Southern Bohemia Attractions
Southern Bohemia is home to a wealth of treasures. With some of the countries most unspoiled natural areas, and a history unlike other regions of the Czech Republic, this area will be of interest to both naturalists and history buffs. Step back in time with a visit to the beautiful UNESCO World Heritage Site of Cesky Krumlov or experience the vibrant city of Ceske Budejovice. The historic walled town of Tabor, famous for the Hussites that settled the area, is also one of the highlights of southern Bohemia. Trebon, another UNESCO World Heritage site, is known for the fishponds that were created centuries ago. Many of these sites are within easy traveling distance of Prague and can even be visited on day trips.
Rozmberk Castle, Rozmberk nad Vltavou, Czech Republic
Rozmberk nad Vltavou is usually used to describe both the name of the town and the Rozmberk castle, which lie on the shores of the Vltava River, just south of Cesky Krumlov. Rozmberk nad Vltavou was founded in the 13th Century by the Rozmberk family (Vok from Rozmberk). They owned the town until the early part of the 17th Century. The castle consists of an upper portion, which dates to the 13th Century, and a lower portion built in the 14th Century and later. The lower castle is open to the public.Other points of interest in the town are the 13th Century Gothic Church of St Nikolaus, the 15th Century Church of the Blessed Virgin Mary with a large tower, and the main square surrounded by 17th and 18th Century architecture.
The Kratochvile Chateau, not far from the town of Netolice, was built by the Rozmberks in the late 1500s. This Italian Renaissance structure, designed by Baltazar Maggi, was intended as a secondary residence for the family who owned a nearby castle. Since that time the Kratochvile Chateau has been owned by such names as Rudolf II, the Eggenberks and the Schwarzenberks, and has undergone some alterations and restoration work. This large castle stands inside of a large square, which is formed by walls and buildings that form a huge courtyard area. It is the entire complex and the symmetry rather than just the main building that make Kratochvile such an impressive chateau.Currently the chateau houses an exhibition on animation and film.
Castle, Blatna, Czech Republic
The main attraction in the small town of Blatna is the Blatna Castle. The structure has undergone many changes and additions but the oldest part of the castle, the Gothic chapel, dates to the 13th Century. During the 14th Century the moat which surrounds the castle was added. This addition resulted in the classic entrance to the castle which is via a bridge leading to the base of the tower. In the early 1500s the tall Renaissance style palace was built, designed by Benedikt Ried of Piesting, and the castle was converted to a residence. Visitors touring the palace can see a number of the salons, the dining room, and a gallery. Many of the furnishings are 19th Century carved pieces.
Built in the 13th Century, the Early Gothic style Orlik Castle underwent major reconstruction in the 19th Century, which resulted in a strange neo-Gothic creation. Orlik was acquired by the Schwarzenberg family in the early 1700s but was confiscated by the communist in the 1940s. Following the end of the Communist Regime the castle reverted back to the Schwarzenbergs.Orlik sits beside the Vltava River on a lush parcel of land that juts out into the water. At one point, before the dam was built, the castle would have rested high above the surrounding water and would have surely been a much more impressive sight. The name Orlik means young eagle and it is often suggested that the castle would have resembled an eagles nest, perched high upon the rocky outcrop, prior to the dam.The interior of Orlik Castle was redone in Empire Style and displays armory and the family furnishings. There is also an impressive carved ceiling in the Knights Hall.
Zvikov Castle dates to the first half of the 13th Century. Uniquely situated on a rocky headland at the confluence of the Vltava and Otava Rivers, the castle is surrounded by water on all sides except for the narrow strip of land that joins it to the mainland. This was a defense strategy but it also makes for a dramatic setting. The castle used to sit much higher above the water line but the building of the Orlik Dam changed the water levels. Although Zvikov Castle is considered one of the best preserved medieval castles in Bohemia, it has undergone major reconstruction both in the 19th Century and again in the 1970s.The 13th Century tower of the inner castle is the oldest portion of the castle complex, which consists of several buildings. The numerous rooms in the main castle are connected by a vaulted arcade. One of the highlights of the castle is the 15th Century chapel, notable for its impressive wall paintings. The room below the chapel contains some of the oldest furnishings of the palace.This Zvikov Castle was once one of the most important castles in Bohemia.