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Beyond Classic Travel
Your Specialist Incoming Travel Partner for Central Europe
Bespoke cultural voyages with an emphasis on fine and applied arts, architecture, gardens, music, good food and wine aimed at the discerning traveller.

Our destinations: Czech Republic, Slovakia, Germany
Committed to combining imaginatively curated journeys with sound travel logistics, we are a natural port of call for all those in the international travel community seeking a reliable partner for cultural, academic and affinity travel in Central Europe.

In designing specialist itineraries we cooperate with local and international art historians and other experts on the art, architecture and gardens of the Czech Republic and Central Europe and we work closely with those directly involved in heritage in order to secure privileged access to special places and people.
Who we are?

John Tregellas

John studied Modern Languages at Oxford and moved to Prague in 1990. Following a spell working for Czechoslovak Radio, he set up his own travel agency in 1994 to facilitate touring projects for visiting choirs and orchestras. The agency has expanded over the years to take in cultural, academic and affinity tours under the Beyond Classic Travel brand.

Who we are?
Harriet Landseer

Harriet graduated in History of Art from Yale, and has lived in Prague since 1991. She has designed, arranged, accompanied and led tours for museums and heritage associations for over 20 years, and specialises in the heritage and art of the Czech Republic and Central Europe.

Our Services
We design and deliver made-to-measure tours 
to suit your individual requirements.
TAILOR MADE ITINERARIES
EXPERTLY CURATED EXPERIENCES
PRIVILEGED ACCESS TO EXCEPTIONAL PEOPLE & PLACES
TICKETS FOR INTERNATIONAL MUSIC FESTIVALS
UNUSUAL & NICHE ACCOMMODATION
DINNERS IN PRIVATE PALACES
EXPERIENCED TOUR MANAGERS
Our Tours

  • Palaces of Prague & Bohemia

Palaces of Prague & Bohemia

The city of Prague is home to an astounding number of magnificent palaces. Originally built for the wealthiest noblemen and aristocratic families of Bohemia and inspired by French and Italian architecture, the palaces offer a rich and remarkable walk through Bohemian history. Away from bustling Prague, the Czech Republic offers many gorgeous chateaux and hidden architectural treasures, many with outstanding collections and works of art. Take a private expert-led tour and discover less familiar jewels like the Reliquary of St. Maurus at Bečov Castle or the Metternich family library at Kynžvart in Western Bohemia. The baroque theatres at the chateaux in Český Krumlov and Valtice are famous far beyond our borders, whilst Bohemian architects Jan Santini and Kilian Ignaz Dientzenhofer bequeathed to the Czech lands a magnificent heritage of baroque monuments both sacred and secular.

Itinerary

Palaces of Prague & Bohemia

DAY 1
• Visit to the Klementinum (by special permission)
• Private visit to the Municipal House with some of the greatest Art Nouveau interiors in Europe
DAY 2
• Visit the Strahov Library for a behind-the-scenes visit with a curator, followed by a short visit to the Basilica of the Assumption of Our Lady (special opening)
• Continue on foot to visit St. Vitus Cathedral (with special access to the Wenceslas Chapel)
• Visit the Lobkowicz collections at Prague Castle with catered lunch in a private room
• Explore the Lower Castle Gardens and the Wallenstein Garden, as well as the St. Nicholas Church in the Malá Strana
• Opera performance
DAY 3
• Leave to visit the privately-owned castle of Nové Město nad Metují, where the unusual interiors (Renaissance & Baroque fused with early 20th century) were featured in World of Interiors magazine.
• Continue for a visit and private lunch in the Rose Dining Room at Častolovice, the first country house to be returned under restitution, in 1992, to Diana Sternberg Phipps was a celebrated London-based interior designer, who has worked wonders with her family home (featured in Architectural Digest) and garden
• Late afternoon tea/drinks and visit at Kostelec, a neighbouring neo-Classical chateau of 1820, belonging to the Kinsky family, which has just had all its period furniture restored and reinstalled
DAY 4
• Visit to Český Šternberk, one of the best preserved medieval castles in the Czech Republic and in the continuous ownership of the Sternberg family; its interiors feature rich stucco, painted decorations, valuable furnishings and family collections, and a collection of engravings dating from the Thirty Years’ War
• Lunch in the Hunting Lodge at Konopiště followed by visit to the castle
DAY 5
• Visit Nelahozeves, a Renaissance chateau with a magnificent collection, re-created as the family would have left them in 1938, followed by lunch in a private room.
• Visit to Libochovice, built in the late 17th century by Italian craftsmen for the Dietrichstein family

