Prehistoric Czech Republic
When you think of the Czech Republic and most likely Soviet struggles and the Gothic spires of Prague spring to mind. Yet the history of this beautiful country goes back thousands of years earlier to the Upper Palaeolithic, when the landscape was covered in forests and hunter gatherers were expertly fashioning stone tools to hunt their prey. Dr Alex Pryor paints a picture of what living during this time may have been like for our ancestors that traversed these lands.
The Czech Republic still has a wondrous prehistoric landscape, littered with caves and extraordinary sites that have unveiled a treasure trove of remains. From Dolní V?stonice, a site dating back 28,000 years, to the earliest Mlade? settlement found in Europe, this tour is a must for Prehistory enthusiasts.
- Glimpse the lives of so-called ‘cave men’ at Kon?pruské, where the remains of fearsome Ice Age animals, including sabre-tooth tigers have been found
- Meet local archaeologists who discuss their findings and excavations
- Travel through craggy, forested and almost primordial landscapes in search of the lives of our distant prehistoric forebears
- Great Cities
- Special Access
- All Inclusive
Today we fly to Brno, which is the second largest city in the Czech Republic, and check into our hotel.
Our morning will be spent visiting the city and looking at Spilberk Castle, which was built by King Ottokar II in the 13th century. After lunch, we will be taken around the fine Anthropos Museum, which covers the prehistoric development of prehistoric humanity in Europe.
We drive to Byci Skala (Bull Rock Cave), the second largest cave system in Moravia. Excavations found an extensive ancient settlement, together with a later habitation and cemetery. On to the Sloup-Kulna cave system. Initially used as a shelter by wild animals and drawing the attention of early explorers, later investigations revealed significant evidence of Paleolithic and Mesolithic habitation.
We head to Vypustek Cave in Kritiny Valley this morning. Evidence of a settlement that dates back to 15,000 BC came to light here and in 1944, this became an underground aircraft factory for the Luftwaffe.
Today begins at the Museum at Pavlov. Here, the findings from regional research work in prehistory are displayed in modern galleries. There will be ample free time in Brno this afternoon. One of the great cities of Central Europe, it is in a strategic position and its medieval cathedral survives, as do a profusion of baroque buildings and a modernist villa by Miles van der Rohe, which is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Mladec cave is the site our touring begins at today. This labyrinth is noted for its extraordinary rock formations - stalagmites and stalactites - but it is also the site of one of the earliest known Cro-Magnon settlements in Europe that dates to around 31,000 BC. We will visit the archaeological remains here. Later, we will travel back to Brno for a visit to the Moravian Museum, which houses a diverse range of exhibits that cover zoology, botany, literature, anthropology, archaeology and even numismatics. We will also be treated to special access at this fantastic museum and accompanied by local archaeologists.
Today we depart Brno for the imperial city of Vienna. We visit the Natural History Museum here, which is home to exhibits that chronicle the fauna of the antediluvian world. It also hosts superb displays of prehistoric archaeology, which includes the 29,500-year-old Venus of Willendorf. There are a total of 39 exhibition halls within this magnificent museum and we will be given ample time to discover its wealth of artifacts and unique collections.
Our final day begins with a drive out to Willendorf II, to visit the site of these extraordinary discoveries, with deposits dating back to c.40,000 BC. We move on to Krems-Wachtberg, where excavations have proceeded since the 1930s. Paleolithic settlements and burials, which date back some 32,000 years, have been found and displayed here. From here, we return to the airport for our flights back home.
- Expert Guide Lecturer
- Tour Manager
- Local Travel - Private a/c coach
- Meals - All meals included with wine at dinner
- Entries & Tips - Entry to all sites in program; tips included
- Field Notes
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