southernmost remains of volcanic activity in the Central Bohemian Uplands (České Středohoří). Take cycling route 202 from the railway station. Cycle round the Gothic Church of St. James the Greater at Lidický dvůr (noting that the church has no steeple) and on through Královice to Neprobylice, and its medieval stronghold.

Take a look round Třebíz and continue on to Zichovec. Here you will see a replica of a prehistoric stone circle, a cromlech, and can build up your strength at the local brewery along the way. The unmarked road will take you to Bílichov, from which you should follow the blue hiking trail. Take a left on to the forest path at the other side of Great Bílichov Pond, the path eventually descending to Srbeč. There is another interesting Church of St. James the Greater to be seen in the village, this one showing Gothic elements. The road rises to some wayside shrines, where you should join the yellow hiking trail. Your next stop on the hill is Mšec, with its three-winged chateau, now home to a school. Descend to Red Pond (Červený rybník) and again climb, this time to Mšecké Žehrovice. There, beside the little pond, they have a wooden sculpture of the famous Head of the Celtic Hero. The cretaceous original, smaller in size, was found at the local sand quarry in 1945.

Take cycling route 8192 to Nové Strašecí. If you have time, be sure to look around the town centre. There was once a small Jewish ghetto at Aloise Jiráska Street, with the former Classicist synagogue still remaining. The building was bought by the Church of Czechoslovak Hussites after the war to establish its congregation here. The local museum, meanwhile, will tell you about the mysterious history of the former Celtic settlement here.

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Nové Strašecí



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