© Aleš Motejl, archiv CzechTourism

Discovering the aristocratic history in South Bohemia

Budweis - Zlatá Koruna - Český Krumlov

Length 36 km Duration 1 Day

The city of České Budějovice is situated less than 150 kilometres from Prague. There are direct trains and buses from the main station in Prague, or you can drive by car. The trip takes about two hours by car and two and a half hours by train. From České Budějovice to Český Krumlov you can take a bus, with a stop in Zlatá Koruna.

South Bohemia is a region associated with strong spirituality and many of its numerous sacral buildings were founded by Charles IV. On your journey you will see a number of monasteries, unique examples of Gothic architecture and rare works of art. South Bohemia is also a region of fish ponds, and the springs of the River Vltava, one of the symbols of the Czech Republic, are also to be found here.

The trip begins in České Budějovice, the place where Charles IV took part in many political meetings of European importance. The first stop on the visit is Ottokar II’s Square named after the city’s founder and one of the largest squares in the Czech Republic. It is surrounded by unique historical buildings on all four sides and its dominant feature is Samson’s Fountain, constructed at the beginning of the 18th century. You can see whether the legend is true and there really is an erratic boulder in the south-eastern part of the square, at the site where there supposedly used to be an executioner’s chop­ping block . The next stop will please all beer lovers. The beer produced at the Budweiser Brewery is well known all around the world. A multimedia exposition will take you through the 700-year history of local beer production. And of course you can taste the beer together with a traditional meal at one of the many local restaurants.

From České Budějovice continue southwards to Český Krumlov, with a stop at the Zlatá koruna monastery, founded as early as in the second half of the 13th century. Despite its turbulent history and several fires, it has been preserved for the current generation in an excellent condition. You will feel the spirit of ancient times, when monks walked down its halls, but when it was also raided by warriors of the Hussite movement, which formed in the Czech lands after the death of religious reformer Jan Hus. The Hussites attacked the monastery in 1420, destroyed it and set it on fire. The most precious item deposited in the monastery is a thorn from Jesus’ crown of thorns. A unique experience can be enjoyed on the night tours organised in the main tourist season. The monastery also hosts many cultural events and concerts of classical music.

The last stop on the journey is the ancient town of Český Krumlov, whose historical centre is a conservation area and listed UNESCO cultural heritage since 1992. Intensive construction work had already started during the reign of Charles IV, perhaps because the Rosenberg family, who owned the town at that time, wanted to compete with the splendour of the Emperor’s court. There is not a single house that is not worth a visit. You will feel as if you are walking through a museum surrounded by the most precious works of art. Equally unique is the Krumlov Chateau, the second largest Chateau compound in the Czech Republic. Its tower offers a lovely view of the romantic valley of the River Vltava. Český Krumlov is a town infused with culture, it hosts several festivals throughout the year and is especially famous for theatre performances on the rotating amphitheatre. Český Krumlov owes a great part of its magic to the River Vltava, which flows around the old town and the buttress with the Chateau on top. Have a rest in one of the numerous cafés, pubs or restaurants, where you can taste a variety of South-Bohemian specialities, like the Rosenberg Menu, which includes home-produced smoked trout.

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