Český Krumlov

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more than a year ago

Český Krumlov is a stunningly well-preserved medieval town picturesquely nestled in tight meanders of the Vltava River as it wends its way through the Czech Republic’s largest protected area, the Šumava National Park. Český Krumlov lies in southern Bohemia about 180km south of Prague and close to the Budvar-producing city of České Budějovice. Krumlov is derived from the German Krumme Aue meaning ‘crooked meadow’ while Český simply means Czech (or Bohemian) and there is a city named Moravský Krumlov, in Moravia (or Silesia).

Český Krumlov was settled in the 13th century and remains renowned primarily for fine architecture and Krumlov Castle, the second largest in the country after the Hradčany castle complex in Prague. Her unrivalled beauty and preserved Gothic, Renaissance and Baroque elements led to the old town being deemed an Historical Urban Reservation in 1963 and in 1992, UNESCO declared ČK a World Heritage Site. However, ČK isn’t just an open air museum; she also provides numerous cultural and sporting activities including some stunning day trips and hours spent messing about on the river.

Český Krumlov was first mentioned in a letter in 1253, but legend states the Přemyslovci slaughtered a rival family and gave the town and castle to relatives, the Witigonen (or Vítkovci in Czech), the first Lords of Krumlov, way back in 995. From 1302 the House of Rosenberg owned the town and castle, having taken their name from nearby Rožmberk castle where they also lived. At this time, the Latrán, the pedestrianised old town of today, was haphazardly laid out below the castle in a horseshoe bend in the river and until 1555 Krumlov consisted of two independent towns – Latrán and Krumlov, which was situated on the farther side of the river and around today’s old town square.

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