Josefov…….Josefon

Recently we visited a fortress town, a FORTRESS TOWN! As in a town that is a fortress, how epic is that? We were on our way to the zoo when Sinead’s awesome friends decided we should take a detour to a place called Josefov and explore the underground tunnels there. Sign me up!

The tunnel system in question is not on any tourist map although there are tours of the other sections of underground passages nearby, which apparently have a loss of tourist ratio of about 10% on each tour! We parked in a car park next to the visitor centre and instead of proceeding inside we crossed the road and started walking through a sparsely wooded area. From here we made our way past some private gardens and down towards the edge of the fortress walls. Within the moat itself were dozens of tiny garden plots each with their own little shed and various fruits and vegetables.

We made our way along a narrow path between these plots and some trees and eventually arrived at the ominous passage entrance. It’s just like something out of a fairy tale, where the goblins live. We proceeded inside and within a few feet we were in complete darkness. I switch on the torch from my phone and we carried onwards. The ground below became damp and uneven, pockets of dust being kicked up into the torchlight on the drier patches.

The passage suddenly split into three, and we continued straight on. A few meters later there was yet another split into three and again we continued straight. At this point MartΓ­n suggested we turn back as it was getting suitably muddier and to be honest I was starting to get a little uneasy.

We turned around and made our way back out to civilisation, sunlight and warmth. It was a really interesting experience and given the time, suitable clothing and plenty of light I’d love to return and do a longer exploration of the optional passages.

We got back in the car and continued on our journey towards the former spa town of Kuks, passing through the fascinating streets that were like something out of a revolutionary film. Definitely going to revisit this place.

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The scenery north of Pardubice is a mix of gently rolling farmland and small villages. These fields stook out like beautiful white blankets against the surrounding green.
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Lollipop, lollipop oh lolly lollipop…..dum dum dum dum.
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Making our way towards the secret underground passages that aren’t on the tourist maps.
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This massive fearsome fire breathing monster guarded the secret entrance to the tunnels.
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The entrance to the tunnel system.
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Our patient guides waiting for me to emerge from the tunnel.
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MartΓ­n making his way back out, imagine if this was a complete stranger coming in behind you…cue brown trousers.
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The impressive moat on the edge of the fortress.
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Once home to a proud merchant or perhaps an officer’s quarters….Now….a casino. That’s what we call “progress”.
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Every street seemed riddled with stories, it really was like driving through another time.
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The main square may not have the ornate decoration of towns like Pardubice or Litomysl but there’s still plenty of grandeur on display.
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Nope I didn’t clone that lamp post. This must have been the dodgy street corner that required plenty of extra light to keep the undesirables away.
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The yellow sign says “SHOP”, none of that fancy Tesco neon here thank you very much.
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Have to get back and explore this place some more, a fascinating location.
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Zombie proof, just block up the tunnels and Josefov is the perfect place to sit out the zombie apocalypse.
How Josefov looks from the air.
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