 
  • Music Lovers Tours

Music Lovers Tours

Music and the Czech Republic have always been inseparable. Our tailor-made tours focus on the rich musical history of the Czech lands, as well as giving exclusive access to key musical events, musicians and venues of today. Prague was a second home to Mozart and you can still stand on the stage where he conducted the premiere of Don Giovanni as well as visit the locations where Oscar-winning biopic Amadeus was filmed. Dvořák, Smetana, Janáček, Martinů, Mahler…their lives and works are intertwined with the landscapes of Bohemia and Moravia and we take you to places where they lived, loved and composed their music. We secure the best tickets to leading events of the Czech musical calendar like the Janáček Festival in Brno, Dvořák´s Prague or the Prague Spring Festival. 
 
We create specialized itineraries based on individual requests – for example we have hosted a number of tours for organists giving them the opportunity to see and play a selection of historic instruments around the region, including the organs of neighbouring Germany made famous by their associations with Johann Sebastian Bach. Berlin, Leipzig and Dresden are among our most popular music tour destinations outside the Czech Republic.

Itinerary

Music Lovers Tours: Janáček Festival Brno

DAY 1
• Guided walking tour of Brno to include the Old Town Hall and the Church of St. James, an elegant hall church with late Gothic vaulting founded in the 1220s for the German burghers of Brno and rebuilt from the late-14th century onwards
• Visit the Janáček House• Visit to the Gregor Mendel Museum in the Augustinian monastery where he lived and worked
• Performance of a Janáček Opera at the Janáček Theatre
DAY 2
• Half-day visit to Polička to include Martinu’s birthplace and museum
• Performance of Janáček’s The Diary of One Who Disappeared in the Mahen Theatre
DAY 3
• Visit the iconic Villa Tugendhat, built in 1928-1930 by Mies van der Rohe and now UNESCO-listed
• Attend a re-enactment of the battle of Austerlitz (where Napoleon’s troops memorably defeated a much larger Alliance army in 1805) – VIP tickets including seats on the tribune, snacks and drinks during the whole event
• Performance of Janáček’s Jenůfa
DAY 4
• Visit the Jurkovič Villa and the Museum of Decorative Arts
• Visit the main Christmas Market at Náměstí Svobody
• Performance of Janáček´s Moravian Folk Poetry in his Villa Tugendhat
• Attend performance of Janáček’s From the House of the Dead at the Brno Exhibition Centre
  • Modern Art & Architecture

Modern Art & Architecture

Whilst proud of their cultural heritage and historical past, the Czech lands remained at the forefront of trends in architecture and design for much of the 20th century. Decorative Jugendstil facades soon gave way to a more modern aesthetic as famous architects like Josef Gočár were inspired by developments in the visual arts to create the earliest examples of Cubist architecture in Prague. The city of Brno is renowned for the modernist family houses commissioned in the 1920s and 30s from leading architects, of which the famous Villa Tugendhat is only one example.  

