Cesky Krumlov: tourist’s guide about the city and its attractions

Sights of Cesky Krumlov – these are old houses with a unique history in the heart of the Old Town, Krumlov Castle, towering above the Vltava River and many fountains in the center. Travelers come to the town to feel the pacifying atmosphere of a medieval settlement with its leisurely rhythm of life.

Cesky Krumlov city view

General information

Cesky Krumlov is located in the southwestern part of the Czech Republic, near the border with Austria. This is an old town on the banks of the Vltava River with narrow streets, large castles and many coffee houses. Since 1992, the Old Town has been protected by UNESCO. The population is 13.500 people. Cesky Krumlov covers an area of ​​22.2 km².

View of Cesky Krumlov

The first mention of Cesky Krumlov dates back to the 13th century, when a fortress was erected near the modern settlement. The heyday of Cesky Krumlov fell on the Middle Ages, so most of the surviving buildings were built at that time.

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During the war of 1687, Cesky Krumlov was looted, and in 1918 annexed to Czechoslovakia. 1938 – annexed by fascist Germany. After the end of the war of 1939-45. German-speaking residents were deported from Cesky Krumlov, and the city itself returned to Czechoslovakia. Now it is part of the Czech Republic.

sights

In Cesky Krumlov, many medieval buildings have survived, primarily churches and houses of influential citizens. The old city was rebuilt in the Baroque and Gothic styles. The main attraction is Krumlovsky castle.

Krumlovsky castle
Krumlovsky castle

Once, it was from the Krumlovsky castle that the history of the city began. The fortress was built in 1240 by Vitek II the Elder. After 100 years, the symbol of Cesky Krumlov went to the Vitkovichi dynasty from Rozmberk, which slightly changed the appearance of the castle and added several buildings. In the middle of the XVII century, the new owner of the castle, Johann Christian I von Eggenberg, carried out the reconstruction, adding baroque elements to the facade of the building. After 100 years, the castle was owned by a new family – Schwarzenberger. They rebuilt the fortress in the Viennese Baroque style.

In the middle of the 20th century, the castle in Cesky Krumlov became state property, and since 1992 it has been protected by UNESCO.

Moat with bears

After many reconstructions and reconstructions, the Krumlovsky castle in Cesky Krumlov looks like this: it consists of 5 courtyards, the buildings of which served for household needs. In the Upper Courtyard there was a pharmacy and stables. The dominant feature of the Lower Courtyard is the Small Castle with a Gothic tower. In the same place are the Czech Mint and the cheese factory. By the way, the first and second courtyards of the castle are connected by a bridge across the moat, in which the big bears brought here by the Rosenbergs used to live.

The third courtyard of the castle is the Upper Town. Here you can see the chapel of St. Jiri, an art gallery and a number of sculptural compositions. From here you can proceed to the castle itself and visit the Mirror Hall, East Cabinet, Eggenberg Hall, Canopy Salon, Bavarian Corridor, Princess’s Bedroom and Rojmbert Rooms. The interiors of all rooms of the castle are decorated in accordance with documents and drawings found during archaeological expeditions.

From the castle you can move on – to the fourth courtyard, where there are large Krumlov cellars, which contained political criminals.

The fifth courtyard is a large park and a castle theater. Here, on the bridge that connects courtyards 4 and 5, is one of the main attractions – an observation deck where you can take beautiful photos of Cesky Krumlov.

Krumlovsky castle

Krumlovsky Park covers an area of ​​11 hectares, on which cascading fountains are located, large flowerbeds are laid out, a summer palace was built and rare varieties of trees were planted. At least two hours should be allocated for a walk in the garden.

  • Address: Zamek cp. 59, Cesky Krumlov 381 01, Czech Republic.
  • Schedule: 9.00 – 17.00, Monday – day off.
  • Price: 150 CZK for an adult, children – 80. Castle tower – 50 CZK for adults, for children – 30.
Castle Garden (The Castle Garden)
Garden fountain

The garden appeared much later than the castle itself. It was defeated in the center of Cesky Krumlov only at the end of the XVI century, but after the war of 1678 it was necessary to lay a new park.

