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Hradec Králové

In the 14th century, Hradec Králové was the second largest town in the Bohemian kingdom and also a Baroque fortress locked in by two rivers: the Labe and Orlice. The town later looked into the future and its visionary urban conception was way ahead of its time. The ingenious solution of its street and development layout in two circular rings, the standardised number of storeys and the greenery transported the town designed by Josef Gočár in graceful curves and arches straight into the 21th century, even though it was only 1920.

Today, Hradec Králové still rates as one of the cities with the best quality of life, which may be thanks to the architectonical quintessence of its pre-war ideals.

When you are in Hradec, go for a walk. Enjoy the timeless ideas of Josef Gočár, who cared about the pedestrians in the city. Hradec Králové has a good atmosphere and loves young people. It is full of students, coffeehouses, forgotten second-hand bookshops and red brick houses. Its visitors are surrounded by buildings that have lived through great stories. There is a special tranquillity in the city, far from civilisation, yet in the centre of events – particularly those with a musical theme.

Hradec Lives with Festivals

The City of Hradec Králové has built a special Festival Park for its music production needs in a former military airport, which is home to the carousel of festivals running from April to September. Summer, holidays, buddies. Everything moves to the rhythm of drumming and oscillates during never-ending guitar solos. The greatest time of your life is waiting for you at the largest party in the Czech Republic in the first week of June. Rock for People is a music festival that was launched in 1994 on a pub stage in Český Brod. A few years later the festival moved into the open air, and then straight to the spacious Festival Park in Hradec where its stellar career was truly born. Before you go, make sure you have a good sleep. Rock for People is a music marathon where artists perform on ten stages from morning till late night. This is the only place where you can hear hundreds of musicians play in an extra short time and experience the curious unrepeatable atmosphere of sharing emotions, beer and tents. Everyone can find something for themselves. The former military airport hosts the best of the Czech and international music scene, from well-known performers to newly starting bands, iconic DJs behind the mixer playing Rock through Techno, House, Funky and Freestyle to Nu-Funk and Nu-Disco. The legendary stages have held Offspring, Prodigy, Muse and even the controversial Skrillex in 2014, whose dubstep snakes literally drive people crazy.

Just like the expectations of saying goodbye to freedom at a good stag party before you get married, saying goodbye to summer at a good music festival is a matter of course, and Hip Hop Kemp is definitely one of the best events of the season. The largest hip-hop show in Europe presents over 500 musicians, dancers, athletes and other performers from all over the world every year, and it has been ranked by CNN as one of the 50 best festivals in the world. For example, Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, Kendrick Lamar, The Roots, Method Man & Redman, C2C, DJ A-Trak, Yasiin Bey aka MosDef, Talib Kweli, Roots Manuva, DJ Krush, Baauer and his “HarlemShake” have all performed there. The festival provides an opportunity to participate in a traditional tomato battle, chocolate fights, breakdance, graffiti on legal walls, paintball, streetball, half-pipes, helicopters, football matches as well as to enjoy a swimming pool or the lounge area. You simply have to come!

The festival season in Hradec Králové doesn’t end with summer. It only slows down a bit as the instruments are exchanged for something more meditative. Jazz Goes to Town, an international jazz festival that invigorates the City with contretemps and bravura improvisations in October, brings diversity, freshness and new ideas. It is a sight for sore eyes and ears of true music fans. Two decades of quality music production from all over the world makes Jazz Goes to Town one of the most prestigious Czech jazz festivals with honourable performers, such as Laco Deczi, Kyle Eastwood, Archie Shepp Quartet, Jack Bruce or Kurt Elling. The festival atmosphere in Hradec Králové is hard to describe – it’s much better to experience it.

So, come!

Fish Overhead

A techno fan can be a naturalist deep down and a hip-hopper sometimes likes to have a cup of coffee. Both interests are fully satisfied at Café Piraňa at ENVI House (ENVI Dům) in the centre of Hradec Králové, which houses a giant freshwater fish tank and a glass underwater tunnel where you can watch regular fish feeding. Who wouldn’t want to be in the middle of the Amazon River while drinking their afternoon cuppa?

A Bit of Adrenalin

If you prefer physical activity, you should definitely visit Stříbrný rybník (Silver Pond). There are many adrenalin sport facilities there, such as a rope climbing centre or aqua-zorbing, and it is easily accessible by public transport.

 

Underground Facilities

If you don’t like sweets and fish, you are welcome to visit the local cellars. The Na Hradě restaurant (Restaurace Na Hradě) serve traditional Czech dishes, and the nearby Level Music Club provides entertainment for the evening. Moreover, in addition to the regular bar offer, the Club also has a special student wine and beer list during the week and free or discounted admission with ISIC.

Transport

Hradec Králové is best accessible from Prague by bus, e.g. with Student Agency, or by direct train. There is public transport available in the City. For the tips what to do in the surroundings of the city check: www.kralovehradeckyregion.cz

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