The Colours and Tastes of the Baroque
Entertainment and festivities were integral to life in the Baroque Era. Many modern-day customs are actually rooted in this era. To this day, in addition to Christmas and Easter, we can still encounter traditional Shrovetide processions, Pentecost celebrations, and other such celebrations in rural areas. Participation in events such as these is an inimitable experience, with which good food, drink, and music go hand in hand. An example of how our ancestors lived can be seen, for example, at the open-air museum in Rožnov pod Radhoštěm, which is the oldest and largest in Europe. There, you will find a number of original cottages from the 17th and 18th centuries, which present traditional life in Moravia of this period. Additionally, the village of Zubrnice in the Central Bohemian Mountains has been transformed into a unique open-air museum, with its baroque well and examples of folk architecture from around Bohemia.
The most picturesque Southern Bohemian villages are rooted in the Baroque Era. The so-called Rural Baroque was inspired by the artistic style formerly designated solely for aristocratic estates and sacred structures, and under its influence, the Southern Bohemian villages of Holašovice or the towns of Zbudovská Blata and Soběslvský Blata were transformed into the most picturesque compositions of rural architecture in the world.
Baroque cuisine also deserves its own chapter. You can learn about the traditional dishes served at aristocratic estates or the less opulent dishes of Bohemian rural cuisine during special seasonal events at select restaurants year-round.
Good food and drink was not just the privilege of noble estates. Monasteries too experienced expansive development, and monastic orders took advantage of their years of beer brewing privileges. Beer specialties, together with traditional Bohemian cuisine, can be best savoured on your excursions to such places as the gorgeous Baroque-reconstructed monasteries at Želiv, the Northern-Bohemian town of Osek, or in the capital city itself. The monastery complex at Prague's Břevnov boasts the oldest-ever brewery operation in Bohemia, where, according to surviving testimony, this golden nectar matured as early as one thousand years ago.
Those of you who prefer the grapevine will find your fill in Czechia as well. In Southern Moravia, cellars such as those at the chateaus in Valtice, Mikulov, as well as the surviving cellar alleyways in Pavlov or Zaječí offer up their wealth as well. For the best Czech wine, you can set out for the Polabí region, where the majestic chateaus of Mělník and the expansive baroque residences of Roudnice nad Labem tower over the river, with an over four-hundred-year-old vinicultural tradition.