Cesky Krumlov Castle, a historic castle with a picturesque town centre in Southern Bohemia

Cesky Krumlov

Cesky Krumlov is among the most visited tourist spots in the Czech Republic. This magical hundreds of years old town, with the castle towering to the sky over the Vltava river, has kept its medieval look till today.

In 1992, Cesky Krumlov became part of the UNESCO World Heritage, as one of the first sights in the Czech Republic. The majestic Cesky Krumlov Castle and Chateaux together with the well-preserved town complex create a compelling island of history surrounded by the picturesque Southern Bohemia landscape. National Geographic ranked Cesky Krumlov the 16th most beautiful historic sight in the world.

The history of Cesky Krumlov dates back to the first half of the 13th century and is associated with a branch of the powerful and numerous Vítkovec family. Over centuries Cesky Krumlov was owned by many important families and every family left here an indelible mark. In 1302, the Rožmberk family acquired the domain from the Vítkovec family, and moved their residence to Cesky Krumlov Castle. After that Cesky Krumlov became the economic and cultural centre of the large Rožmberk's domain in the south of Bohemia.

In 1601, the last male descendant of the Rožmberks, Petr Vok, sold the Cesky Krumlov Domain to the Emperor and Czech King Rudolph II Habsburg. The king owned Cesky Krumlov Castle and Domain till 1622 when the Emperor Ferdinand II Habsburg gave the estate to Jan Oldřich of Eggenberg for his services. The Eggenbergs held Cesky Krumlov till 1719 when it was acquired by the Schwarzenbergs. It is worth noting that Egon Schiele, the leading figure of the Austrian expressionism, lived in Cesky Krumlov between 1911 and 1917. The Schwarzenberg family held Cesky Krumlov Castle till 1947 when it was transferred to the state ownership.

Cesky Krumlov is nowadays a sought after tourist destination. Many Krumlov houses have quaint shops, medieval taverns, or pubs in the First Republic style. Cesky Krumlov Town holds many touristically attractive events, the Five-Petalled Rose Celebration being the most famous one. Every year this celebration revives the spirit of the medieval tradition and the life in Cesky Krumlov returns for a while to the times of the Rožmberks.

 

Cesky Krumlov Castle

Cesky Krumlov CastleThe origins of Cesky Krumlov date back to the first half of the 13th century. At that time there used to be an oval tower here on a rock elevation over the Vltava river, with an adjacent palace called Hrádek, the seat of a branch of the powerful and numerous Vítkovec family. Hrádek was later rebuilt in the renaissance style and forms the architectural centre and the town's skyline.

 

 

Cesky Krumlov Castle Tower

Cesky Krumlov Castle TowerThe Cesky Krumlov Castle Tower is a part of the historic Hrádek from the 13th century. The current look of the complex dates back to the renaissance reconstruction in 1580, which was lead by the architect Baltazar Maggi of Arogno, the facade was decorated by Bartoloměj Beránek-Jelínek. The Cesky Krumlov Castle Tower is 54,5 metres tall, and it is a typical dominant and symbol of Cesky Krumlov.

 

 

Castle Gardens

Castle GardensCesky Krumlov Castle Gardens were founded in the 17th century in the early baroque style and later rebuilt in the rococo and classicist styles. Nowadays visitors can admire its rococo design from the second half of the 18th century. The cascade fountain visually dominates the gardens. It was built between 1750 and 1765 by the design of Ondřej Altomonte.

 

 

 

Cesky Krumlov Castle Museum

Cesky Krumlov Castle MuseumCesky Krumlov Castle houses the Castle Museum exposition of the State Castle and Chateaux of Cesky Krumlov. The exposition is located in the buildings of Hrádek in the IInd Courtyard of Cesky Krumlov Castle and its guided tour also covers the Castle Tower. The Castle Museum exposition shows conserved historic interiors and presents the interesting history of the castle and the town of Cesky Krumlov.

 

 

Cesky Krumlov Town Centre

Cesky Krumlov Town CentreThe current layout of the historic centre of Cesky Krumlov is nearly the same as the original layout at the time of its foundation. Twisting alleyways bordered with burgess houses meet at a square with a historic fountain. Rambling through the romantic alleyways and corners you will have a wonderful view of Cesky Krumlov Castle rising over the town.