In Southern Bohemia lies the lovely Český Krumlov, famous for being the first town in the Czech Republic to be listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Don’t be fooled by the small size of this city. In its heyday it could compete in opulence with the most important European courts and its castle is second in size only to the more famous Prague Castle.
The city centre is a labyrinth of picturesque houses, handicraft shops, flower gardens and medieval taverns, a labyrinth in which it is truly pleasant to get lost! Important cultural events and interesting art galleries rightfully place Český Krumlov on the list of must-see destinations in the Czech Republic.
Many tourists choose it as their destination for a day trip from Prague, but if you are looking for a bit of peace and quiet or a destination less travelled by mass tourism, we recommend staying here for at least one night.
It is certainly pleasant to wander aimlessly around the delightful historical centre of Český Krumlov, but don’t miss out on the many attractions this town has to offer.
The famous Český Krumlov Castle was built in the 13th century by the noble Vítkovec family, who were succeeded as residents of the palace by the Rožmberks, who expanded the original fortress and rebuilt it in the 16th century in Renaissance style. You can visit a museum on the history of the castle and climb to the top of the tower for a panoramic view of the city.
One of the castle’s most famous attractions is the magnificent Baroque theatre, probably one of the oldest theatres inside a castle in Central Europe. Today it houses a museum where you can admire not only the ‘mystic gulf’, i.e. the space for the orchestra and the perfectly preserved stage mechanisms, but also a large collection of props and memorabilia from the theatre repertoire.
Another unforgettable theatre experience awaits you in the castle gardens, where in an exceptionally beautiful natural setting, a stage with a revolving auditorium has been set up, allowing the audience to follow, in a literal sense, the unfolding of the events on stage.
Art lovers should not miss the Egon Schiele Gallery dedicated to the controversial and controversial Austrian expressionist painter who moved to Český Krumlov in 1911 with his fiancée and model Wally Neuzil. His dissolute lifestyle and bold portraits of female nudes were criticised by the townspeople and the artist decided to move elsewhere.
More romantic atmospheres can be experienced at Seidl’s photography studio, recommended for those who love the retro world of black and white photography. The collection of Josef and František Seidl includes vintage photographs, postcards, glass negatives, cameras, enlargers and darkrooms, some still in perfect working order.
If you are in the Czech capital for a long weekend and would like to devote a day to an excursion around Prague, pay a visit to Český Krumlov. However, if you intend to reach Prague by car via Linz, you will find it on your way just before Ceske Budejovice, just after the Austrian border.
A holiday in the Czech Republic is always washed down with frothy, mostly blond beers: even in Český Krumlov you will have the opportunity to quench your thirst and refresh yourself in typical taverns with a warm atmosphere.
If, in addition to being thirsty for beer, you are also curious to learn more about how it is brewed, you can visit the historic Eggenberg Brewery, named after the Austrian House of Eggenberg, which took over Český Krumlov in 1662. You can visit the brewery and taste the beers produced, as well as stroll through the brewery’s beautiful gardens.
Various international events are held in Český Krumlov throughout the year, including the International Music Festival, the Baroque Arts Festival and the Fidelio classical music concerts.
Český Krumlov’s best-known event is undoubtedly the Five-Petalled Rose Festival held in June. For a few days, the era of the Renaissance and the rule of the last of the Rosenbergs comes to life again, with a popular knights’ tournament, a historical procession in costume and living chess. Music, markets and fireworks add to the festive and lively atmosphere.
Český Krumlov is about 170 km from Prague and can be reached by car in about two hours. There are direct buses that take about three hours; trains take almost the same time, but you need to change at České Budějovice.
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