Abstract Czech Background


Pardubice is a city in eastern Bohemia and the capital of the region of the same name. It is located approx. 96 km east of Prague, 50 km east of Kutná Hora and only 24 km south of Hradec Králové. The correct pronunciation of the city’s name is more or less: “pardubitse” and not “pardubeek” or “pardubayk”.

Industry plays an important role in the city and Pardubice may not belong to the top tourist destinations in Czechia. Nevertheless, it has a very impressive central square, a beautiful chateau and is internationally famous for its gingerbread and the Grand Pardubice Steeplechase.

Basic Facts
Historical Land
First Mentioned
90335 (2018)
82.655 km²
Postal Code
530 02
Phone Area Code
(+420) 466
Nearest Int. Airport
Nearest/Main Train Station
Pardubice hl. n.

Main Sights

Pernštejn Square (Perštýnské náměstí) belongs to the most beautiful central squares in the whole of Czechia. The square is named after the Lords of Pernštejn, who played a key role in the history of the city.

The highlight of the square is the Neo-Renaissance city hall from the late 19th century. On all sides of the square you will see well-preserved patrician houses. The dominant architectural style in the square is the Renaissance.

As many other central squares in Czech cities and towns, Pernštejn Square features a Marian plague column (Mariánský sloup). It was erected in the late 17th century as thanks for surviving a plague outbreak.

Pardubice Chateau (Pardubický zámek) is a superb example of Renaissance architecture. It is located just a short walk away from Pernštejn Square. Vilém of Pernštejn bought the town in the late 15th century and converted an existing castle into a late Gothic residence.

The next generations of the Pernštejn family continued to reconstruct their seat. The Renaissance reconstruction was led by the Italian architect Ulrico Aostalli de Sala in the second half of the 16th century. Baroque features were added in the 18th century by the Czech architect František Maxmilián Kaňka.

Nowadays, the chateau houses the East Bohemian Museum and the East Bohemian Gallery. You may also find there something that you would probably never expect there: a nuclear fallout shelter. It was built in the chateau’s rampart in the 1950s. The shelter has space for 120 people. If you’re in Pardubice with a group, visiting the shelter can be arranged with the East Bohemian Museum (visiting is possible only on Saturdays).

The Green Gate (Zelená brána) is one of the most recognizable landmarks in the city. It is located between Pernštejn Square (Perštýnské náměstí) and the Republic Square (Náměstí Republiky). Next to the gate, you will see a Tourist Information Center of the Pardubice Region.

The Green Gate consists actually of two structures: the Renaissance front gate itself and the Gothic main gate with a clock tower. The tower is approx. 60 m tall. It is not really green; the name is derived from the colour of the pigment covering the copper roof of the tower.

The Green Gate is open to the public. Visitors can see exhibitions related to the history of the city and the region and also see a beautiful panorama of Pardubice from the tower’s top. The opening times and entrance fees can be found here.

Popular Events

Fans of horse racing will certainly associate the city with the Grand Pardubice Steeplechase (Velká pardubická). The race has been organised in the city since 1874. It is held annually, on the second Sunday in October.

This famous steeplechase has astonishingly high viewership on the Czech TV. In 2017, it was watched by approx. 3,000,000 people in Czechia only, which is nearly 30% of the country’s population! The event is also broadcast in other countries where horse racing is popular.

The most successful horse of all-time was Železník from Czechoslovakia, who won the competition four times. The most successful jockey is Josef Váňa from Czechia with eight wins.

The Golden Helmet of Pardubice (Zlatá přilba) is the oldest motorcycle speedway competition in the world. The first race was held in 1929. Until 1963, the venue was the racetrack of the Grand Pardubice Steeplechase. After that, the competition moved to the speedway stadion in Pardubice-Svítkov. It is held annually, in September or October. More information can be found on the official website.

Pardubice Gingerbread

The city is very famous for its gingerbread (Pardubický perník), which has been produced there for centuries. The European Union granted gingerbread from Pardubice Protected Geographical Indication status (PGI) in 2008. The city even boasts a gingerbread museum.