Historic Centre of Český Krumlov

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Cesky Krumlov (H2K4/WikimediaCC BY-SA 3.0).

 Czechia
South Bohemian Region
N48 49 0 E14 19 0
Date of Inscription: 1992
Criteria: (iv)
Property : 51.91 ha
Buffer zone: 1,073.31 ha
Ref: 617
News/TravelogueCZECH REPUBLIC; CZ – HISTORIC CENTRE OF ČESKÝ KRUMLOV

Marian, or Plague, Column (Ron Van Oers/WikimediaCC BY-SA 3.0 IGO).

Situated on the banks of the Vltava river, the town was built around a 13th-century castle with Gothic, Renaissance and Baroque elements. It is an outstanding example of a small central European medieval town whose architectural heritage has remained intact thanks to its peaceful evolution over more than five centuries.

Brief synthesis

The town of Český Krumlov is located in the South Bohemian Region of the Czech Republic. Situated on both banks of the Vltava (Moldau) river, the town was built below a magnificent castle founded in the 13th century. The river meander and rocky slopes of the castle hill are the most important elements which along with the link to the picturesque neighbouring landscape, determine not only the impressive urban composition of the historic centre but the dominating position of the castle as well.

The Historic Centre of Český Krumlov is an outstanding example of a small Central European medieval town whose architectural heritage has remained intact thanks to its peaceful evolution over more than several centuries. This feudal town, a former centre of a large estate owned by powerful noble families who played an important role in the political, economic and cultural history of Central Europe, was founded in the Middle Ages and underwent Renaissance and Baroque transformations. As it remained almost intact, it has retained its street layout, which is typical of planned medieval towns, as well as many historic buildings including their details such as the roof shapes, the decoration of Renaissance and Baroque facades, vaulted spaces, as well as original layouts and interiors.

The castle features Gothic, Late Gothic, Renaissance and Baroque elements. It is dominated by the Gothic Hrádek with its round tower; this was subsequently converted into a Baroque residence with the addition of a garden, the Bellaire summer pavilion, a winter riding school, and a unique Baroque theatre in 1766. Latrán (settlement developed to the east) and the town proper contain undisturbed ensembles of burgher houses, the oldest being in High Gothic style. They are notable for their facades, internal layouts, and decorative detail, and especially carved wooden Renaissance ceilings. Český Krumlov also experienced considerable ecclesiastical development illustrated by the major 15th century church of St. Vitus and monasteries of various preaching and itinerant orders.

Criterion (iv): Český Krumlov is an outstanding example of a Central European small town dating from the Middle Ages which owes the structure and buildings of its historic core to its economic importance and relatively undisturbed organic development over some five centuries. Český Krumlov grew up within a meander of the Vltava River, which provides a natural setting of great beauty. Its evolution over time is evident with startling clarity from its buildings and its urban infrastructure.

Suggested base:

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2 Replies to “Historic Centre of Český Krumlov”

  1. As we walk through the narrow cobblestone lanes, there is nothing but beauty all around us — in the gabled houses, in the shops displaying quirky things for sale, in the trdelnik (a tongue-twistingly delicious Czech dessert) stalls on the street and above all, in the views of the Vltava and the distant blue hills.

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  2. We walked up a hill to the State Castle — the second largest in Czech Republic after the Prague Castle — through narrow, winding cobblestone streets. The higher we climbed, the more enchanting the view became. From inside the castle, it was breathtaking. The fairy tale was coming to life with the red-roof buildings reflecting on the blue water of the river.

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