Náměstí Zachariáše z Hradce from Telč, Czech Republic

Founded in 1354, in a thick forest, on the spot where two roads crossed next to waterways at the border between Moravia, Bohemia and Austria, Telč (or Teltsch in German), had the misfortune of experiencing a great fire two centuries later. The city was quickly rebuilt following the original plan, but with modifications which took into account the evolution of building styles and techniques. The Gothic castle was remade in the Renaissance style and lofts were built for the houses in the square. The houses received painted façades, which were later replaced in the 18thcentury with rococo and baroque ones. The medieval Gothic arch on the ground floor remained unchanged. It is continuous, uniting all the houses in the square. Two churches were built and a plague column was dedicated to Saint John Nepomuk, flanked by two fountains. Towards the end of the 18thcentury, time suddenly stopped in Telč, with the end of its age of glory and economic development. The city reached our times without further changes, unaffected by industrialisation and, through some miracle, without socialist blocks. It is straight out of a book of folk tales. The map of the city is practically synonymous with the triangular square. One step outside of it carries you to the yellow canola fields of the Bohemian hills.

Masarykovo náměstí from Třeboň, Czech Republic

Třeboň, called Wittingau in German, has one of the best preserved medieval squares in Bohemia. In fact, only the shape dates from medieval times, since the current state, with Renaissance and Baroque houses, is due to the flourishing fish trade of the 14th century. Starting from the middle of the 14th century, the natural landscape around the city has been gradually transformed by human intervention. The marshlands have given way to a dense network of over 500 lakes, grouped in 16 aquatic systems, today a paradise returned to wilderness and populated with rare species of plants and animals. The largest of these lakes is found right near the city and is tied to the name of the Rosenberg family, the owners of the medieval burg. Like all historical cities in Bohemia and Moravia, the square contains a plague column, a Renaissance fountain, the tower building of the city hall.