Ceske Budejovice Tourist Attractions
The prosperous and lively town of Ceske Budejovice, the capital of Southern Bohemia, lies just north of the Austrian border. The town dates to the 13th Century, although the Thirty Years War and a fire in 1641 destroyed much of the town. Most of present day Ceske Budejovice dates from the 18th Century when the Hapsburg Empire rebuilt much of the town, leaving the extraordinary baroque architecture that visitors see today. The Black Tower is the most visible structure in the town, standing 70m / 232ft high, and the main symbol of Ceske Budejovice. At the center of town is the huge main square of namesti Premysla Otakara II. For a better understanding of the history of Ceske Budejovice and the region, visit the Museum of South Bohemia.
The main square in Ceske Budejovice, called namesti Premysla Otakara II, is one of the largest squares in the Czech Republic. The immense space, unfortunately, minimizes the beautiful architecture and arcades that surrounds the square. Even the large Fountain of Sampson (Samsonova kasna), designed by Dietrich in the 18th Century, that adorns the center of the square gets lost in this open area. On the main square is where visitors will find the 16th Century baroque town hall and numerous other baroque and Renaissance buildings. It is also a nice area to just relax and people watch. Just off the square, but offering good views over the square, is Ceske Budejovice's famous Black Tower.
The Gothic-Renaissance Black Tower (Cerna Vez) in Ceske Budejovice is the town's landmark feature. Reaching a height of 70m / 232ft, the tower is visible from all over Ceske Budejovice. It was built in the 16th Century to serve as both a watch tower and a belfry for the neighboring St Nicholas church. The tower features two bells, one of which was added in the early 1700s, the other in the mid 1990s. They ring everyday at noon. Visitors can climb the Black Tower, although it requires some expenditure of energy, for wonderful views out over the town.
There are numerous castles and towns in the Ceske Budejovice surrounding areas that can be easily visited on a day trip from the city.
The town of Jindrichuv Hradec, east of Ceske Budejovice was established in the first part of the 13th Century by the wealthy Rozmberk family. Located on a major trading route the town grew over the years and was once an important settlement in this area. The castle, for which the town is named, is unique for its variety of architectural styles. Between the 13th Century and the early part of the 17th Century the Jindrichuv Hradec Castle saw numerous additions resulting in baroque, medieval, and Renaissance sections. Of particular note are the Gothic chapel and ceremonial hall with 14th Century paintings depicting the life of St George.Other attractions in Jindrichuv Hradec are the main square, namesti Miru, where visitors will find some of the town's most impressive architecture, including the town hall and two Gothic churches. In the town's District Museum (Muzeum Jindrichohradecka) is an elaborate nativity scene with thousands of pieces. It was built over an 80 year span and designed by Tomas Kryza.
Hluboka nad Vltavou
The huge neo-Gothic Hluboka nad Vltavou lies just north of Ceske Budejovice. This grand white castle is one of the biggest tourist attractions in Southern Bohemia and can be visited easily during a day trip from Ceske Budejovice. This old medieval fortress was purchased by the Schwarzenbefrge family in the 1660s. This family renovated Hluboka nad Vltavou extensively in baroque style and developed the beautiful grounds which surround the castle. Another rebuilding saw the castle take on a Gothic Tudor style. Maze hedges and lush foliage create a park like setting. The building is impressive from the outside but has an equally extraordinary inside. Noted for its woodwork, stained glass, and finely furnished rooms, the Hluboka nad Vltavou also contains a large art collection, primarily representing Czech artists. This is a not to be missed sight in Southern Bohemia.
To the east of Ceske Budejovice lies the walled town of Trebon. Established in the 12th Century, the town has a long history. The tradition of fishponds in the surrounding marshy lands developed in the 14th Century to support carp. It was expanded in the 16th Century by the Rozmberk family who incorporate an elaborate system of canals joining the ponds. At its peak, the fishponds numbered up to 6, 000 individual ponds.Trebon suffered a serious damage due to war and fires in the 17th and 18th Century which reduced much of the old architecture to rubble. In the years to follow the town was completely restored and today is a beautiful little town that has not been over run by tourists. Trebon boasts a 14th Century castle, Renaissance and Baroque architecture, particularly around the main square of Masarykovo namesti, as well as spas and bird watching opportunities in the surrounding areas.
The Trebon Castle (Zamek Trebon) is the main attraction in Trebon. The sprawling Renaissance Trebon Castle takes up much of the old town. It was built in the late 14th Century by the Rozmberks and was later acquired by the Schwarzenbergs. Fire destroyed much of the original Gothic Castle but it was rebuilt and reconstructed several times and now much of what visitors will see was constructed in the early 1600s. The castle contains some of the regions most important archives, which were originally held by the Rozmberks.The castle can be visited on a guided tour.
Vimperk Castle, Vimperk
The town of Vimperk lies to the west of Ceske Budejovice beside the Sumava Mountains. A steep path from the main square in Vimperk leads to the Vimperk Castle, set high above the town. Some parts of the castle date to the late 12th Century although it has undergone changes and additions over the centuries. The Vimperk Castle was last privately owned by the Schwarzenberg family but is now a museum. There are great views of the surrounding areas.The Vimperk Castle is also the headquarters for Sumava National Park, which surrounds the town. Sumava National Park is the largest national park in the Czech Republic. This park, along with the Sumava Protected Lands and the National Park Bavarian Forest in Germany, form a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve.
Map of Ceske Budejovice Attractions