Explore classical music and new UNESCO gems

After the triumphant end of 2023, you can now admire even more UNESCO-listed Czech wonders — AND, 2024 has been declared the Year of Czech Music, filling the country with dreamy orchestral classics.

UNESCO glory for Czech hops

The 17th Czech monument on the UNESCO list is Žatec and the Landscape of Saaz Hops. Get to know this national treasure, without which Czech beer and many of the world’s beer brands wouldn’t be here today. Throughout Žatec are amazing heritage sites that tell the fascinating story of the celebrated Czech hops. Visit the Hop and Beer Temple or the Hop Lighthouse with its unique Hop Astronomical Clock, or delve into the tradition of Czech beer culture at the newly opened Pilsner Urquell: The Original Beer Experience in Prague.

Class in a glass

In December 2023, the tradition of handcrafted Czech glassmaking was embraced by UNESCO, securing its place as the 9th Czech treasure on the UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage list. You must visit famous Czech glassworks, such as Moser in Karlovy Vary, once the official glass supplier to the Austrian Emperors and the Kings of England. Celebrities such as Justin Bieber and Salma Hayek are also big fans of Moser chandeliers. The birthplace of the famous Bohemian glass is the Crystal Valley in North Bohemia. Don’t miss the Museum of Glass and Jewellery, home to the world’s largest public collection of glass Christmas decorations!

Music to your ear

200 years ago, composer Bedřich Smetana, an icon of Czech classical music, was born. In his honor, 2024 has been declared the Year of Czech Music and hundreds of concerts will take place across Czechia.

The Year of Czech Music 2024 will kick off with the traditional New Year’s concert by the Czech Philharmonic, featuring works by Czech musical geniuses such as Dvořák, Janáček, and Suka. A highlight of the year will be the Prague Spring Festival, with performances by top orchestras, including the Orchestra dell’Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia. Concert venues in smaller towns across Czechia will come alive with classical music too. Don’t miss the Janáček Brno Opera Music Festival, dedicated to the composer of Jenůfa, which has garnered success from New York to Tokyo. The same composer is honored at the International Music Festival of Leoš Janáček.

Another musical highlight is Smetanova Litomyšl, the second oldest classical music festival in Czechia, held in Bedřich, Smetana’s hometown. It takes place in the enchanting setting of Litomyšl Castle, which this year celebrates its 25th anniversary since its inscription on the UNESCO list.

Finally, you can hear more of the music of  famous Czech composer Antonín Dvořák at the Antonín Dvořák Music Festival in Příbram, or in his hometown during the Dvořák Nelahozeves Festival. Bravo!

Things to consider before traveling

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Some tips to consider while traveling

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