The Lords of Hradec built a Gothic castle in Telč in the second half of the 14th century built, a simple building in the shape of the letter L, which was primarily defensive in nature and was fortified by walls and moats against the city. Zachariáš of Hradec permanently resided in Telč from 1550 and rebuilt the old castle and extended it with the addition of a newly built Renaissance palace. The first phase of reconstruction was overseen by the Slavonice builder Leopold Esterreicher. Sgraffito decorations are preserved from that time (1553) including a small banquet hall and treasury. Further work took place under the supervision of Italian artists who were invited to Telč by Zachariáš after his trip to Italy, where he was strongly influenced by the Italian Renaissance art.
Telč museum is the oldest museum in southwestern Moravia. In 2016 it will be 130 years since the foundation of the Telč museum. It was established in 1886, primarily thanks to the higher provincial secondary school professor in Telč Jaroslav Janoušek. His main assistant and collaborator was Jan Beringer, a colleague from the secondary school. From 1897, he collaborated with the Museum Association in Telč, which was founded at the initiative of the Director of the secondary school Karel Jaroslav Maška, world-renowned paleontologist and archaeologist. The intention was to create not only as a center for documentation but also a regional ethnographic and education center for southwest Moravia. Later, the museum served for collection and presentation.
Not only under most of the houses on Zachariáš z Hradce square, but also under part of the chateau grounds you will find in medieval cellars. Individual, sometimes even two-level cellars were connected by intricate corridors, the accessible section is 150 meters long. The winding catacombs once served mostly for storage, but also sometimes became the last shelter of the inhabitants of Telč from their enemies. Many of them are therefore legendary. Those interested in a tour of Telč underground through an interactive edutainment/educational exhibition can learn interesting facts directly inside the mysterious cellars.
Since the summer of 2006, in the permanent exhibition in house No. 31 on Zachariáš z Hradce square, we have been able to not only admire the ancient cellars of the townhouse (like every house on the square) with their Romanesque elements, but also be beautifully scared by the ceramic elves, which wait for us in the cellars with their stories of ancient Telč.
A collection of historical technology was opened in the historic building of the former steam saw mill near the central car park. In the museum you can admire the historic cars, motorcycles, bicycles, radios, telephones, stoves, electrical appliances, furniture, firefighting equipment and a collection of stationary engines.
Churches and towers
The Parish Church of St. James with a massive 60-meter-high tower was built in the 14th century. The tower is surmounted by 40 stone and 105 wooden stairs. Originally a Jesuit church Name of Jesus, founded by the Countess Františka Slavatová, which was completed in 1667. The Church of the Holy Spirit was built on the site of the original Romanesque church just adjacent to the tower. The late Romanesque tower of the Holy Spirit is the oldest preserved architectural monument in Telč.
Entrance to the town
The lower gate named Dolní or Malá brána is part of the fortifications and is connected to the chateau. It dates from 1579, when the castle was rebuilt. In front of to the originally lower Gothic gate there used to be a moat spanned by a drawbridge. Dolní brana runs from the city over the dam on Štěpnický pond to the central car park. The upper gate named Horní or Velká brána is made up of two gate towers on both sides of the moat. The outside gate is still preserved, and consists of a two-storey building from the 2nd half of the 16th century, decorated with sgraffito. Above the center of the passage is a five-petalled rose with the year 1629, which is likely linked to the time when the walls were repaired.
Well-preserved late Gothic castle, which rises on a rocky hill at 677 m a.s.l. in romantic woods near the village of Doupě, was built by the Lords of Hradec in the first half of the 14th century. In the 1570s the castle was rebuilt by Zachariáš of Hradec in the spirit of the Renaissance as a hunting lodge with an extensive domain in the close vicinity. Other owners were the Slavat family from Košumberk, the Lichtenštejn family from Kastelkorn and the Podstatšt-Lichtenštejn family. Today the castle is owned by the regional authorities of the Vysočina region and is managed by Vysočina Museum in Jihlava.