Town Circuit

historické náměstí TGM

Length of circuit: approx. 1.7 km 

Individual stops:

  1. T. G. Masaryk Square with the Česká Spořitelna [Czech Savings Bank] building, the Marian sculpture, the fountain with statue of Záboj.
  2. Star of David monument
  3. Náměstí Odboje [Resistance Square] and Václav Hanka Square with the secondary school building, and the Hankův Dům [Hanka's House] municipal cultural facility
  4. Valová Street, with the remains of the town fortifications
  5. The Church of St. John the Baptist with lapidary
  6. Kohoutův Dvůr [Kohout's Court]
  7. Šindelářská Věž [Shingle-maker’s Tower]

1. T. G. Masaryk Square

T. G. Masaryk Square was originally name Záboj Square, and later Gottwald Square. Linear streets led to the town fortification gates from the generously-conceived area.

The Renaissance Old Town Hall building

It was built in the square in the year 1572 after the burgher house which used to stand in its place burned down. The original gable used to face Kostelní (now Palackého) Street and, on the side facing the square, the town hall had a tower supported on the ground floor by two pillars. In the year 1790 it burned down, and in the year 1833 it was renovated with a new gable facing the square. That’s how it still stands there today, although the house’s façade underwent certain changes. On the town hall’s façade there’s a clock and a Latin inscription. The clock used to have three hands: an hour hand, a minute hand and a third hand which showed the time of one day divided into twenty four parts.  The green dial with the numbers 1 to 24 still remains on the building today. The Latin inscription on the façade proclaims: “This house hates wickedness, loves peace, punishes crimes, preserves rights and honours the noble.”. The first floor of the building contains the Town Councillor’s halls, which is used for the town’s ceremonial occasions, and an exhibition hall.

Česká Spořitelna [Czech Savings Bank] building

Another dominant feature of the square is the Art Nouveau Czech Savings Bank building from the years 1909-1910. Its right wing was added later, and it only acquired its present form in the year 1930.

House descriptive number 85

The house with descriptive number 85 is also certainly worthy of notice; it’s found on the western side of the square (if we’re facing the savings bank, it’s on our left-hand side). The house has an arcade on four pillars, decorated with lion masks and a statue of St. John of Nepomuk in the gable.

Marian sculpture

In the middle of the square stands the Marian sculpture, which has the form of a richly decorated Rococo pyramid. At the top of the pyramid is a statue of the Virgin Mary standing on a sphere, which represents the globe. A snake with an apple in its mouth winds itself around this globe. The Virgin Mary’s head is decorated with a ring of twelve stars.  Above the moulding, in the central part of the sculpture, are the statues of St.  Cosmas and St. Damian, St. Lawrence and St. Florian. Around the pyramid, six statues stand on pedestals, being St. Jacob, St. John the Baptist, St. Francis Xavier, St. Norbert, St. Ignatius and St. John of Nepomuk. The sculpture was made by Josef Procházka of Chrudim, and it was built on the square in the year 1754.

Fountain with statue of Záboj

The fountain with statue of Záboj is a sculptural monument from the year 1857. It was created by local sculptors František and Antonín Wagner. The fountain with statue of Záboj was unveiled in the square on the 29th of September 1857, at the 40th anniversary celebrations of the discovery of the Manuscript of Dvůr Králové.  In the year 1950 it was relocated to the outskirts of the town, and in the year 2005 it was returned to the square, to the exact place where it had previously stood. 

Záboj, a character from the Manuscript of Dvůr Králové, is wearing an old Slavic folk costume and is girded with a sword; his right hand rests on a shield and his left hand presses a varyto [a musical instrument similar to a small harp] against his heart. He stands on a rock from which three springs of water gush, symbolizing purity, health and stability.  Under the statue, the name Záboj is carved into the rock, and slightly below it are the words:  “You speak to them with fatherly words,” which indicates that we should appreciate and cultivate the Czech language.

From the square, set off down Švehlova Street to the roundabout, and from it go right down the hill. On your right-hand side you will see a monument in the shape of the Star of David.

