Hradec Kralove is a university city with a population of 92,808. Founded in 1225, it is one of the oldest Czech cities. In recent years, Hradec Kralove has become a household name for national and international music festivals.
The Salon of the Republic, the open-air textbook of architecture and the City of Czech Queens are just some of the attributes which characterise today’s university city with a population of almost 100,000, situated amidst the greenery at the confluence of the Rivers Elbe and Orlice.
Gradec acquired town rights in 1225 from Ottokar I, King of Bohemia, which makes it one of the oldest known Czech towns. The history of Hradec Kralove is reflected in countless architectural gems, which can still be found here, such as the Gothic Holy Sprit Cathedral on the Large Square, the Renaissance White Tower, the Baroque Episcopal Residence as well as the Plague Column of the Virgin Mary and the Church of the Assumption of the Virgin. Until the mid 19th century the city was used as a military stronghold. This concept was abolished after the Battle near Hradec Kralove in 1866, resulting in the actual freeing up of space for the Golden Era of Hradec Kralove architecture of the early 20th century. Thanks particularly to the constructions designed by the architects Gocar and Kotera, but also owing to the social life of the city, this period is referred to as the Salon of the Republic.
Distinctive architectural projects of the present day include the construction of the Research Library, the seat of the Hradec Kralove Regional Office, the modern complex of the City Public Transport Terminal, Flosna Swimming Grounds, the Library of the City of Hradec Kralove and the footbridge for pedestrians and cyclists across the Orlice River as well as the reconstruction of the Southern Terraces, Elbe River Bank, Simek’s Park and the White Tower.
The metropolis offers a wide range of options for cultural and social enjoyment, for example the excellent Klicpera Theatre along with the BioCentral Art Cinema, the world-renowned Drak Theatre, the Philharmonic Orchestra, Adalbertinum Cultural and Entertainment Centre and the Aldis Congress Centre. Thousands of people throughout the whole of Europe come to witness the festivities commemorating the 1866 Battle near Hradec Kralove. Visitors are also attracted to the city thanks to Queen Elizabeth’s Festival as well as the Hradec Kralove Embankment Series, international theatrical festival, Jazz Goes to Town, CIAF international aviation show and many other social, cultural and sporting events, which represent some of the important entries in the Calendaria Regina.
Hradec Kralove can be easily reached from Prague by train, bus or car.
By train: From Prague Main Railway Station to Hradec Kralove Main Station, changing trains in Pardubice. Duration: ca. 1:40.
By bus: From Prague Florenc station to Hradec Kralove. Duration: ca. 1:40.
By car: Ca. 120 km on highway D11. Duration: ca. 1:20.
Flosna Swimming Grounds
Library of the City of Hradec Kralove
Footbridge for pedestrians and cyclists across Orlice River