Apr 19, 2024

Czech Hops Town Žatec Named the “Historic Town of the Year”

The town of Žatec, in the Ústí nad Labem Region, has been named Czech “Historical Town of the Year” for 2024.

The award, which comes with a one-million-crown cheque, honors those towns and cities that have excelled in preserving and renewing their cultural and architectural heritage.

The “Historic Town of the Year” competition is organized annually by the Association of Historic Settlements in Bohemia, Moravia, and Silesia along with the Ministry of Regional Development.

Last year, Žatec and the surrounding hop-growing landscape were granted UNESCO World Heritage status, becoming the 17th Czech entry on the list.

The town showcases a unique hop-growing legacy that exists nowhere else in the world: besides the historical center, hop stores, and old drying and packing plants, Žatec also has a number of other heritage sites with industrial architecture. It even has the smallest hop garden in the world!

Hops have been grown around Žatec for some 700 years now and during that time a unique landscape has been shaped with this in mind; the very best varieties originated here and people built towns literally designed around the hop processing industry.

Throughout Žatec there are several interesting places and heritage sites in the history of which hops have played or still play the starring role.

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These include the Hop and Beer Temple, an entertaining and educational attraction that showcases the tradition of this world-famous hop region.

And if you fancy getting a bird’s-eye view of the town, you can go up the Hop Lighthouse, a unique viewing tower. It is also worth seeing the Hop Astronomical Clock, a clock face featuring the twelve signs of the zodiac and portraying the hop year.

Another attraction worth checking out is the unique Renaissance malt house with its malting exhibition and gallery, and don’t miss the Hop Museum, which boasts the biggest hop exhibition in the world.

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