Places from the childhood and student years of the Čapek siblings

A tip for spending an extended weekend with a Čapek theme.

1.st Day

Hradec Králové

How to get there Where to stay

It’s the city with the attribute ”The Saloon of the Republic” and is holder of the award ”The Best City for Living.“ It is the city where Karel Čapek spent his study years and experienced his first loves. That is why Hradec will forever be connected to his first work – love ”Epistles for Anielka.”

Hradec directly invites everyone for walks – either in the city center or along the river.

In the historical city center in the Big Square, you will find the building of the former grammar school where Karel attended, and in the streets around the square you can think about which house it is where Karel used to meet his peers from his studies. Also, take a walk to Klicper’s Theater where his theatrical play ”R.U.R“ debuted for the first time – at that time still in the hands of the amateur group known as Klicpera. You can walk along Dlouhá Street to the Small Square to the Hotel of Queen Elizabeth (Hotel U Královny Elišky), where Čapek used to live with his grandma Helena and later on with his sister, who attended dance lessons in Hradec, as well.

The renaissance White Tower (Bílá věž) offers a view of the city.

The city offers splendidly prepared walking trails around architectural points of interest – in particular, it is necessary to mention the amazing buildings of the architects Gočár and Kotěra, whose work is undeniably bound to the urban development of the town at the beginning of the 20th Century.

With your children you should certainly visit the magical Dragon Theater Labyrinth, where even little visitors will surely have fun at the interactive exhibition or who can experience themselves how the theater works.

From that period of time, there is also the Museum of Eastern Bohemia which invites its visitors to a beautiful brick building presenting permanent exhibitions about the city and also to numerous other exhibitions around the entire museum grounds.

Those who travel by car can visit the 1866 War Museum on Chlum located approximately 12 kilometers from Hradec Králové. Besides the museum exhibition, there is also the possibility to surmount the 35-meter-high viewpoint.

2.nd Day

Úpice - Malé Svatoňovice

How to get there Where to stay Where to eat

From Hradec Králové you can continue at an excursional pace continue to Úpice, where the Čapeks used to live. The Čapeks‘ family villa is currently used as the local police station, however, the officers will gladly walk you through. Memorial plaques located on the villa and on the wall of the local school that the Čapeks attended serve as a reminder of the Čapeks‘ lives.

The unique observatory is also worthy of a visit – it is one of two professional observatories in the Hradec Králové region.

Drive from Úpice to Malé Svatoňovice, where you can visit the Museum of the Čapek Brothers – the birthouse of Karel Čapek. The exhibition will get you acquainted with the work of both brothers, their literary and theatrical creations as well as numerous personal items.

Your free time can also be used to stroll around the surrounding area. Stop by at the Church of Virgin Mary Sedmiradostná (Panna Marie Sedmiradostná), which is located exactly opposite the museum, and from there you can walk through Marian’s Orchard (Mariánský sad) and continue towards the Žaltman viewpoint.

The local fresh air and beautiful nature of the Hawk Mountains (Jestřebí hory) have always attracted travelers to wander in the surroundings. If you still have some time left, stop by at the nearby Bohumír Mine, where you can travel back in time to when Antonín Čapek used to work as the establishment’s doctor.

Even you can enjoy one day in the region where, according to Čapek, the robber Lotrando used to rage.

3.rd Day

Hronov and Žernov

How to get there Where to stay Where to eat
For just a moment take a ride from Svatoňovice to Hronov where Helena, Karel and Josef used to spend their holidays at the local mill. Although the mill doesn’t serve its purpose anymore, you can still find it on the way in the direction towards the town Police nad Metují. If you still want to visit a mill, you can try the Dřevíček Mill, which still works and where Mister Millman himself will walk you through. You can also stop by at a birthouse of another local writer - Alois Jirásek. His name is carried not only by the local theater, but even by the festival known as Jirásek‘s Hronov (Jiráskův Hronov) that takes place here. The Hronov residents, however, offer another great attraction for children visiting Hronov! It’s The Interactive Museum of Smart Entertainment called Under the Cap (Pod čepicí). Try to find out what you have under your cap ...

From Hronov start to drive towards the town Česká Skalice and stop by in Žernov. The local viewpoint offers a lookout over the entire region and the Ratibořice Castle and its surroundings. The father Antonín Čapek was born on a farmstead in Žernov, and because of plenty of tales that were narrated on the farm, it often brought back memories of crazy Victoria (Viktorka) and the weir. Helena Čapková, on the other hand, placed the story of one of her fairytales – ”Grandma’s Apron Fairytale“ in Žernov.

Certainly don’t miss a beautiful walk to Grandma’s Valley (Babiččino údolí) or to the castle, which you might know both from the book ”Grandma“ (Babička) written by Božena Němcová. If you still have some time, stop by at the Museum of Božena Němcová in Česká Skalice. In summer, you will be able to refresh at the local water reservoir Rozkoš.