Cesky Krumlov, Czech Republic
There are more than two thousand castles in Czech Republic, and the biggest one is Prague Castle. The second largest castle is located in Ceský Krumlov, a small town with population less than 14 thousand people.
The city is situated on both banks of the Vltava River, which forms a horseshoe bend around this area. In the first half of 13th century Vítek II senior, one of the Bohemian noble clan Vítkovci, erected a castle here with a city eventually growing around it. The castle changed owners and was rebuilt a few times so that its original Gothic architecture adopted some Renaissance and Baroque features.
This example allows you to trace the evolution of architectural styles of central Europe till 19th century. Four hundred years ago Austrian noble family of Eggenberg took dominion of Krumau and built an unique Baroque Theater, one of the first in Europe and one of the few that is still preserved in good condition. An amazing Cloak Bridge was built in the 18th century. This three-storied arched bridge stands on massive stone pillars with two covered floors leading from the castle to the theater and gardens. Even 20th century made its contribution: in 1958 yet another wonderful construction was built in the center of the caste garden — open air Revolving Auditorium. The garden itself serves as a theatre stage and audience is seated in the center of the play with auditorium rotating in both directions.
Right now Ceský Krumlov Castle is a giant complex consisting of various buildings connected by patios and bridges. Upper Castle, Lower Castle, Rožmberk Castle, fountains, ancient mural pavilion, 10-hectare park and more are all part of the Ceský Krumlov Castle.
The castle sits on a hill and overlooks the city opening a picturesque view of the local vicinity. It's worth mentioning that not only the castle but the whole historical center of Ceský Krumlov is listed as an UNESCO World Heritage Site. Narrow streets with cute houses, ancient town hall, churches — everything makes you feel that this town comes straight from pages of the medieval novel with knights and princesses.
One of the most famous landmarks of Ceský Krumlov is Minorite Monastery (Monastery of Ritters of Crusaders order with red star). This 14th century Gothic building was later rebuilt in Baroque style. St. Vitus Church was built on a hill and, just like the Ceský Krumlov Castle, represents another architectural dominant of the city.
Ceský Krumlov is located approximately 170 kilometers away from Prague (1700 kilometers away from Moscow, 6600 kilometers away from New York, etc,) But wherever you are you can take a tour of this wonderful historical city and find yourself in a fairy tale through our panoramas.
Photos by Stas Sedov and Dmitry Moiseenko
13 May 2015