When we were planning our trip to Europe last fall, a friend said “You have to include a day in Cesky Krumlov!” I’d never heard of the town before, so I immediately did an Internet search and started drooling over pictures of this glorious fairy-tale town set along the Vltava River as it meanders through southern Bohemia. Like Old Town Prague, it is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
We took an all-day tour from Prague which entailed about a two-hour drive through the lovely Bohemian countryside to our destination. We got off the bus at the castle and after a visit to the loo and a photo stop, we followed our guide down to the town along the river. Lots of cobblestones, of course.
The Medieval town of Krumlov was settled between the 8th and 12th centuries, but the town we see today is from a later period. The castle was built in the 14th century after the original aristocrats, the Vitek family, had died off. Their property passed to relatives known as Rozmberk, but generally referred to by their German name of Rosenberg. They were one of the most powerful families in the area and the ones who put Cesky Krumlov on the map, so to speak. They also added Cesky to the town’s name in the mid-15th century.
We wandered through the rest of the town and ended the walking tour at a park with a nice view. The colored map of the town we found there gives a good idea of the topography.
After the walking tour ended, Rebecca and I headed for one of the riverside restaurants and chose Parkan Restaurant where we ate on a patio by the river. After the crowded streets, it was a nice peaceful place to dine and with a lovely view. I ordered trout, which was delicious, and to my delight, they served my favorite Czech beer, Budvar. (Originally known as Budweiser before that American company stole the name.) Budvar is almost certainly the best lager in the world, esp. when on draft. I was disappointed to see how Pilner Urquell has pretty well locked up Prague, because it’s not nearly as good as Budvar, in my opinion, at least.
After lunch we had time to do some shopping before heading back up to the castle for our tour. Alas, we were not allowed to take any pictures inside the castle.
If you ever get a chance to travel to this part of the world, I recommend a visit to Cesky Krumlov, esp. if you’re a romantic like me.