Český Krumlov in South Bohemia

Sunday, 3 September 2023 - 11:00 am (CET/MEZ) Berlin | Author/Destination:
Category/Kategorie: General, UNESCO World Heritage
Reading Time:  7 minutes

© Xth-Floor/cc-by-sa-4.0

© Xth-Floor/cc-by-sa-4.0

Český Krumlov (German: Krumau or Böhmisch Krumau) is a town in the South Bohemian Region of the Czech Republic. It has about 13,000 inhabitants. It is known as a tourist centre, which is among the most visited places in the country. The historic centre with the Český Krumlov Castle complex is protected by law as an urban monument reservation, and since 1992, it has been a designated UNESCO World Heritage Site because of its well-preserved Gothic, Renaissance and Baroque architecture.

Český Krumlov is located about 20 kilometres (12 mi) southwest of České Budějovice and 134 km (83 mi) south of Prague. It is situated on both banks of the Vltava river. It lies in the Bohemian Forest Foothills. The highest point of the municipal territory is the hill Vyšný vrch at 744 metres (2,441 ft) above sea level. The northern part of the territory belongs to the Blanský les Protected Landscape Area.

Český Krumlov hosts a number of festivals and other events each year including the Five-Petalled Rose Festival (a reference to the rose of the Rosenberg crest), which is held on the summer solstice weekend. The downtown area is turned into a medieval town with craftsmen, artists, musicians, and local people in medieval costume. Activities include jousting, fencing, historical dance performances, and folk theatre, in the castle precincts and along the river. It concludes with a fireworks display. The International Music Festival Český Krumlov begins in July and ends in August, and features international music of various genres. Other such events are held throughout the year. The summer music festivals include the blues, rock, and soul festival Open Air Krumlov, held in late June at Eggenberg Brewery Garden.

The historic town centre with the castle complex has been a designated UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1992, one of the first in the country. The town preserves the street layout from the Middle Ages. Most of the architecture of the old town and castle dates from the 14th through 17th centuries; the town’s structures are mostly in Gothic, Renaissance, and Baroque styles. The historical core, today Vnitřní město (“Inner Town”) town part, is within a horseshoe meander of the river, with the old Latrán town part and castle complex on the other side of the Vltava. The centre of Old Town is formed by Svornosti Square. Its main landmark is the town hall from 1597. It was created by merger of three Gothic houses with arcades, whose façade was merged with a Renaissance attic. The town has preserved only few fragments of the town fortifications, formed by one town gate from 1598–1602, a bastion from 1505, and remains of zwinger walls.

© Marco Almbauer © NoPlayerUfa/cc-by-sa-3.0 © Xth-Floor/cc-by-sa-4.0 © Asahiko/cc-by-3.0 © Ron Van Oers/cc-by-sa-3.0-igo Market Square © Guido Radig/cc-by-3.0 Castle Theatre © VitVit/cc-by-sa-4.0
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Market Square © Guido Radig/cc-by-3.0
The complex of Český Krumlov Castle is one of the largest in central Europe with an area of 7 hectares (17 acres). It is formed by forty buildings and palaces, situated around five castle courts and a castle park. It is relatively unique in that it is surrounded by a moat filled not with water, but with bears. This was an attempt by the erstwhile rulers of the castle to associate themselves with the powerful Orsini family – whose name is a pun on the Italian word for bear; orso.

Český Krumlov Castle preserves its Baroque theatre, built in 1680–82 under Prince Johann Christian I von Eggenberg and renovated with up-to-date stage equipment under Joseph I Adam of Schwarzenberg from 1765 to 1766. It is one of few such court theatres to retain its original stage machinery, scenery and props. Due to its age, the theatre is only used three times a year (only twice open to the public), when a Baroque opera is performed in simulated candlelight. Since 1959, the revolving auditorium is located in the gardens.

The most valuable church and a national cultural heritage is the Church of Saint Vitus. It is a late Gothic structure from 1407–1439 with later modifications, built on the foundations of an older church from 1309. It is accessible to the public and still serves to religious and cultural purposes. The former Church of Saint Judoc in Latrán was abolished in 1787 or 1788. Today it is used for housing and shopping purposes. The tower is accessible and serves as a lookout tower. The Church of the Corpus Cristi and the Virgin Mary is located in complex of three monasteries in Latrán. The complex was opened in 2015 after extensive reconstruction. It includes former monasteries of Friars Minor, Poor Clares, and Beguines. The Český Krumlov Synagogue is an Art Nouveau building with Neo-Romanesque features. It was built in 1908 and abolished in 1938. Today it serves to cultural purposes.

Český Krumlov has a museum and gallery dedicated to the painter Egon Schiele, who lived in the town, the Egon Schiele Art Centrum. In the town centre there is a museum dedicated to the semi-precious gemstone moldavite. Other museums include Castle Museum with the Castle Tower, Regional Museum in Český Krumlov, Museum of Marionettes, Wax Figures Museum, Museums of Torture Law, Český Krumlov Monasteries Museum, Museum Fotoateliér Seidel (a museum of photography), or Museum of Historical Motorcycles.

Read more on Český Krumlov, Wikivoyage Český Krumlov and Wikipedia Český Krumlov (Smart Traveler App by U.S. Department of State - Weather report by weather.com - Global Passport Power Rank - Travel Risk Map - Democracy Index - GDP according to IMF, UN, and World Bank - Global Competitiveness Report - Corruption Perceptions Index - Press Freedom Index - World Justice Project - Rule of Law Index - UN Human Development Index - Global Peace Index - Travel & Tourism Competitiveness Index). Photos by Wikimedia Commons. If you have a suggestion, critique, review or comment to this blog entry, we are looking forward to receive your e-mail at comment@wingsch.net. Please name the headline of the blog post to which your e-mail refers to in the subject line.




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