Jihlava, Czechia

Reading Time: 9 minutes

Jihlava, Czechia

Region: Vysočina


Geographic Coordinates: 49.400300, 15.590600
Climate: Varies.
Population: 51125
Language: Czech

Jihlava, A captivating city located in the Vysočina Region of Czechia, Is a hidden gem waiting to be explored. Steeped in history and brimming with architectural wonders, This enchanting destination offers visitors an unforgettable experience. Situated on the banks of the Jihlávka River, Jihlava boasts a rich cultural heritage that dates back to the 13th century. One of the city’s most prominent landmarks is its stunning historical center. Here, You will find an array of beautifully preserved Gothic and Renaissance buildings that transport you back in time.

The iconic Holy Trinity Column stands tall at the heart of the square, Showcasing intricate Baroque craftsmanship and serving as a testament to Jihlava’s religious devotion. For history enthusiasts, Exploring Špilberk Castle is a must-do activity. This imposing fortress dominates the city skyline and offers panoramic views from its tower. Inside, You can delve into its fascinating past as a royal residence turned prison during various periods of Czech history. Jihlava also prides itself on being home to one of Europe’s oldest functioning mines – The Mining Museum Barbara.

Descend into this subterranean world and discover how mining shaped not only Jihlava but also Central Europe as a whole throughout centuries. Nature lovers will find solace in Gustav Mahler Park – an oasis nestled amid lush greenery where they can unwind or take leisurely walks along picturesque trails. Additionally, Just outside Jihlava lies Zelená Hora (Green Mountain), Another UNESCO World Heritage Site famous for its unique Church of St John Nepomucene designed by renowned architect Jan Santini Aichel.

The city comes alive with cultural events throughout the year; however, It truly shines during October when it hosts one of Central Europe’s most prestigious documentary film festivals – Ji.hlava International Documentary Film Festival (IDFF). Filmmakers, Enthusiasts, And visitors gather to celebrate the art of documentary filmmaking, Attending screenings, Workshops, And networking events. To savor the local cuisine, Head to one of Jihlava’s traditional Czech restaurants where you can indulge in hearty dishes like svíčková (marinated beef with creamy sauce) or delicious trdelník (a sweet pastry).

Don’t forget to pair your meal with a glass of Moravian wine or locally brewed beer for an authentic culinary experience. With its rich history, Architectural wonders, Natural beauty, And vibrant cultural scene – Jihlava has something for everyone. Whether you’re a history buff seeking medieval charm or an avid explorer eager to uncover hidden gems, This captivating city is sure to leave a lasting impression on all who visit.



Important Landmarks

  1. Jihlava Underground – A unique underground labyrinth of tunnels and cellars that were used for storage during medieval times. Visitors can explore this network of passages and learn about the city’s history.
  2. St. Ignatius Church – A beautiful Baroque church built in the 17th century, known for its impressive interior decoration and stunning frescoes.
  3. Gustav Mahler House – The birthplace of renowned composer Gustav Mahler, which has been turned into a museum dedicated to his life and work.
  4. Gate Tower – One of the last remaining parts of the medieval city fortifications, this tower offers panoramic views over Jihlava from its top.
  5. Znojmo Gate – Another well-preserved gate from the old city walls, featuring Gothic architecture and serving as an entrance to the historical center.
  6. Holy Cross Chapel – A small chapel with a richly decorated interior dating back to the 14th century, located on Masaryk Square.
  7. Town Hall Tower – Climb up this tower for a great view of Jihlava’s Old Town square (Namesti Republiky) and surrounding areas.
  8. Jewish Cemetery – One of the oldest Jewish cemeteries in Central Europe with tombstones dating back to the 15th century, offering insight into local Jewish history.
  9. Vodni Raj (Water Paradise) Aquapark – A popular water park featuring various pools, slides, saunas, wellness facilities, and entertainment options for all ages.
  10. Vysočina Arena – This modern multi-purpose sports complex is known for hosting international ice hockey tournaments as well as other sporting events throughout the year.

Primary Industries

  1. Manufacturing: Jihlava has a strong manufacturing base with companies involved in various industries such as automotive components, machinery production, and metalworking. The city is known for its production of electric motors, electrical equipment, and precision engineering.
  2. Textiles: Jihlava has a long history in textile manufacturing and continues to be an important center for this industry in Czechia. The city produces textiles including clothing fabrics, home textiles, and technical textiles.
  3. Food Processing: Food processing is another significant industry in Jihlava. Companies are involved in the production of dairy products like cheese and butter, meat processing, bakery products, confectionery items, and beverages.
  4. Retail: As one of the largest cities in the region with a population over 50 thousand people, Jihlava serves as an important retail hub for surrounding areas.
  5. Services Sector: Various service-oriented businesses thrive in Jihlava including finance institutions (banks), insurance companies, healthcare facilities (hospitals), educational institutions (schools & universities), hospitality services (hotels & restaurants), tourism agencies etc.
  6. Information Technology: With the growth of technology-related industries across Czechia as well as globally; Jihlava also hosts some IT companies specializing in software development or providing IT services to clients from different sectors.

