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Český Krumlov is close to the Šumava National Park, the Czech Republic's largest national park at 70,000 hectares. These mountains lie along the border with Austria and Germany and offer a range of natural habitats - peat bogs, Alpine meadows, primeval forests, lakes, and rivers. The area is popular with walkers, cyclists, and canoeists on the Vltava plus skiers come winter. See www.npsumava.cz for further information. Some other day trips are listed below…
Rožmberk Castle (Hrad Rožmberk)
Rožmberk nad Vltavou
Tel. 380 74 98 38
Rožmberk Castle is perched upon a rocky outcrop above the Vltava 24km (40 mins by bus) from Český Krumlov. It was the seat of the powerful Rožmberk (or Rosenberg in German) family in 14th century but the castle was actually begun in the early 13th century. Reservations are recommended for tours that include various legends and ghosts, an armoury, art gallery and various collections, as well as the magnificent castle and two-storey chateau. Explanation sheets in 12 languages are available free of charge.
Admission 140/80Kč, grand tour 200/150Kč, torture room 20/15Kč.
Open June to Aug 09:00 - 17:15; May & Sept 09:00 - 16:00; Apr & Oct Sat & Sun only 09:00 - 16:00. Closed Mondays. Off season tours must be arranged in advance.
Vyšší Brod Monastery (Cisterciácký klášter Vyšší Brod)
Tel. 380 74 66 74
Vyšší Brod Cistercian Monastery, one of the largest monastery complexes in Bohemia, was founded in 1259 by the Rosenberg family, remains the seat of the Cistercian order today and is dedicated to the Virgin Mary. The complex includes a Gothic church, a Baroque art gallery, exhibitions showcasing the Cistercian way of life, a postal museum and a large library. Vyšší Brod is a 33km, 55 min bus ride from Český Krumlov.
Admission 135/100Kč (guides are mandatory, minimum persons 5)
Open 09:00 - 11:30 & 13:15 - 16:15. Closed Mondays. Off season tours must be arranged in advance.
Zlatá Koruna Monastery (Klášter Zlatá Koruna)
Tel. 380 74 31 26
Přemysl Otakar II, King of Bohemia founded another Cistercian monastery in 1263 just 6km from Český Krumlov (15 mins by bus) and was named after a holy relic reputably given to Přemysl by Louis IX of France, a thorn from Christ’s crown: Zlatá Koruna means ‘golden crown.’ The complex consists predominately of Gothic buildings with Baroque or Rococo additions with a three-nave basilica forming the architectural heart of the monastery. The convent is attached to the church and on the northern side is the Chapel of the Guardian Angels (c. 1370), the oldest preserved building of the monastery. There is a permanent exhibition on Literature in South Bohemia and on life at the monastery.
Open 09:00 - 17:00; Apr, May, Sept & Oct 09:00 - 16:00. Closed Mondays. Off season tours must be arranged in advance.
Hluboká Castle (Státní zámek Hluboká)
Hluboká nad Vltavou
Tel. 387 96 70 45
This early Gothic castle, latterly remodelled as per Britain’s Windsor Castle, was built around 1250 and remained either an aristocratic residence or seat of royalty until 1562 when Ferdinand I sold Hluboká to the Lords of Hradec who converted the castle into a Renaissance stately home. The Schwarzenberg family had the chateau rebuilt in the Baroque style in the 18th century then which gradually incorporated Gothic elements through the years. The family never lived here permanently but they took great care of the property until WWII when the last owner of Hluboká, Prince Adolf Schwarzenberg, fled the Nazis and post-war, Hluboká became the property of the then Czechoslovak Republic. The exterior is as sublime as the interior, complete with masters' paintings, Delft china, valuable tapestries, impressive armoury and a Gothic Revival chapel. Today, the castle riding school houses the South Bohemia Gallery of Mikuláš Aleš, with an exhibition of Gothic paintings and statues, Dutch and Flemish art from the 17th and 18th centuries and various temporary exhibitions in the main hall.
Hluboká is about 40km from ČK: buses run regularly via České Budějovice.