Itinerary

Modern Art & Architecture

DAY 1
PRAGUE
• Arrive Prague Airport. We stay in the centrally located hotel K+K Central with its fine Art Nouveau facade. This evening we have dinner in the Triton Restaurant, a remarkable survival from 1912 whose artificial grotto has alternately served as a cabaret, a theatre and a restaurant.
DAY 2
PRAGUE
• In the morning we visit Prague’s Municipal House, one of the most significant Art Nouveau structures in Central Europe. It was opened in 1912 as a centre of social and cultural life of the city, and leading Czech artists and sculptors like Alfons Mucha, Max Švabinský and Josef Václav Myslbek contributed to the decoration. We view the suite of contrasting reception rooms with their monumental paintings and elaborate ornamentation, as well as the Smetana Hall, one of the centres of Prague musical life. We have lunch in the building’s elegant café.
• Though completed in the same year, the House at the Black Madonna represents an altogether more avant-garde vision: an iconic building in the Cubist style, it was the work of 31 year old Josef Gočár. The building now houses the Czech Museum of Cubism, complete with the cubist Grand Café Orient, reconstructed from the original plans.
• A short walk around key architectural monuments in the centre of Prague completes today‘s programme. 
DAY 3
PRAHA
• Today we visit the Exhibition Palace, home to the modern art collection of the Czech National Gallery. Constructed in the years 1926 28 as a site for trade fairs, it was at the time the largest edifice of its kind in the world and a prominent example of the functionalist style.
• The collection is of considerable interest, with a significant holding of modern European painting (including works by Paul Gauguin, Henri Rousseau, Pablo Picasso and Vincent van Gogh) purchased by the Czechoslovak state following its foundation in 1918 as well as a representative selection of Czech artists active in the interwar years.
• We have lunch in the museum‘s Café Jedna.• In the afternoon we visit the Villa Müller designed by Adolf Loos, complete with original furnishings. We then take a stroll around Baba colony – a remarkable collection of family houses displaying different interpretations of the functionalistic aesthetic. 
• This evening we dine at the Café Imperial, featuring one of Prague‘s most spectacular Art Deco interiors. 
DAY 4
HRADEC KRÁLOVÉ
• This morning we visit the Eastern Bohemian town of Hradec Králové, whose enterprising city fathers commissioned Josef Gočár to design an entire new district in the early years of the Czechoslovak Republic. A walk around the new town reveals spectacular architecture in this provincial setting. 
• This afternoon we continue to Brno, the Czech Republic‘s second city.  We stay at the Hotel International, opened in 1962 and an example of the so-called „Brussels“ style. 
DAY 5
BRNO
• Brno was formerly nicknamed „the Czech Manchester“ and the city‘s textile barons vied in commissioning impressive family houses from fashionable architects. We explore three such houses, beginning with the Villa Stiassni, designed by the best-known Brno architect of the 1920s, Ernst Wiesner. The Jewish Stiassni family left Czechoslovakia in 1938 to escape the Nazi threat and after World War II, the building was used to house visiting dignitaries including Fidel Castro.
• Lunch in the functionalist ERA café.
• This afternoon we take in a pair of houses which were closely linked by geography and family history. The Löw-Beer Villa, built in the art nouveau style, was the home of another textile dynasty. When Alfred Löw-Beer‘s daughter Grete married Fritz Tugendhat in 1928, her parents gave divided their plot of land to make space for a new house for the couple, who commissioned German architect Ludwig Mies van der Rohe to design a home for them. The resulting building, known as the Villa Tugendhat, is considered one of his masterworks and has more recently inspired the book and film „The Glass Room“. 
• Our tour concludes with dinner in the stylish surroundings of the Pavillon restaurant, a functionalist café from the 1920s.
DAY 6

• Depart Morning check out from the hotel, drive to Prague or Vienna Airport and departure.

