Český Krumlov Castle
Český Krumlov Castle is a museum located in the city, Český Krumlov, in the Czech Republic. We walked up to the castle on our second day in this gorgeous little fairytale village in Bohemia. The castle area is one of the largest in central Europe, and dates back to 1240 when the first castle was built. It is a complex of forty buildings and palaces. All of them situated around five castle courts and a castle park spanning an area of seven hectares. As you can see from the above image, the view from the Castle Tower is simply spectacular. It looks over the castle itself, the entire city of Český Krumlov, and the surrounding forests and towns too. The entire area was declared a national monument in 1989. In 1992 it was added to the UNESCO World Heritage List.
It was an easy stroll from our guesthouse, in the centre of the Český Krumlov, up to the entrance of the castle.
The present-day 2nd courtyard covers the grounds of the original so-called Lower Castle, and consists of the Little Castle with a tower, New Burgrave’s House, Mint and Dairy. The courtyard’s terrain was given today’s appearance around the year 1640, while in the Middle Ages the courtyard consisted of few buildings creating a fortification between the Lower and Upper Castle. It was not until the second half of the 16th century that the area was enclosed by new buildings during far-reaching reconstructions carried out to convert the Krumlov castle into an imposing castle residence.
The complex of palaces situated around the 3rd and 4th Courtyard came about during the building activities from the middle of the 14th century to the 18th century. Despite the complicated building development, the palaces retained the features of Renaissance style from the most flourishing period in the second half of the 16th century.
There were a lot of tourists in Český Krumlov, but the castle didn’t feel overly crowded. This particular courtyard, despite being filled many many visitors, was quiet and peaceful.
The Cloak Bridge
Above, The bridge “na plášti” or “on the cloak” is as wide as the moat on the western side of the Upper Castle. The three-storied covered arched bridge stands on massive stone pillars. This technically daring and impressive work connects the 4th and 5th courtyards of the Český Krumlov Castle.
We stood in the fifth courtyard, and took some time to enjoy the views of the city. Everything about this charming little city was interesting, even the drain spouts…
Even here, way up above the city, there is Czech beer available. What better place to enjoy an ice cold beer than while looking over this breathtaking city!
Little Castle with Castle Tower
The oldest and most important building in the 2nd courtyard of castle, is the “Little Castle” with it’s castle tower. In the left-hand corner of the courtyard there is a staircase leading to this building. It was mentioned as early as the first half of the 13th century as a mighty cylindrical tower with a palace.
There was a small fee to enter the tower, but we knew that it would be worth it!
Views from the Castle Tower
The castle grounds (above) and the city of Český Krumlov – and surrounding areas – (below).
When we got back down to the city below, the view of the Castle tower, was even more astonishing. Many of the smaller side streets open up to majestic views of the tower. In the late afternoon, the sun illuminates the tower. It is easy to see why it is one of the main symbols for this beautiful city.