14 Castles and chateaux
15
Two tour circuits o$er highlights
of the richly decorated interiors
of the vast and labyrinthine complex.
The apex of the tour is the famous
Masquerade Hall, on whose walls
you’ll see, through paintings, mirrors
and optical illusions, a high-spirited
carnival ball with Rococo ladies,
their gallant gentlemen and their
servants. An extraordinary monument
of world importance is the Baroque
castle theatre, complete with its
historical equipment, and a beautifully
decorated six-storey Renaissance
tower o$ering an unrepeatable view
of one of Europe’s most beautiful
historical towns (a UNESCOWorld
Heritage Site).
&esk( Krumlov
Reason to visit
This extensive and artistically extremely
valuable palace complex is the second
largest in the Czech Republic after
Prague Castle. Its greatest heyday
was in the 16th century under
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politician in the court of Emperor
Rudolf II, and even a candidate
for the Polish throne. His vast estate
was transformed into a thriving business,
and, enchanted by the spirit
of Renaissance Italy, he rebuilt
the ancestral castle into a beautiful
residential chateau. At his court, not only
artists thrived but also swindlers
and charlatans.
IV–X (castle museum I–XII)
Tuesday–Sunday.
Five-Petalled Rose Celebrations
(VI) – for three days the town returns
to the time of Renaissance knights,
noble ladies, magicians and beggars.
Chamber Music Festival (VI–VII),
Festival of Early Music (VII),
&esk( Krumlov International Music
Festival (VII-VIII), Festival of Baroque
Art (IX–X). Theatrical performances
on a revolving stage in the chateau
park (VI–IX).
Zámek 59
381 01 &esk( Krumlov
Of historical interest
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and the architecture not just of its
residence but also of the town below the
castle and almost all of South Bohemia,
where they were the almost unchallenged
rulers. While their wealth was enormous,
it was not enough for both the costly
Renaissance reconstruction and their
luxurious lifestyle, resulting in debts and
stagnation at the chateau, which then
changed hands several times.
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under the creative Prince Josef Adam
of Schwarzenberg. He undertook another
wide-ranging reconstruction
of the complex, which at that time could
compete with the pomp of the emperor’s
residence in Vienna.
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