 
  • Bohemian Baroque

Bohemian Baroque

Join us on a journey of discovery through the wonders of the Bohemian Baroque – an epoch that has been preserved in numerous architectural landmarks and works of art. As well as visiting some of the exceptional churches, places of pilgrimage , palaces and gardens of Prague, we will explore the wider heritage of the historic kingdom of Bohemia, which has many well-preserved Baroque sites. Aristocratic families like the Schwarzenbergslent their patronage to famous names like sculptor Matthias Bernard Braun or architects from the Dientzenhofer family. In the villages, the prevailing style was copied by local farmers with charming results. On our final day we will visit some of the principal works of the Prague-born architect Jan Blažej Santini-Aichel, considered one of the most important figures of the Bohemian Baroque.

Itinerary

Treasures of the Bohemian Baroque

DAY 1
PRAGUE
• Arrive Prague airport. Our first walk starts above Prague Castle outside the imposing Czernin Palace, the largest of the Baroque palaces of the capital, and now home to the Czech foreign ministry. Opposite the palace we descend towards Loreta which is a Baroque pilgrimage site devoted to the Nativity of Our Lord with a facade by the renowned architects Christoph and Kilian Ignaz Dientzenhofer.
• Inside Prague Castle itself, we find an Early Baroque riding hall and several sacred structures. Our sight-seeing walk continues through Neruda Street with its prominent Baroque palaces to a number of beautiful Baroque gardens which we can explore together.
• Overnight in Prague.
DAY 2
PRAGUE
• Today we start our exploration with a visit to the Church of Our Lady of Victory and St Anthony of Padua in Prague‘s Lesser Quarter. It is a valuable monument of the Early Baroque, world-famous for its venerated statue of the Infant Jesus of Prague. We continue to the Church of St Nicholas, built in the High Baroque style and considered to be the most important Baroque structure north of the Alps. 
• We cross the river on the famous Charles Bridge. Constructed in 1357, the bridge was later embellished with rare sculptures, which transformed it into a large outdoor gallery of Baroque statues by the best artists of the time. We end today‘s walk in the Clementinum, a Jesuit complex with a unique Baroque library established in 1722. 
• Overnight in Prague.
DAY 3
SOUTH BOHEMIA
• This morning we travel to Český Krumlov, a UNESCO World Heritage site. The castle, the largest in the country after Prague Castle, is resplendent with Baroque interior decorations and the Baroque theatre, unique in Europe for the degree of preservation of its original sets and costumes. A highlight of the tour is the Rococo masquerade hall. 
• We continue to Holašovice (24 km from Č. Krumlov), another UNESCO World Heritage site. This extraordinary complex of preserved Baroque houses and granaries is a unique example of the rural, or “farmer’s”, Baroque style.
• Overnight in the historic provincial town of Tábor, famous for its central role in the Hussite movement.
DAY 4
NORTH-EAST BOHEMIA
• After breakfast this morning we transfer to Kuks (3 hours). Kuks is rightly considered a gem of Bohemian Baroque art. It was founded in the early eighteenth century by the ambitious Count Sporck as a residence and a spa complex to rival the main social centres of the day. There was also a hospital for poor veterans, who were cared for by the Brothersof Mercy. We admire series of original masterpieces by the pre-eminent Baroque sculptor Matthias Bernard Braun representing the Vices and Virtues. 
• In the afternoon we visit the Benedictine monastery of Broumov. The originally Gothic cloister and Church of St Adalbert was rebuilt in the Baroque style by K. I. Dientzenhofer. The monastery’s renovated Baroque garden with numerous original sections is also noteworthy.  
• Overnight in Náchod or Hradec Králové.
DAY 5
EAST BOHEMIA
• After breakfast this morning we transfer to Žďar nad Sázavou (cca 1.5 hours). 
• The Church of St John of Nepomuk on the Green Mountain (another World Heritage monument) from the years 1719–22 was built on the impetus of the Cistercians in nearby Žďár nad Sázavou, as a pilgrimage site dedicated to this patron saint of Bohemia. The church was built according to plans by J. B. Santini-Aichel in his unique and distinctive style of “Gothic Baroque”. The nearby Cistercian monastery in Žďár is also worth seeing, as it was modified and rebuilt by J. B. Santini-Aichel as well. The journey back to Prague offers the opportunity to visit the medieval silver-mining town of Kutná Hora. Amongst many structures of note, we will pay particular attention to  the local Monastery Church of the Assumption of Our Lady and of St John the Baptist. This originally Gothic structure was rebuilt by Santini-Aichel in the early years of the 18th century.
• We then return to Prague for our overnight.
DAY 6
• Depart for Prague airport.
  • Prague Opera Houses

