Domažlice is a historic town situated near the Czech-German border, on the foot of the Český les mountains. The earliest historical reference about the market and customs settlement, located at the significant merchant trail from Bohemia to Regensburg/Germany is from 993. The settlement was situated near today´s All Saints Church. Around 1265, the royal town of Domažlice, surrounded by fortifications, was founded near this settlement by Czech King Přemysl Otakar II. The royal castle was also part of the town. Surrounding villages were controlled by a burgrave. The inhabitants of those villages were guarding the border and the trails. In 1431 the Hussite troops drove the army of the fifth crusade away from Domažlice to Bavaria. In the 19th century, the tourists started to visit the town and the surrounding Chodsko region due to the efforts of Czech national writers. Today, the visitors can enjoy a lot of preserved historic buildings and monuments. The cultural highlight is the Chodsko Folk Festival-St. Laurence´s Fair which is held in August every year.
The unique cylindrical tower in the square is the town´s landmark. It used to be a watch tower, standing separately, but it became part of the nearby church later. Climb its 194 steps and enjoy the wonderful view of the town. The tower is 56 metres high and 60 cm deviated from its axis. There are four bells in the tower. The tower guard who lived up in the tower, could see all of the town and the surroundings. He watched the enemies and signalized the fires which were disaster for medieval towns.
The archdean´s church in the main square comes from the 13th century and was originally built in the Gothic style. It was rebuilt during the Baroque period. Between 1747 and 1822 it was considerably destroyed by fires. The church houses a valuable Baroque altar.
The originally Gothic castle was founded together with the royal town in the 1260s. It also used to be a seat of the Chodsko court. Famous Czech kings Johann Luxembourg and his son Charles IV. often visited the castle during their travels. After fire in 1592 it was a ruin for a long time. In the 18th century the castle was rebuilt to a salt-house. Then there was a school, offices and since 1931, it has been home to the Chodsko museum where you can explore the history of the town and of the surrounding region.
Built in the 1260s, the oldest town walls were part of the fortification of the royal town of Domažlice. It included twenty half-round towers and ditches and in the 15th and 16th centuries it was extended with another ring of walls and bastions. Part of the fortification were four gates. The walls and two of the gates were destroyed in the 19th century. The Lower Gate and the Little Gate with adjoining parts of the walls were preserved until today. The rests of the walls can be found near the Chodský castle as well. The Lower Gate originated in the 13th century together with the fortification. Today, you can see original stones in the passage, higher parts of the tower and adjoining rests of the walls. The tower is 20 metres high and is a significant landmark of the town. Its recent face comes from 1905 when it was restored.
The burgher houses with arcades are typical for the square in Domažlice. Being founded in the Middle Ages, the houses were provided with arcades in the early 16th century.
Formerly, three fountains used to be in the main square. The fountain near the archdean´s church was built in 2005 as a copy of the original fountain which was destroyed in 1940.
The Augustinian monastery was founded in 1287 by King Václav IV. Being destroyed during the Hussite wars (15th century), it was restored in Baroque style in the 18th century. Its part is the adjoining church. The monastery was returned to the Augustinian order in 1990 and it hosts the Music school.
The town hall in Neo-renaissance style was built between 1891 and 1893 in the place of the original Renaissance townhall.Earlier, it was home to a savings bank, a museum and a library as well.
The Gothic church originated in the 14th century. It burned to ashes after a lightning stroke in 1648 and the original vault collapsed. There are 15 Renaissance tomb stones in the church nave to remind the town citizens. (The church is not open to the public). The former church St. James from the 11th century was located in the adjoining churchyard.
The Gallery has been housed here in 1996, being located in the Trhanov castle before. Admire the paintings by Karel, Jaroslav and Rudolf Vojtěch Špillar. See the changing exhibitions by contemporary Czech and foreign artists.