Beautiful Enchanting Cesky Krumlov #TuesdayTravels #CzechRepublic

Tuesday Travels


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.

Vltava River winding its way through Cesky Krumlov

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.

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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.

Rosenberg knight

House with picture of Rosenberg knight in armor.

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.

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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.

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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.


Revolutionary Paris: Conciergerie Prison #TuesdayTravels

Tuesday Travel buttonAfter a morning of visiting churches, Rebecca and I stopped for lunch across the street from the Palace of Justice. We both ordered Seafood Salad. I liked the baby shrimp on greens and the salmon mousse that we spread on toast, but not the smoked salmon. I felt guilty for not eating it, but I really don’t like the taste of smoked fish, or meat for that matter.

Palais de Justice

Mid-19th c. Palais de Justice with Liberte, Egalite, Fraternite above the doors.

Fortified, we headed to the Conciergerie, a Medieval royal palace later turned into a prison, and the site of Marie Antoinette’s imprisonment until her death at the guillotine in 1793. I found a better picture than I could take at Deposit Photos. This photo was obviously taken on a much nicer day than the day of our visit!


Bridge of Change (Pont au Change) over river Seine and Conciergerie Castle.–© [email protected]

The great hall, formerly the Salle des Gardes, Hall of the Soldiers, has marvelous medieval arches and vaulted ceilings.

It was chilly inside, and not just because of the temperatures. I believe some buildings retain residual joy or sadness, and what I felt here was sadness. Or perhaps it is haunted. During the Reign of Terror, the Revolutionary Tribunal sent 2,6000 people to their deaths, including the unlucky queen.


The marble bust of French queen Marie-Antoinette, © abxyz


Keys to the cells

We went to the upper floors to look at the cells, some of which were quite small. Others, presumably for important prisoners, were larger, such as these.

Pretty grim and depressing, I think. I also took a not-very-good photo of a 1790 print of the Conciergerie in the background and a tumbrel of prisoners being taken to their death.

La Conciergerie 1790

La Conciergerie 1790

I’ve been thinking a lot about the French Revolution lately, doing research and gearing up for a new story set in the 1790s. The revolution started with such high principles, and then took a turn to the violent, becoming about revenge against the old order and even against the moderate revolutionaries. It’s a sobering lesson for all of us, I think.

I promise next week’s post will be cheerier.