It’s worth mentioning that while these are some major industries/businesses present in Jihlava; there might be other smaller-scale enterprises operating within different sectors contributing to the local economy as well.


Noteable History

  1. Silver Mining: Jihlava became renowned for its silver mining industry during the Middle Ages. The discovery of silver deposits in the region led to significant economic growth and prosperity.
  2. Golden Bull of Sicily: In 1212, Emperor Frederick II issued the Golden Bull of Sicily, granting Jihlava various privileges and rights as a royal town. This document played a crucial role in shaping the city’s development.
  3. Hussite Wars: During the Hussite Wars (1419-1434), Jihlava was an important center for both Hussites (followers of Jan Hus) and their opponents. The city experienced several battles and sieges during this period.
  4. Matthias Corvinus: Matthias Corvinus, King of Hungary from 1458 to 1490, was born in Jihlava Castle in 1443. He is known for his patronage of arts and sciences, making him one of Europe’s most prominent Renaissance rulers.
  5. Jewish Community: From the late Middle Ages until World War II, Jihlava had a thriving Jewish community that contributed significantly to its cultural and economic life.
  6. Industrialization: In the 19th century, industrialization transformed Jihlava into an important manufacturing center with textile mills, breweries, foundries, and other industries emerging within its borders.
  7. Austro-Hungarian Empire: Following Austria-Hungary’s formation in 1867 until World War I’s end in 1918, Jihlava was part of this multinational empire that encompassed various ethnicities across Central Europe.
  8. Czechoslovakia & Communist Era: After World War I, Jihlava became part of Czechoslovakia. During the communist era (1948-1989), the city experienced industrial growth but also political repression and limited freedoms.
  9. Jihlavanka: Jihlava is known for its iconic coffee brand called Jihlavanka, which has been produced since 1946 and remains popular in Czechia.
  10. International Film Festival: Since 1997, Jihlava has hosted the annual Ji.hlava International Documentary Film Festival, one of the most prominent documentary film festivals in Central Europe.

These are just a few examples of notable events and people associated with Jihlava throughout history. The city’s rich heritage continues to shape its identity today.


Museums and Things To See

  1. Jihlava Underground – Explore the extensive underground tunnels beneath the city, which were used for mining and defense purposes.
  2. Vysočina Museum – Discover the history and culture of the Vysočina region through various exhibitions on archaeology, ethnography, natural history, and more.
  3. Gustav Mahler House – Visit the birthplace of renowned composer Gustav Mahler. The museum showcases his life and work through exhibits and memorabilia.
  4. Church of St. Ignatius – Admire this Baroque-style church known for its beautiful frescoes and impressive interior decorations.
  5. Town Hall Tower – Climb to the top of this tower for panoramic views over Jihlava’s historic center.
  6. Gate of Holy Mother (Brána Matky Boží) – Explore this medieval gate that once served as an entrance to the city walls.
  7. Masaryk Square (Masarykovo náměstí) – Take a stroll around this central square lined with colorful buildings featuring various architectural styles.
  8. Jihlava Catacombs (Jihlavské katakomby) – Descend into these underground catacombs to learn about their history while exploring narrow corridors and chambers.
  9. Regional Art Gallery in Jihlava (Krajská galerie výtvarného umění ve Znojmě) – Enjoy contemporary art exhibitions showcasing works by local artists as well as international collections.
  10. Vajgar Lake (Vajgar) – Relax by this picturesque lake located near Jihlava’s city center; it offers opportunities for boating or simply enjoying a peaceful walk along its shores.

These are just a few highlights among many attractions in Jihlava. Exploring the city’s historic center will also lead you to charming streets, squares, and architectural gems worth discovering.



Sports Teams

  1. HC Dukla Jihlava (Ice Hockey): HC Dukla Jihlava is one of the most successful ice hockey clubs in the Czech Republic. It was founded in 1956 and has a long-standing history of success, particularly during the communist era when it was associated with the Czechoslovak People’s Army (Dukla). The team won 12 national championships between 1967 and 1990.
  2. FC Vysočina Jihlava (Football): FC Vysočina Jihlava is a professional football club based in Jihlava. The team was founded in 1948 and has had various name changes throughout its history due to sponsorship reasons. It has competed in different tiers of Czech football leagues, including several seasons in the top-flight Gambrinus Liga.
  3. BC Lions Jindřichův Hradec-Jižní Čechy-Jihlava (Basketball): BC Lions is a basketball club that represents not only Jihlava but also other towns like Jindřichův Hradec and Jižní Čechy within its name. The team competes primarily in lower-tier basketball leagues but has been known for nurturing young talents.
  4. TJ Sokol Jiskra Otrokovice – Zbrojovka Brno II – SK Bat Žďár nad Sázavou – SK Spartak Pelhřimov – FK Spartak MAS Sezimovo Ústí – Tatran Poštorná – VTJ Tábor – TJ PELIKÁN Brezněves (Volleyball): This volleyball club had various names throughout its history due to mergers or sponsorships, but it has represented Jihlava on multiple occasions. The team competed in the top-tier Czech volleyball leagues and achieved notable successes.

