One of the best preserved castles and one of the loveliest to see, State Castle in Český Krumlov is a definitely must see for those who happen upon this city. The castle is hard to miss as it dominates the skyline of the small town and adds to the overall picturesque quality of this town.
This 13th Century castle was the home of the poweful Witigonen family which is part of the very famous and well known Rosenberg Family. The Rosenbergs were very powerful and important lords within the Kingdom of Bohemia. After the Rosenbergs died out the castle was passed on to various other lords in the region until following World War 2 when it became property of the Czechoslovakian State.
Since then it has remained in state hands and became a National Monument in the late 80s and a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1992. Given its World Heritage Status the castle has been very well preserved and maintained which has been a benefit to tourists and locals alike.
One of the oddities of this Castle is the inclusion of European Brown Bears in the moat. I felt a bit uncomfortable with the fact that they kept them here even to this day. It is more of a tourist attraction than a deterrent these days but something that should be unnecessary.
In terms of things to do there are several different places tourists can visit. There are guided tours of the entire castle and guests can also visit some of the other places in the castle too. Guided tours are about 1 hour in length and are offered in English and Czech. Tours run from about 9am – 4pm Tuesday through Sunday.
Guests can also visit the Baroque Theater, Castle Museum, Castle Tower, Stables, and Castle Gardens. I really enjoyed the Gardens personally. The Gardens are free.
One of my favorite activities is being able to wander around the grounds and halls of the castle in the evening. There are a few gardens and some incredible vistas to see from the castle.
There are a few restaurants to eat at in the Castle as well. These were definitely rather busy during the summer with tourists and I’m guessing locals too.
Getting There: Český Krumlov is easily reached by bus from Prague. The bus takes about 3 hrs and you will need a bus reservation. To get here by train you need to take the train from Prague to České Budějovice and then change trains from there on to Český Krumlov. It actually takes longer to get there by train and requires a bit of a walk to the city center. I took the train one way and the bus the other way to experience both routes and the bus was far more convenient.
Where to Stay: I ended up staying at the really lovely Pension Marie which is centrally located. The city overall is really small and walkable so its pretty easy to get most places from the Center. The Pension had great rooms and really great service which is why I would recommend them as a good reasonably priced and well located place to stay in the city.
Book Tours: You can book tours onsite or ahead of time via the Official website for the Castle.
This is part of a collection of short articles that focus on particular activities in various towns and cities around the world. I found that many visitors were looking for more “bite-sized” info on various attractions they wanted to see on the cities for research. Let me know what you think and what other attractions you want information on.