Prague Opera Houses

We are inviting you to our truly musical holidays in Prague where you can enjoy the finest opera in the heart of old Prague. Experience the essence of three of the best opera houses in Prague – Estates Theatre, State opera and famous National theatre, together with some behind scene encounter with some of the most famous bohemian composers – Dvořák and Smetana. Soak up the atmosphere of the Estates theatre where Mozart premiered his Don Giovanni and have a look behind the curtains on your private tour.

Itinerary

coming soon
  • Horses and Houses

Horses and Houses

Join us in a journey through some of the most impressive horse studs in Central Europe. Studs are bind together with luxurious houses that belonged to the founders and lovers of horse breeding and racing. You can admire the houses of the stud as well which are architectonic jewels itself with long history or special connection with country for example the famous National stud of Kladruber horses. In the beginning you can admire national stud of Kladruber horses in Kladruby nad Labem and in Slatiňany together with picturesque castle in Kladruby. Then we can move more to the east and spend some times with the English thoroughbred in Napajedla. Crown your experience in Vienna with one of the most famous riding schools in the world – The Spanish riding school.

Itinerary

coming soon

Other Tailor-Made Tours

Didn´t you find favourite itinerary? Please contact us.

References

IN THE FOOTSTEPS OF BACH: TOUR OF LÜBECK, LEIPZIG AND EISENACH

  • "This trip was unique because it was a perfect combination of superior performance opportunities with free time to absorb as much local culture and history as possible. We played in the most significant churches of Bach’s life on new and historical instruments that are usually blocked to travellers, even those who have connections. Playing at the Thomaskirche was the highlight for me. What a privilege it was to be there playing the new Bach organ that he had designed and to look down at his grave. "
    Dr. Ed Maki-Schramm & a group of American organists

PRAGUE & GREAT COUNTRY HOUSES IN BOHEMIA

  • "I would like to thank you again for the perfect organization of our week in Prague. It was fantastic to see such a beautiful country, such amazing people, incredible castles and collections, we definitely want to come back. We want to thank you a lot for all the organisation which was incredible! Everything was perfectly organised, my friends were very happy with the hotel, the timing of all visits was intensive but very interesting and it was a good thing that we could meet the owners when it was possible.”
    Prominent client

AROUND BOHEMIA AND MORAVIA

  • "Your choices of places to stay was wonderful – the newly-restored castle at Trebesice was enchanting and our hosts cooked us a superb dinner. Similarly the lovely castle at Nove Mesto nad Metuji, where Mr Barton spent a long time showing us round and explaining everything in the most interesting way. We also loved the hotels in Litomysl and Brno, and your recommendations for places to eat lunch and dinner each day were exactly right. One of the greatest high-points for me was getting into the Villa Tugendhat, which I had been trying to achieve for thirty-odd years. The tour was excellent, and it was a beautiful sunny day, so I shall always have very happy memories of it. We all want to thank you for the excellent preparations that you made."
    prof. John Harrison

GREAT COUNTRY HOUSES IN BOHEMIA

  • "The owners and guides were varied and delightful, the castles and houses fairytale romantic, our driver an adept translator, negotiating our way through and around our complex trip with professionalism. I would recommend it to anybody with a taste for art, history and the hidden delights of Czech history."
    Philip and Catherine Mould
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Call us

+420 222 520 901

Address

Na Kozačce 1
120 00 Praha 2
Czech Republic

Email

info@beyondclassic.cz