Best-known rock: Lost Rock The Lost Rock, situated close to Samson Fountain on the side toward the Hotel Zvon, is recognized by the cross carved into it. It identifies the alleged location of the execution site.
Largest fountain: Samson Fountain A stone water reservoir holding up to 237 m3 of water, established as part of the municipal water system in the first half of the 18th century. The largest in the Czech Republic, it is named after the biblical character Samson, depicted on the fountain fighting the lion.
Largest fresco: St Christopher Located in the monastery Church of the Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary, this painting is over 10 meters tall and is the largest existing painting in Bohemia. St Christopher is the patron saint of pilgrims, sailors, children and many more.
Oldest building in the city: Church of St Procopius and St John the Baptist This is the oldest building, dating from well before the city was founded. It dates back to the first half of the 13th century and is frequently referred to as the Old Town Church.
Largest square: Přemysla Otakara II Square Almost a totally regular square with dimensions of 133 x 137 meters, it is one of the largest in the Czech Republic.
Tallest building: Clarion Congress Hotel 71 meters tall, with 17 floors.
Lowest recorded temperature: - 42.2°C (-49°F) This is the lowest recorded temperature in the Czech Republic, occurring on February 11, 1929 in Litvínovice near České Budějovice.
Oldest tower: Otakarka A bastion, formerly a part of the city fortification, the Otakarka was built in the 13th century when the oldest city walls were erected.
Largest bell: Bumerin The largest bell installed in the Black Tower. It weighs 3,429 kg, is 181 centimeters in diameter and 147 cm high.
Tallest tower: Black Tower The Black Tower was built as a watchtower in 1549-1577. It is 72.29 meters tall and has 225 stairs.
Oldest prefabricated apartment building: Experiment It was built on Lidická Avenue in 1961 and originally had a café on the second floor.
Oldest railroad on the European continent: Horse-drawn railroad The first car departed from České Budějovice to Linz in 1828, but the operation was discontinued in 1872. Today the only reminder of the horse-drawn railroad is the former guard booth in Mánesova Street housing a small exhibit on the railroad.
Did you know?
The Lost Rock, set in the pavement in Přemysl Otakar II Square near Samson Fountain, is connected with a legend claiming that if you step over it inadvertently after 10 p.m., you won’t find your way home until morning.
A strip of iron is embedded in the wall outside the town hall arcade. It is an historical market measure 77 centimeters long known as the Viennese ell dating to the 16th century. For the record, the Bohemian ell is 59 cm.
A wall in the monastery Church of the Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary is decorated with a frog-shaped stone gargoyle. Legend says that when the frog leaps up to the roof, the church will collapse and the world will end.
The Iron Maiden tower, part of the former city fortifications, was named for the torture instrument that legend claims was located in the tower. It was a metal or wooden cabinet with sharp spikes on the inside that enclosed the torso or the whole body of the person under interrogation.
The Otakar Jeremiáš Concert Hall, also known as St Anne’s Church, really was a church until it was decommissioned. It belonged to the Capuchin Order together with the present-day Faculty of Theology, which is a former monastery. The church has been the seat of the South Bohemian Philharmonic since 1988.
The author Jaroslav Hašek served his military duty in the Marian Barracks in České Budějovice, where he set a part of his famous novel The Good Soldier Švejk. Others serving there included the poet Fráňa Šrámek and President Václav Havel.
You will definitely not hear locals say “Budějovice”, but rather “Budějce”. And be forewarned when looking for a snack that a hot dog is locally known as a “pikador”.
If you hear a reference to “Bagr” in Budějovice, the name refers not to earth-moving machinery but an artificial lake in the Stromovka Forest Park.
The main bus station has been on the roof of a shopping mall since 2007. All the bus services, both long-distance and for the surrounding towns and villages, leave from there.
The gable of the former Salt Store contains three human faces carved in rock. These are connected to an historical legend about three robbers and a brave nun who helped catch them and thus saved the monastery treasure.
A child’s hand hangs from the ceiling in the ceremonial room of the town hall in reference to the famous biblical story of the Judgment of Solomon. It is a stucco ornament included in the ceiling fresco dating from the early 18th century.