I had never heard of Znojmo before I met Karel. Prague, yes but not Znojmo. If you were wondering, Znojmo is pronounced Znoy - like joy but ZN instead of J and then mo - said like Joe but M instead of J. ZNOY-MO.
If you have ever traveled from Prague to Austria or the other way via car or bus, you probably went through Karel's hometown of Znojmo, Czech Republic.
Znojmo is a major town in the South Moravian Region of the Czech Republic, located near the border with Austria. The town is situated on a rock outcropping on the steep left bank of the Dyje River (thus, we always have to climb on our bikes to get out of town).
The Gothic Church of St. Nicholas and the Late Gothic Town Hall tower are the most recognizable landmarks in Znojmo. St. Nicholas Church was built in 1348 by Emperor Charles IV and the town hall (250 feet tower) dates from around 1446.
There's a lot of history in the town. The Romanesque Rotunda of Virgin Mary (later of Saint Catherine) is the only fully preserved sight of the premyslid castle in Znojmo, founded at the turn of the 11th and 12th century. The significance of the rotunda is due to its unique paintings. Under the city and castle is a vast labyrinth of connected passageways and cellars. The Znojmo Catacombs (which you can tour) were developed in the 14th and 15th century for defensive purposes and contained wells, drainage, fireplaces, trap doors and escapeways that led beyond the fortifications of the city.
For the wine drinkers, because of the land and warmer weather, Znjomo is at the center of wine-region - known for their white wines. Znojmo is famed as "wine center" which is evidenced by a labyrinth of long wine-cellar corridors dug directly beneath the town. But don't worry beer drinkers - like most places in Europe, beer is much cheaper than water. In September, a historic wine parade takes place. Znojmo is one of the oldest wine growing areas in the Czech Republic.
The Znojmo region is predominantly agricultural because it has a warm and dry climate. It sits at 290 meters above sea level.
For the fitness enthusiasts and adventure lovers, you will not be bored (or inactive) here. In addition to walking all around town, you can enjoy the Podyji National Park, swimming at the Louka Znojmo pool (open May until September) and of course, cycling! There are so many cycling tours going on in the summer as it's the most fun (and nature-filled) way to go from town to town or to just be outside and enjoy the sights. The cycling routes are for everyone, of all fitness abilities. It's very typical to see families and young kids on bikes, riding from town to town and then camping, as part of summer vacation.
And of course, I can't forget the ice cream! If you see a sign that reads "Zmrzlina" you know you are getting close or have arrived to an ice cream truck or shop. Yes, there are signs everywhere letting you know where the ice cream is and it's even advertised on the radio. The town of Znojmo loves ice cream! But don't be let down if your scoop of ice cream is the size of a golf ball as the servings are small....but it'll only cost you around one dollar (or 20-25 Czech Crowns). And instead of sitting down to eat it, you'll be eating it on the go as that's just how things roll around here. It's not surprising to see construction workers, business people and of course, kids (and parents) walking around with ice cream cones.
You can start planning your vacation with this guide - HERE. If you are considering visiting Znjomo, don't hesitate to reach out to us and I'll have Karel help you with your Znojmo vacation.
National Park - Jizni-Morava
Here are some pictures from the town.