2. The Star of David monument

The first Jewish families came to Dvůr Králové nad Labem around the year 1850, and built one of the first textile factories here. In the year 1890 the local Jews built a synagogue, which was consecrated a year later. The synagogue survived both world wars, but the construction of a road in the 1960s was its fateful event; despite many citizens’ protests, it had to be demolished.

Today, on the site of the former synagogue, there is a monument in the shape of the Star of David, which was created thanks to Mr. Rabbi Norman Patz, as the initiator, and academic sculptor Jaroslav Černý who proposed  the monument.  However, he did not have time to realize his design, as he died prematurely, so the process was taken up by his son Ota Černý. The monument was ceremonially consecrated on 16/ 2/ 2008/

From the monument, continue down Roosevelt Street, on the right hand side, in the direction of Resistance Square and Václav Hanka Square. Along the way, on the right hand side, you will pass a timber cottage which is probably the oldest wooden building in the town. At one stage it was the turner Šmíd’s house; later it housed a barracks headquarters, police station, dyeing works and most recently a wood turnery.

3. Václav Hanka Square and Resistance Square, Hanka's House municipal cultural facility

Václav Hanka Square

The centre of the square is decorated with the fountain “Manuscripts” by Dvůr Králové sculptor Jaroslav Černý. The dominant feature of Václav Hanka Square is the Hanka's House, a Neo-Renaissance building from the year 1874, which is used today as a municipal cultural facility. The Svět [World] cinema building is also highly visible. The former Sokol [Falcon] gymnasium from the year 1896 was converted into a cinema in the year 1927.

Resistance Square

The square is dominated by a monument to the Resistance. The monument is the work of Prague sculptor professor Jaroslav Horejc, and architect Vilém Kvasnička. It was built from Dvůr Králové sandstone by sculptor František Bílek. The monument was unveiled in the year 1922; it’s six metres high and represents the Motherland catching a severely wounded son who sacrificed himself for her. Another dominant feature of the square is the historical secondary school building, which was built in the years 1893-1895.

From the Hanka's House, head down the adjacent street with the church in the background.

4. Valová Street and the remains of the fortfications

The town was fortified as early as the end of the 13th century. The ramparts encircled the town in a large oval. Access to the town was provided by four gates: Upper, Lower, Shingle-maker’s and Hillfort. The gates were protected by cylindrical towers; only the tower at the Upper Gate was prismatic. The fortified character of the town was reinforced in the south and west by the river Elbe; there were water moats here with drawbridges. The Dvůr fortifications are exceptional in the region - the rampart wall did not have a gallery with battlements, but an inwardly-sloping panel roof.

From the year 1785 the ramparts stopped serving their purpose, but in the year 1841 they still existed around almost the entire town. Even today, the trace of the former ramparts is evident. In several places we can see more complete fragments, which allow us to touch the town’s history - e.g. the section in Valová Street, on the western side of Church of St. John the Baptist, and at the Shingle-maker’s Tower. Of the gates, a part of the Upper Gate is preserved (you can see its fragments at the end of Valová Street - people still call it “At the Gate” today), as well as part of the Shingle-maker’s Gate. Of the towers, only the Shingle-maker’s Tower is preserved.

At the end of Valová Street, turn right and go up the hill; you cannot miss the church on the left-hand side of the crossroads.

5. Church of St. John the Baptist

This Gothic church was built on the site of the original small Romanesque church. The Romanesque church was renovated and expanded on two occasions. The church only acquired its present form in the 1890s. The church tower was added after the cornice in the year 1644, and in 1894 it was raised to its current 64 metres.

The church tower contains three working bells. The largest bell is from the year 1505, and is called St. John; it’s also referred to as “Rough” or “Large”. Another bell, called the “death knell”, is from the year 1508, and a third one, “Čapek” or “Meridian” is from the year 1540. In addition to the bells, a modern clockwork also strikes the time; its sound can be heard every fifteen minutes.

