Česky Krumlov: The Medieval Fairy Tale Town

The crooked meander of Vltava River

In the southern part of the Czech Republic, close to the Austrian border, a fairy tale town is located on the crooked meander of Vltava River. This enchanting town is known as Česky Krumlov. Its name was originated from the ancient German word “crumbenowe”, meaning a place on the crooked meadow, which reflects the landscape and topography of the town. A stunning castle carved unto the rock promontory of the river, completing the storybook look of the town. The castle was first built in the middle of the 13th century in a gothic architectural design. It was then rebuilt, expanded, and remodelled throughout different generations with the renaissance style architecture and interiors and then the baroque style interiors. In the modern days, the castle is open for tours and exhibitions. The area of the castle itself is free for visitors to enter. However, visitors can join a paid guided tour of the castle with Baroque Castle Theatre, Castle Museum, and Castle Tower as the highlights.

In 1992, the whole complex of the Historic Centre of Česky Krumlov is listed on the UNESCO World Cultural Heritage Monuments. The complex consists of, not only the magnificent castle but also its Old Town. A walk down to Česky Krumlov Old Town is like a visit to the medieval century. Visitors can stroll around the picturesque twisted and narrow cobblestoned lanes of the town which lined with the restored gothic and renaissance historic buildings.

Church of St. Vitus is another interesting attraction in the Old Town of Česky Krumlov. It was built with the late and neo-gothic architectural style. Its high gothic tower creates a unique visual contrast to the castle’s tower renaissance structure. Visitors can enter the church area with free admission.

The winding cobbled stone lanes in the Old Town

Svornosti Square, which is the centre of the Old Town, is sometimes used as the local market where you can buy local street food, artisanal handicrafts, and some local produce. Around Christmas time (late November to early January), the square is transformed into a magical Christmas market. Here, visitors can enjoy various Christmas themed dishes, traditional crafts, and performances. One of the most popular dishes to try is trdelnik, a type of hollow pastries coated with cinnamon and sugar. Česky Krumlov is also the home of the one of the biggest Czech Republic local brewery called Pivovar Eggenberg. A guided tour to the historic brewery of the town is available for visitors to experience.

Many visitors choose Česky Krumlov as the day-trip destination from Prague, as it is located about 2.5 hours driving (roughly 180 km) from the capital city. There are a lot of options on how to get to the town from Prague, with train and bus rides as the cheapest options. Both rides will cost you less than €10 for a one-way ticket. Most of the areas in the historic centre are car-free, hence the best way to get around the destination is on foot. The town itself is quite small so it can be easily explored as a day trip, however, visitors are encouraged to spend more than a day to enjoy the magical medieval atmospheric evenings in some of the liveliest pubs in the Old Town area.

Teks dan foto: GART