When you look through any guide book on the Czech Republic you will see that Český Krumlov is a “must see” and it certainly is. It is a World Heritage Site but then any town in this country worth its salt has this label. If you imagine what Hollywood might create as a backdrop for a traditional European fairy tale then you are close to imagining what this place is like. We were able to park the motorhome very close to the old town and got our first breathtaking view of the town.
The castle had some similarities to the one in Prague, it is a very large complex and the outer walls sometimes form part of the castle building itself. There are several floors to the castle so it is an imposing wall that faces you as you approach it. This sort of castle also promotes defenestration which seemed to be a popular form of punishment in the past in this part of Europe. Our approach meant that we entered the old town through an unusual gate cum bridge which at its upper level linked parts of the castle together, from a distance it reminds you of an aqueduct, see the picture below.
The old town is surrounded by a river and makes a very pleasant stroll for an hour or so through the narrow streets, pretty squares and colourful buildings. There is no getting away from the fact that this is a major tourist destination – the number of restaurants, pavement cafes and bars is evidence of this but somehow this does not detract from the charm of the place. We were fortunate in arriving early and by the time we left after lunch the coach parties were beginning to arrive.
We found we could wander around the castle complex itself for free and get some wonderful views down onto the town. An imposing feature of the horizon at Český Krumlov is the multicoloured tower of the castle with its tromp l’oeil painting, you can go up it for a small charge where you could get an even more spectacular view. This was the first castle we have visited with a moat with real bears in it.
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