The garden consists of four terraces. The first (lower) is the former private park of the royal family, which could be accessed directly from the castle; on the second are Summer and Winter arenas. The third terrace is the largest and pompous. On it is a cascading fountain with Rococo sculptures and many flower beds. The fourth terrace is a large balustrade with vases.

In the Upper Park well-groomed flower beds and deciduous trees planted near the pond are well combined.

Garden near Krumlov Castle

The Bellaria Summer Palace is also worth a visit, not far from the castle. Inside the building you can see the main spiral staircase, a baroque kitchen and wall paintings in the living room. The rotating theater at Krumlovsky Castle is also noteworthy – up to 640 spectators can fit here.

  • Where to find: K Zámecké zahradě, 381 01 Český Krumlov.
  • Opening hours: 10.00 – 16.00.
The historic center of Cesky Krumlov

In addition to the Krumlov Castle, about 300 buildings belong to the historical center of Cesky Krumlov, each of which has its own unique history and difficult fate. Most of the sights were restored more than once, and their appearance changed depending on the era prevailing at that time.

Column of the Virgin Mary (Plague Column)
Column of virgin mary

The column of the Virgin Mary is one of the main attractions of Cesky Krumlov. It was established at the end of the 18th century, in honor of the final victory over the bourbon plague, from which half of Europe died out.

At the top of the attraction is the figure of the Virgin Mary, at the foot – a sculpture of St. Roch, St. Barbara, St. Francis, St. Sebastian. The author of the attraction is the Czech sculptor Jakel, who designed the Charles bridge in Prague.

Location: náměstí Svornosti, Cesky Krumlov, Czech Republic.

Latran houses

Latran Street is the narrowest and longest street of the Old Town in Cesky Krumlov. It stands a number of ancient buildings:

  • House number 1. Previously, this ordinary-looking house was a defensive structure, so its wall thickness is 1 meter. On the facade you can see a fresco depicting horses and warriors.
  • House number 6. The tall gray house at the end of the street is not an ordinary residential building at all, but a former church, which was built in 1330. The building was rebuilt many times – in different historical eras, elements of the Renaissance, and Baroque features, and Gothic sculptures were added. The tower of the former church “crowns” Latran street.
  • House in Latran
    House number 6
  • House number 13. A hospital for the poor was previously located at this address. On the black and white facade of a three-story building the coats of arms of the owners were depicted (they did not survive).
  • House number 37. This is a real medieval house, built in the 1400s. It is known that the owner of this building was Hetman Yetrich Slatinsky, whose grave is a stone’s throw from the house.
  • House number 39. This house was plastered exactly 20 times, and when the builders decided to remove all layers of cement, they found a fresco with the coat of arms of Willem and his wife of amazing beauty. The restoration of the building was completed in 1985.
  • House in Latran
    House number 15
  • House number 15. Perhaps this is the most famous house built by the Italians in Cesky Krumlov in the 16th century. Built using the sgraffito technique (the picture is scratched on fresh plaster). But not only the facade of the building is interesting: inside you can also see ancient images.

This is just a small list of unusual buildings in the area of ​​Latran street in the Czech Republic. In fact, there are more than 40 houses and churches here – Gothic, in the Renaissance style, with frescoes on the facade and unusual interiors.

Church of St. Vitus
Church of St. Vitus

Catholic church of St. Vitus in Cesky Krumlov is located in the Latran district. This is a bright, brick-colored building, which you can’t pass by without looking. Every Sunday in the temple there is a service that anyone can visit.

The church has an organ, as well as a richly decorated altar, with a sculpture of the Virgin Mary in the center. Organ concerts often take place in the temple, entrance to which is free.

