Mladá Boleslav is a city arguably best known amongst the public for its ties with ŠKODA AUTO. While it is true that the company’s headquarters and many of its business functions are located here, the city contains interesting historical and cultural places, with some dating back as early as the 10th century. Let me introduce you to some of them.
Old Town Square
The Old Town Square, which was restored a few years ago, has since come back to life again. The Renaissance building of the Old Town Hall plays a dominant role in the Square, featuring beautiful decorations on its facade. The tower is accessible by the public and serves as an observation deck. For art lovers, the Town Hall houses a Municipal Gallery. Another interesting place on the Square is the Virgin Mary Column. It was built in 1681, and it serves as a thanksgiving to the Virgin Mary who people believed saved the city from a plague of 1680.
Mladá Boleslav Castle
An everyday sight for Technical Development employees of ŠKODA AUTO, the Mladá Boleslav Castle traces its origins back to as early as 10th century. During its lifetime, the castle suffered extensive damage several times – due to fire in the 16th century and due to occupation by Swedes during the Thirty Years’ War. The battered castle was scheduled for demolition a century later. Luckily, it escaped the demolition and was converted into military barracks instead. The military used the Castles’ premises up until 1952. Currently, the Mladá Boleslav Castle is open to the public, as The Museum of the Mladá Boleslav Region is located inside.
Metoděj Vlach Aviation Museum
This one is for aeroplane enthusiasts. The museum’s name comes from Metoděj Vlach – first Czech to construct and fly an aeroplane. To propel his maiden flight, Vlach used a 28-kilowatt automobile engine from Laurin & Klement – the founding fathers of our company. The mission of the Metoděj Vlach Aviation Museum is to bring the aviation history closer to the viewers and to demonstrate how the aircraft used to fly. That is why, in addition to its static display, which includes a replica of Vlach's aircraft from 1912, the museum also performs demonstration flights with the aeroplanes from its collection.
For historic ruin lovers, I recommend visiting Michalovice Castle, located about 3 km to the northwest from the centre of Mladá Boleslav. The noble family of Michalovice founded it in the 13th century. They lived in the castle up until 1468 when its last successor died. Since then the castle was unfortunately abandoned and fell victim to treasure hunters. Currently, the castle’s surviving cylindrical tower is not upright. The exact reasons as to why the tower is leaning are unknown. However, one theory suggests that it suffered damage during the nearby railway construction in the 19th century. Today, curious visitors can access the ruins, including climbing up the leaning tower.
ŠKODA AUTO Museum
Last, but not least, ŠKODA AUTO has been a part of the city’s history for more than a hundred years when Václav Laurin & Václav Klement started their own business in Mladá Boleslav in 1895. To learn more about our company’s history, I kindly invite you to visit ŠKODA AUTO Museum, based inside the company’s original production halls. Here you can expect to find a collection of about 340 items, primarily series-production passenger vehicles, rally cars, prototypes, dozens of engines, four motorcycles and “Slavia” – a bicycle from 1899, our museum’s oldest exhibit.
Around ŠKODA AUTO Museum, our most modern facilities proudly continue the brand’s legacy, developing and manufacturing the new vehicles for better mobility. If you would like to align your future with ŠKODA AUTO, consider checking the available career opportunities, including ŠKODA Trainee Programme. We are looking forward to seeing you as part of ŠKODA AUTO!
Mindaugas Kanapickas, Trainee – Complete Vehicle Function Testing