Renowned for its Pilsen beer which was first created there nearly 175 years ago, Plzeň is the Czech Republic’s fourth largest city.
I’ve taken a tour of the Pilsner Urquell Brewery in Plzeň, culminating in a taste test of the cool beverage on a sizzling summer day. I’ve even researched a branch of my German-Austrian family in the city’s archives, excited to learn that I could also add Czech to my ever-growing list of ancestries.
From now on, though, I’ll always associate this laid-back Bohemian town as a place through which we passed with our rescued Ukrainian kitten, Cocoa in tow. There were challenges finding a can of tuna for the little guy (tuňák), and even greater struggles opening it. Fortunately, the kind host at our guesthouse was willing to rummage through the kitchen in search of a can opener. Perplexed that no modern one was in sight, he instead used a claw-like contraption to heroically tear the aluminum top open. I feared we’d be calling the hospital to have surgery performed on the young man’s hand. Fortunately, he prevailed unscathed, and little Cocoa left Plzeň with a full belly.
That same hurried morning, I pleaded with Shawn to borrow a few scarce moments to photograph just a handful of Plzeň’s gorgeous 17th-century buildings. With Cocoa and Shawn looking on from the city’s chilly main square, here’s what I captured before we rushed off to catch our train to Germany.
Where in the World?
- Plzeň, or Pilsen as it’s sometimes anglicized, is located about 120 km (75 miles) southwest of Prague. We’ve driven there from Germany, even ridden the train from Prague. Since we were traveling by train from the Czech Republic to Germany’s Bavaria region via train, we purchased the Bayern-Böhmen-Ticket (translates to Bavaria-Bohemia ticket) for extra savings.
- In Plzeň, we stayed one night at the Pension City (affiliate link). It’s got a great location in Plzeň’s Old Town, and is just around the corner from the Pilsner Urquell Brewery. We greatly appreciated the kindness of the staff in helping us with Cocoa the Kitten, and enjoyed the breakfast room’s authentic feel.
- The Pilsner Urquell Brewery is one of the city’s most celebrated attractions. And, if you’re thinking of heading to Plzeň to do genealogy research, you might be able to find what you’re looking for online, since many records have been digitized here. Finally, see the Official Website of the City of Pilsen for more information.
Photography & text © Tricia A. Mitchell. All Rights Reserved.