Telč, Czech Republic
A two hour drive from both Prague and Brno, Telč makes for an excellent day trip away from the city.
Parking on the bridge that leads into the centre is free and without time limit, and provides lovely views of the river and townscape. Walking to the main square takes less than five minutes from here.
The Telč plague column is one of the most fancy I've seen, with a plethora of details and shiny saint halos. There was a plague column in nearly every town in the Czech Republic, and at first we didn't know why. Perhaps it was a way to honour the victims of the plague, or a measure of desperate mayors to ward off the plague from their town.
It turns out that plague columns were often erected in thanks to God at the conclusion of a plague.
Already quiet during the day, if you stay in Telč until twilight the few tourists all disappear and you can have a peaceful evening away from hustle and bustle.