Česky Krumlov, Czech Republic

Published: May 25th 2007
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Český Krumlov Český Krumlov Český Krumlov

The town is very picturesque. Everywhere you look it is almost a "Kodak Moment".
Česky Krumlov is definitely one of the most picturesque sites we have ever visited. Česky Krumlov is a charming medieval town located in southern Czech Republic near the Austrian border. Sitting amidst the Vltava River, this quaint town boasts an abundance of culture, history, and adventure, and good food and beer. You can wander aimlessly through the cobblestone, traffic free streets and enjoy the colorful houses that line them. Eating or just enjoying a drink at one of its many restaurants is truly a treat as many of them have outdoor patios, which overlook postcard views of the town and castle.

Česky Krumlov means Czech or Bohemian (Česky) and crooked meadow (Krumlov). The town was first mentioned in documents about 1253, although the oldest proof of existence dates back to around 4000 B.C.. Like most of Europe the ruling family here has changed many times through the ages from the family of Witigonens (Lords of Krumlov) (1253), the Rozmberks (1302), the House of Eggenberk (1622), the House of Schwarzenberk (1722), and in 1949 became property of the state. In 1992, Český Krumlov became an UNESCO world heritage site. A World Heritage Site is a cultural or natural site, monument, city
Map of Český Krumlov Map of Český Krumlov Map of Český Krumlov

The town, as you can see, definitely sits amidst the Vltava River. The Vltave River is a perfect place for canoeing or just floating on an inner tube.
or geographical habitat that is deemed irreplaceable and threatened, and thus deserving of protection and preservation by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).

The town of Česky Krumlov sits on an isthmus with the Vltava River flowing around the town. This physical arrangement has led to some inventive use for canoeing and inner tubing on the river. At the narrowest part of the isthmus boaters and inner tube riders enter the river and enjoy a leisurely ride around the picturesque town. At a couple spots in the river there are slues or slide-ways that allow the boats and inner tubes to bypass the various rapids. As the boats and inner tubes come around to the other side of the isthmus, they come ashore and carry or slide their boats or inner tubes across the narrow neck back to the starting place and begin the trip on the river once again. There are also other canoe rentals where you can travel much farther down the river and be trucked back to the town.

Across the river from the town, the castle and chateau of Česky Krumlov sits on a high rocky bluff overlooking the valley. The
Entering the riverEntering the riverEntering the river

Here on one side of the isthmus boaters and inner tube enthusiasts enter the river for their trip around the town.
castle grounds contain 40 buildings, some very interesting courtyards, and an old stable that once accommodated 100 horses, a huge garden of 27 acres (11 hectares), and also a moat, which now houses the resident bears. These bears have been part of a breeding program at the castle that began in the 16th century. There are various tours of the castle and its grounds. We were only able to do the first of two castle tours, which are reasonably priced, and look forward to returning and doing the other tours.

Česky Krumlov has to be one of the most picturesque towns we have visited so far with its cobblestone streets and medieval Renaissance mural paintings on many of the buildings. There were quite a few tourists, a whole of Japanese, but it didn’t feel overcrowded. We were able to stay at one of the many, and I do mean many, pensions in the town for a very reasonable price, which included an excellent breakfast, garage parking (tiny but adequate), and even allowed Charley, our adopted Pomeranian, to stay in our room.

This town is truly a jewel of the Czech Republic. We look forward to coming back for
Exiting the riverExiting the riverExiting the river

Here boaters exit the river and carry their boats and inner tubes across the small isthmus to start the trip over again.
another visit. Until our next trip! Play fair and be safe!

Additional photos below
Photos: 27, Displayed: 24


Boating on the VltavaBoating on the Vltava
Boating on the Vltava

Here a rubber raft is coming down one of the slues (slide-ways)on the Vltava.
Artists painting the sceneryArtists painting the scenery
Artists painting the scenery

A view from the castle grounds overlooking the town is a favorite spot for artists and photographers.
Český Krumlov CastleČeský Krumlov Castle
Český Krumlov Castle

This complex consists of forty buildings and palaces, as well as gardens, courtyards, and a moat with resident bears.
The Tower and the Little CastleThe Tower and the Little Castle
The Tower and the Little Castle

The tower as well as the little castle and many of the other buildings on the castle grounds are ornately covered with mural paintings.
More examples of mural paintingMore examples of mural painting
More examples of mural painting

The castle courtyards are covered with these types of mural paintings.
The Clad BridgeThe Clad Bridge
The Clad Bridge

This bridge connects the castle to the baroque theater, the stable, and gardens.
The winter hippodromeThe winter hippodrome
The winter hippodrome

Built in 1744, the former winter riding school was used to exercise horses in winter or bad weather.
The Bear MoatThe Bear Moat
The Bear Moat

An interesting place to keep bears. The breeding of bears has been going on here at the castle since the 16th century, not necessarily in the moat.
Castle GardensCastle Gardens
Castle Gardens

Over 27 acres of beautiful gardens, stately trees and a pond covered with lovely water lilies.
The revolving theaterThe revolving theater
The revolving theater

This is different in that the audience revolves while the theater performances take place at various places in the castle garden adjacent to the revolving platform.
The Square of ConcordThe Square of Concord
The Square of Concord

A great place to people watch. While we were there having lunch on the square various children choruses provided a very pleasant afternoon of music.
The fountain and plague pillarThe fountain and plague pillar
The fountain and plague pillar

this fountain, dating back to 1712, contains a pillar with the Immaculate Virgin Mary atop, surrounded with the patron saints and protectors against plague infections. It was constructed as an expression of gratitude for ending the plague epidemic which rocked the town in 1680-1682.
River CafeRiver Cafe
River Cafe

There are many cafes found along the river's edge, each providing a picture postcard view of Český Krumlov
The Barber's Bridge & St. JoštThe Barber's Bridge & St. Jošt
The Barber's Bridge & St. Jošt

The Barber's Bridge (background) with the one-time Church of St. Jošt. The building to the left of the bridge was the barber shop that dates back to 1347. St. Jošt was established in the 14th century along with and adjacent to the hospital and poorhouse.

4th June 2007

I'm following you!
Hi Paul and Kate, I'm following your travels and marvel at the wonderful job that you do with the website. The pictures and the commentary are so professional. I always look forward to your next adventure. Thanks for keeping us posted. Cindy

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