Český Krumlov – return to the Renaissance era
A town that reaches to the skies above a bend on the River Vltava, Český Krumlov is a pearl of Renaissance architecture and a place where the sumptuousness of the local castle, maze-like alleyways, richly decorated coats of arms of burghers houses, and wonderful floral gardens are harmoniously interwoven; at the same time, it boasts medieval pubs, ale-houses, galleries and graphite mines. Thanks to its unique preserved medieval core, Český Krumlov is included on the UNESCO list.
At the height of its fame, Český Krumlov could compete stoutly with the most important European royal courts, mainly thanks to the Rosenberg family, who chose the town as their residence. The Rosenbergs gradually came to rule a large part of South Bohemia. Enchanted by the Italian Renaissance, they built a town and residence, and in so doing contributed to the prosperity of the entire region. One of the most famous members of the family was Petr Wok von Rosenberg, who gathered a remarkable collection of art and products of nature that rivalled that of Rudolph II at Prague Castle.
Baroque theatre today a museum
Among Český Krumlov’s attractions is its Baroque theatre, which is one of the oldest preserved chateau theatres in Central Europe. Alongside the theatre building itself, visitors can view hundreds of decorations, costumes, and props, as well as an orchestra pit, theatre machinery and an extensive collection of original scripts. The theatre serves only as a working theatre museum today. However, a unique revolving auditorium, set against the natural backdrop of the Castle Park, offers unforgettable theatre performances beneath the night sky.
A town full of art
The Renaissance facades of painted houses, traditional artisan shops and medieval taverns create an inimitable labyrinth in which you’ll want to simply lose yourself. But there is more to the historical centre than the past. Why not visit for instance the renowned Egon Schiele Gallery where you can discover Český Krumlov through the artist’s pictures? Another worthwhile stop is the Seidel Photographic Studio, whose unusual inter-war atmosphere will surprise you; it boasts an inexhaustible number of unique period photos, photo-postcards and glass negatives, while real experts on or admirers of the period between the wars will be taken with its functioning cameras, enlarging apparatus and equipped darkrooms.
Throughout the year Český Krumlov offers countless cultural events, such as FIDELIO classical music concerts, the Five-Petalled Rose Celebrations, an International Music Festival and a festival of Baroque art.