A Walk through the Centre of the Town of Hrádek nad Nisou
You can see the outcome of the archaeological research which took place in 2009 and 2010, such as the pavements made from original stones from the old paths or the four hundred years old well covered by a glass plate. You can admire the replica of The Plague Column with the sculpture of St. Anne Self-Third, which was reinstalled in 2017.
The original column was built by local citizens in 1714; however, it was lost and only the sandstone base at the pavement level remained. New elements in Horní náměstí are the fountain and the Sun-Dial on the pavement. When the sun is shining, you have to step on the proper date on the timeline and your shadow tells you the exact time. The grave of a vampire named Tobiáš is also marked on the pavement in Kostelní street, leading from the upper corner of the square. The remains of the vampire are displayed in the museum’s vault.
The St. Bartholomew’s Church (Kostel sv. Bartoloměje) and its premises are considered to be a superb Baroque monument, so do not miss the opportunity to at least glance through the usually unlocked door. Chrám pokoje (The Church of Peace) is much younger, dated to the beginning of the 20th century and is used for purposes of the Czech Hussite Church.
There are other buildings which were put under the care of architectural protection care: there used to be a wine bar on Žitavská street No. 86, in immediate vicinity to the square; further houses No. 85, 110 plus 109, which was originally the coaching pub U Jelena (The Deer), then numbers 123 and 124 with the Camelot restaurant, in the past known under names The Green Wreath or The Green Tree.
Try not to overlook a former mansion–house, now the Townhall, in No. 73 and the Upper Lusatian House No. 71, where the information centre, museum and cinema are located today.
You follow Žitavská street to leave the square in the direction towards the national border and stop at the crossroads at Nádražní street. There you can see the Upper Lusatian house named Koník, which was completely reconstructed between 2015 and 2018 and thus became a reminder of a period when this type of building was a common one not only in Hrádek nad Nisou. However, there are only a few left in the town. Koník was built in 1812 and it was reconstructed to resemble its original characteristics. The Grössel’s Chapel built in 1697 found its new position in front of this Upper Lusatian house in 2017 when it was repositioned from its original location at a private property where it was hidden from the eye of visitors. It is a bay chapel built in Early Baroque style.
Your walk continues along Žitavská street. You can see The Statue of St. Joseph situated on the right hand side opposite the last building. Here, you can turn to Kristýna Lake recreation area, if you prefer; or you continue further to Trojmezí (Tri-Nation Point) and the Marshlands, recently reopened to the public.
Instead of walking from Koník and The Grössel’s Chapel towards Kristýna Lake recreation area you can choose to turn to the right and then take the left turn when crossing Husova street to get to The Statue of St. Vavřinec (The Statue of St. Lawrence). It is located not far from the railway viaduct and it is probably the most detailed statue in the town. You continue along Stará street to its end where you turn right, go across the railway bridge and take a half turn to the left until you reach the so-called Azyl (The Refuge). One of its buildings is totally ruined but the other was saved by converting it to flats. Both buildings were built in 1723 for the purposes of the textile manufacture, one of the first one in the Czech Republic. From Azyl you easily get back to Hrádek nad Nisou.
In case you would like to lenghten your trip, go through the town’s park to 1. máj street. On your way through the park you can see quite a rare Franz Joseph’s Monument or the meteorologist booth with fully functioning devices showing current temperature, air pressure and humidity.
1. máj street then leads you to Václavská street with an interesting building, Schubert’s Villa, the reconstruction of which is planned to take place in 2018 and 2019. It is a protected monument, acquired in 1924 by an owner of a nearby spinning and threading factory. Close to Schubert’s Villa, but on the opposite side of the street, The Stompfe Cross is located. Václavská street takes you back to Hrádek nad Nisou.
You are welcome to stop at the information centre to get the local map. It is open daily.