Tachov, a town to the west of a district, which bears the same name, is one of Bohemia's oldest centres of settlement. The medieval town had a predecessor a fortified Slavonic settlement that used to guard the important Nuremberg Route between Bohemia and several Bavarian centres of trade. Once situated in a scarcely populated, forest-clad countryside near the Bohemian-Bavarian border, the place was mentioned in the fake document of the Monastery of Kladruby
, probably dating to 1115.
A period of ravishing boom came over the place under Premysl Otakar II. who had a new castle with a mighty round tower built of stone here. He also founded a town surrounded with walls near the castle. The castle and town have often been pawned with many noble families.
The Luxemburgs took fancy to the place. They gave Tachov the remarkable medieval fortifications much of which has been preserved till date. The Hussites and their catholic opposers fought here three times during the turbulent 15th
century. Today, a Hussite Festival
commemorates their victory at Tachov every five years. In 1664, Jan Antonin Losy became new proprietor and his descendants passed the title to the Windischgratz Family in 1784. The Losys started a conversion of the medieval castle to a large baroque chateau. The Windischgratzs, in their turn, made large investments to rebuild the house in the classical style. The old church became a chateau, too, and the now famous riding-school was built nearby. The walls from the mid 14th
century are Tachov's pride.
Distinguished by a very good condition, they also attract attention due to the unusual shape of high, slim towers. The chateau's classical fasade covers much older masonry some of it being in fact what remained from the Premyslide tower.
World War II. and the post-war period invented many ways of making use of the chateau, military and civil, and the
buildings got shabbier and shabbier until a warrant for demolition was issued in 1968. But the decision was withdrawn a year later and restoration work started. The fine mansion now houses the Magistrate and the School of Arts. Another well-repaired sight is the baroque mill which has its wheel back and provides shelter for the Municipal Centre of Culture.
Many architectonic sights can be admired in Tachov proper and on the outskirts. There are two monuments close to each other. The grave-mount along the road to Ctibor is reminiscent of the 232 victims of the Death Marches which passed through the country during World War II. The Hussite Memorial on the Vysoka commemorates the 1427 battle of Tachov in which the crusaders were beaten by the Hussite army.
The Knight's Alley (Kizeci Alej) is a fine place for walks to the mineral spring east of the town. Though making only half-hearted attempts in the travel business, the town and country around are worth visiting, like the valley of Aglaino udoli and its heritage trail which passes the monastery, the ruins of church
and riding-school at Svetce, and goes on to the dam of Lucina.