These are just a few examples of sports teams associated with Jihlava, Czechia. The city also has teams in other sports such as handball, athletics, and more.



Cultural Events

  1. Jihlava International Documentary Film Festival (Ji.hlava IDFF): This is one of the largest documentary film festivals in Central and Eastern Europe. It takes place annually in October and showcases a wide range of documentary films from around the world.
  2. Gustav Mahler Music Festival: Held every two years in Jihlava, this festival celebrates the works of renowned composer Gustav Mahler. The event features various classical music concerts performed by both local and international musicians.
  3. Matějská pouť (St. Matthew’s Fair): As one of the oldest fairs in Czechia, this traditional folk fair takes place during springtime (March-April) at Masaryk Square in Jihlava. It offers amusement rides, games, food stalls, live music performances, and other entertainment for all ages.
  4. Jarmark na Vnitřním Městě (Market on Inner City): This annual market held during summer brings together local craftsmen and artisans who display their handmade products such as ceramics, jewelry, textiles, wooden crafts etc.
  5. Christmas Market: During December leading up to Christmas Eve (December 24th), Jihlava hosts a festive Christmas market where visitors can enjoy traditional Czech food and drinks while browsing through stalls selling holiday decorations and gifts.
  6. Folklore Festivals: Occasionally there are folklore festivals organized in Jihlava that showcase traditional dances, music performances by folk groups from different regions of Czechia or even international folk ensembles.

These are just a few examples of cultural events and festivals celebrated in Jihlava; additional smaller-scale events may also occur throughout the year based on specific themes or interests within the community.


Cuisine

  1. Jihlavské Vrchy: This is a traditional regional dish consisting of roasted pork with dumplings and sauerkraut. Many local restaurants serve this specialty, such as Restaurace U Svaté Anny.
  2. Moravian Sparrow (Moravský vrabec): Another beloved regional dish, it features roasted pork served with cabbage or sauerkraut and bread dumplings. You can enjoy this delicacy at Restaurace Na Hradbách.
  3. Znojemská Kachna: This is a famous Czech dish originating from the nearby town of Znojmo but can be found in Jihlava as well. It consists of roasted duck with pickled cabbage and South Moravian-style bread dumplings. Try it at Restaurace U Dvořáků.
  4. Pivovar Jihlava: If you’re a beer lover, visit Pivovar Jihlava, a local brewery offering various types of excellent craft beers along with delicious pub food like burgers, steaks, and traditional Czech dishes.
  5. Café Bistro Bezlepková Cukrárna: For gluten-free options or those with dietary restrictions, this café bistro serves an array of gluten-free pastries, cakes, sandwiches, and coffee specialties.
  6. Restaurace Špejchar: Located in the historical center of Jihlava within an old granary building (špejchar), this restaurant offers both international cuisine and traditional Czech dishes prepared using fresh ingredients sourced from local suppliers.
  7. Restaurant Hotel Gustav Mahler: Situated in the elegant Gustav Mahler Hotel, this restaurant provides a combination of Czech and international cuisine, including regional specialties. The stylish interior and attentive service make it a delightful dining experience.

These are just a few examples of the local cuisine and restaurants in Jihlava. Exploring the city further will reveal more hidden gems that cater to various tastes and preferences.


Parks and Recreation

  1. Gustav Mahler Park: Located in the city center, this park is named after the famous composer Gustav Mahler, who was born in Jihlava. It features beautiful green spaces, walking paths, benches, and a playground for children.
  2. City Park (Městský park): Situated near the city center, this park is an ideal place for leisurely walks or picnics. It offers well-maintained lawns, trees, flower beds, and a small lake with ducks.
  3. Podvrší Nature Park: A nature reserve located on the outskirts of Jihlava that provides opportunities for hiking and cycling through its picturesque landscapes.
  4. Vysočina Arena: This modern sports complex hosts various sporting events throughout the year including ice hockey matches and speed skating competitions.
  5. Aquapark Jihlava: A water park offering indoor swimming pools with slides and wellness facilities like saunas and hot tubs.
  6. Zoo Jihlava: An animal park featuring a variety of species from around the world including lions, tigers, bears, monkeys, birds, reptiles etc., providing an educational experience for visitors of all ages.
  7. Bowling Center Jihlava: A bowling facility where you can enjoy some friendly competition with friends or family.
  8. Golf Resort Telč-Javořice: Located nearby in Telč municipality (around 30 km from Jihlava), it offers a golf course surrounded by beautiful countryside scenery suitable for both beginners and experienced golfers.

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