  • Address: Kostelní, 381 01 Český Krumlov
  • Opening hours: 9.00 – 16.00. Service – every Sunday.
Center for the Arts of Egon Schiele
Center for the Arts of Egon Schiele

The Czech Arts Center was created at the beginning of XX by Czech artist Egon Schiele. This gallery exhibits works by contemporary sculptors, artists and photographers. Exhibitions of internationally renowned artists are often brought here: for example, the works of Gustav Klimt, Pablo Picasso or Salvador Dali.

There is also a permanent exhibition, which presents watercolor works by Egon Schiele, as well as a museum of art.

The Arts Center is located in an old 16th-century brewery.

  • Where to find: Siroka 71, Cesky Krumlov 381 01, Czech Republic
  • Open: 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.
  • Price: 40 CZK – adults, 20 – children.
Synagogue
Photo: synagogue

The synagogue is one of the newest buildings in the Old Place. It was erected in 1909 in a neo-Gothic style. Interestingly, this is the very first reinforced concrete building in Cesky Krumlov.

A large garden is set up near the synagogue, and the sanctuary itself is facing “Jerusalem”. It is also one of the few buildings that did not suffer during the Second World War.

  • Address: Za Soudem 282, Cesky Krumlov 381 01, Czech Republic
  • Opening hours: 10.00 – 17.00.

Accommodation

In Cesky Krumlov, about 100 hotels, hostels and hotels are ready to receive tourists. The average price for a double room per night in high season at a 3 * hotel is 80-90 euros (which is no less than in Prague).

Hotel in Cesky Krumlov

As a rule, this price already includes a good (continental or American) breakfast, free parking, free Wi-Fi and a balcony with a view of the historical buildings. Most of the rooms have a kitchenette, all necessary appliances and bath accessories. 3 * hotels for such a price, as a rule, have a very good location in the center of Cesky Krumlov.

How to get to Cesky Krumlov from Prague

To get from Prague to Cesky Krumlov, which are 140 km away, is most conveniently by bus.

You need to catch a bus from one of the carrier companies at the Florence station in Prague (list below) and get to the Cesky Krumlov Bus Station. It takes 3 hours to get from Prague to Cesky Krumlov.

Carrier companies in the Czech Republic:

    Flixbus Bus
  • FlixBus is one of the most famous and popular carrier companies in the Czech Republic. Buses from Prague to Cesky Krumlov run 6 times a day (8.10, 9.30, 11.30, 14.30, 16.30, 17.30). The cost is 6 euros. This carrier often has promotions and sales, so if you follow the updates on their website, you can buy a ticket even cheaper.
  • RagioJet is a company operating in the Czech Republic and Slovakia. The advantage of this carrier is that landing is carried out not only at Florence station, but also at Knížecí bus station. Buses from Prague to Cesky Krumlov run every hour, starting from 6 in the morning. Price – 179 kroons.
  • LEO Express
  • LEO Express. You need to catch the bus following the Kosice-Salzburg route, passing through Prague and Cesky Krumlov. The fare is 149 kroons.
  • Student agency. Bus tickets can be purchased at the travel agency of the same name (25 points of sale throughout the city), but you should do this in advance. Price – 160 CZK.

Tickets are easier to buy on the official websites of Czech carriers, or, if this option is not suitable, at the Prague Bus Station.

All prices and timetables on the page are for May 2019.

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Interesting Facts

  1. Cesky Krumlov in the Czech Republic is consistently included in the TOP 10 of the most picturesque European cities with a population of less than 15 thousand people.
  2. The name “Czech Krumlov” from German is translated as “Czech crooked meadow”, and the city was named so because it stands on the Vltava River.
  3. Top view on Cesky Krumlov
  4. The historical buildings (about 300 buildings) of Cesky Krumlov account for 82% of the total number of buildings.
  5. To travel around the city there is no need to rent a car or take a taxi – go on foot, because only in this way you can feel the atmosphere of this place.

The sights of Cesky Krumlov deserve no less attention than the old buildings of Prague or the world-famous sanatoriums in Karlovy Vary. Cesky Krumlov is a city with a special medieval atmosphere, which is definitely worth a visit.

A short video about a walk around in Cesky Krumlov:



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Cesky Krumlov