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Český Krumlov

Český Krumlov is a beautiful town, located in the South Bohemian Region of the Czech Republic. It is best known for the fine architecture and art of the historic old town and Český Krumlov Castle. A charming, picturesque town, Český Krumlov is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and was given this status along with the historic Prague castle district in the country’s capital.

Like Prague, the town is situated on the Vltava River and is full of Baroque buildings, housing, cafes and bars. The town’s appearance is little changed since the 18th century and the buildings have been well maintained and restored. The town is very popular among tourists, who outnumber the local population in the summer.

The imposing castle is a striking feature and sits overlooking the old town below. It is unusually large for a town of Krumlov’s size; within the Czech Republic it is second in extent only to the Hradcany castle complex in Prague. Inside its grounds are a large garden, an extensive bridge over a deep gap in the rock upon which the castle is built and the castle itself, which in turn consists of many defined parts dating from different periods of time. Walking through the grounds is not only a pleasurable way to pass the time, but also a perfect photographic opportunity to enjoy panoramic views of the town.

Český Krumlov is also an important cultural centre, hosting a number of festivals and events each year. The best known is the Five-Petalled Rose Festival, which is celebrated on the weekend of summer solstice in June. The downtown area is recreated as a medieval town with craftsmen, artists, musicians and local people dressed in costumes from the Middle Ages. Various activities such as jousting, fencing and folk theatre take place at the castle, local park, and river bank. The festival is concluded by a spectacular fireworks show above the castle.

Ambling around the town’s crooked walkways is the best way to get lost in Krumlov’s 750 years of history – and all part of the fun. The maze of cobbled streets sets a scenic picture, while the Vltava River rushes along from almost every direction. Indeed, rafting on the Vltava River is a great way to spend a summer’s afternoon and particularly popular with tourists.

All accommodation is within an easy 10-minute walk to the town square, while those opting to camp can access the Vltavan Campground within half-hour on foot.

Dining options are plentiful, ranging from hearty, traditional Czech fayre – such as dumplings – to authentic Italian dishes. Cosy taverns and modern bars alike serve excellent Czech brewed beer for very reasonable prices.

For a relaxing break and scenic getaway, Český Krumlov is hard to beat. Steeped in history and blessed with stunning architecture, the jewel in the Czech crown is a must see for everyone.

Culture

Český Krumlov is an important cultural center, hosting a number of festivals and other events each year. The best known is the Five-Petalled Rose Festival (the name is derived from the Rozmberk crest of a 5 petal red rose), which is celebrated on the weekend of summer solstice in June. The downtown area is recreated as a medieval town with craftsmen, artists, musicians, and local people dressed in costumes from the Middle Ages. Various activities such as jousting,fencing, historical dance performances, and folk theatre take place at the castle, local park, and the river bank, among other places. The festival is concluded by a fireworks show above the castle.

The International Music Festival Český Krumlov is one of the summer’s cultural events. The Festival begins in July and ends in August, and features International music from varied musical genres. In addition, various other festivals are sprouting up throughout the year. Summer music festivals in Český Krumlov also include the latest blues, rock, and soul festival Open Air Krumlov, which is held annually in late June at Eggenberg Brewery Garden in Český Krumlov. Since the Velvet Revolution in 1989, over eighty restaurants have been established in the area. Many restaurants are located along the river and near the castle.

Must see sights

Český Krumlov Castle

Český Krumlov Castle is located in the city Český Krumlov. It dates back to 1240 when the first castle was built by the Witigonen family, the main branch of the powerful Rosenberg family. By the 17th century the Rosenbergs had died out and the dominion of Krumau was given to Hans Ulrich von Eggenberg by Emperor Ferdinad II and Eggenberg was named Duke of Krumau. After the death of Hans Ulrich’s son, Johann Anton I von Eggenberg, the castle was administrated for the period between 1649 and 1664 by his widow Anna Maria. One of her two sons, Johann Christian I von Eggenberg, was responsible for the Baroque renovations and expansions to the castle including the castle theatre now called the Eggenberg Theatre. When the male line of the Eggenbergs died out in 1717 the castle and duchy passed into the possession of the Schwarzenbergs. The entire area was declared a national monument in 1989 and in 1992 it was added to the UNESCO World Heritage

Official Website – www.castle.ckrumlov.cz

Castle Theatre

Český Krumlov Castle preserves its Baroque theatre, built from 1680-82 under Prince Johann Christian I von Eggenberg and renovated with modern (at the time) stage equipment under Josef Adam zu Schwarzenberg from 1765-66. With this original stage machinery, scenery and props it is among only a few such court theatres that still exist Due to its age, the theatre is only used three times a year (only two are open to the public), when a Baroque opera is performed in simulated candlelight. The castle’s last private owner was Adolph Schwarzenberg. It was here that he received President Edvard Beneš and gave him a large contribution for the defence of Czechoslovakia against the growing threat of Nazi Germany. His property was seized by the Gestapo in 1940 and then confiscated by the Czechoslovak government in 1945

Nearby

Krumlov has a museum dedicated to the painter Egon Schiele, who lived in the town.

Ten kilometers from Krumlov is one of Bohemia’s oldest monasteries, Zlata Koruna (“The Golden Crown”). About 30 km from Krumlov is the Hluboka Castle, established in the twelfth century and later remodelled in imitation of Windsor Castle.

Krumlov is close to the Sumava National Park, the Czech Republic’s largest national park. The Sumava mountains lie along the border with Austria and Germany and offer a range of natural habitats – peat bogs, Alpine meadows, old-growth forests, lakes, and rivers. The area is popular with walkers, cyclists, and canoeists on the Vltava. Cesky Krumlov is only a short distance from the man-made Lake Lipno, on which many people take boat trips to various small towns on the lake and also to the Dam, which is a Hydro-electric power plant.

Český Krumlov is home to Pivovar Eggenberg brewery. It has also been used as filming locations for movies such as the 2006 films The Illusionist and Hostel as well as the 1970s German movie Traumstadt (Dream City).

Advent and Christmas in Český Krumlov

Christmas

The Advent market will take place on Svornosti Square every day during the Advent season. Opening times are between 11 am and 6 pm on weekdays and 10 am and 6 pm on weekends. There will be a rich selection of gastronomy specials, Christmas-themed produce and traditional handicrafts.

Christmas markets, special cultural programme on the square consisting of concerts, traditional gingerbread decorating, Christmas decoration making, and many more interesting events. You can experience all this during Advent in Český Krumlov.

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