Manuscript dungeon - the discovery of the Manuscript of Dvůr Králové

An interesting chapter in the history of the church was the discovery of a manuscript in the vaulted church tower dungeon. On the 16th of September 1817, Czech writer, poet, linguist, literary historian, librarian and university professor Václav Hanka “discovered” the so-called Manuscript of Dvůr Králové - the oldest written Czech text with 14 songs from the 13th century. Although it transpired that it is most likely a fake created by Václav Hanka together with friend and poet Josef Linda, and apparently also with other people, the document significantly influenced the atmosphere of national revival and wrote the town into Czech history in a significant way. At present, the Manuscript of Dvůr Králové is stored in the library of the National Museum in Prague.


In the rampart wall behind the church (in the lapidary), a Gothic semi-circular portal, probably from the hospital chapel, an Empire gravestone from the year 1811, beside a richly decorated Empire portal from the year 1791 and five tombstones, are walled in.

Forgiveness Oratorium

North of the church, in the centre of Náměstí Republiky [Republic Square], [a scultpure called ] the Forgiveness Oratorium is located - a statue of St. John of Nepomuk, which was relocated here in the year 1956 from present-day Roosevelt Street. Statues of St. Barbara, Simon and Jude are located on the pedestal. This set of statues dates from around the year 1730, and was made by Chrudim carver Josef Procházka.

Turn right after the church at the main crossroads, and after about 250 m you will arrive at the Town Museum building  - Kohoutův Dvůr.

6. Kohoutův Dvůr [Kohout's Court]

The entire complex was originally an enclosed yeoman's court, built in the years 1736-1738 on early Baroque foundations by F. A. Berger, a clerk working for Count F. A. Špork. Of the original homestead, three buildings remain, The main building and the granary are connected by an entrance gate with Berger’s emblem and monogram. The place above the passage is decorated with a relief of St. Florian. On the gallery, between John the Baptist and John the Evangelist, . there is a statue of Mary Immaculate The granary, as the name suggests, was used to store grain in the past, and thus performed a very important function for the town.

Kohoutův Dvůr probably acquired its name in the mid-19th century, when it was adapted for inhabitation by contemporary owner Alois Kohout. At present, the Kohoutův Dvůr premises contain the Town Museum. Since the year 2015, the main building’s first floor contains an exhibition documenting the history of the town and the textile industry in the Dvůr Králové region, while since the year 2013 the second floor contains an exhibition devoted to traditional Christmas decoration production.  Since the year 1998, the newly-renovated Granary building contains a gallery and a lecture and exhibition hall. The complex also contains a third building, which was once a stables. The courtyard is dominated by a stone Baroque well.

From the museum, head back in the direction of the church, and after about 40 m turn left down Tylova Street. After a few minutes’ walk, you will come across the only surviving stone tower.

7. Šindelářská Věž [Shingle-maker’s Tower]

The Shingle-maker's Tower is the only surviving rampart tower of the original 4 which guarded the entrance to the town.  It’s 20 metres high and 7 metres in diameter. Its foundations are set approximately one meter deep in hard clay. It got its name from a street on which shingle-makers had their workshops. Until the year 1791, the tower was also decorated with a small astronomical clock. Although its fame cannot equal that of her relative in Pisa, the two towers have one interesting thing in common. When viewed from Věžní Street, you can see that our tower is also slightly tilted and leans on an adjacent house. Near the tower, you can also see the remains of the rampart wall. Unfortunately, the tower’s interior is not accessible to the public.

From the Shingle-maker’s Tower, head straight down Havlíčkova Street. Turn right at the end of the street, and you’re back in T. G. Masaryk Square.

náměstí T. G. Masaryka

náměstí T. G. Masaryka

Židovský památník

Židovský památník

náměstí Václava Hanky

náměstí Václava Hanky

městské hradby

městské hradby

kostel sv. Jana Křtitele

kostel sv. Jana Křtitele

Městské muzeum Kohoutův dvůr

Městské muzeum Kohoutův dvůr

Šindelářská věž

Šindelářská věž

Městské muzeum - historický model města

Městské muzeum - historický model města

20.6.2015 19:30:23 | read 17581x | Jiří Třísko

Náměstí T. G. Masaryka 2
544 17 Dvůr Králové nad Labem
Czech Republic
tel.: +420 499 321 742
tel.: +420 730 182 895

Opening times:
Monday–Friday 8:00–17:00
Saturday 8:00–13:00