Cesky Krumlov was founded in the Middle Ages as a royal city for the ruling Lords of Rozemberk. At the time, just like today, the city was a crossroads of culture, thanks in large part to its strategic location between Czech, Austrian, Bavarian, and Northern Italian kingdoms. The different influences are still apparent among the attractions in Cesky Krumlov, where much of the history has been preserved. The walls and guard towers have since been taken down, but much of what was present in the 1800s is still standing.
Whatever you include on Cesky Krumlov tours, you'll be visiting one of the world's cultural treasures. In fact, UNESCO, an arm of the United Nations, has declared this entire town in Bohemia a World Heritage Site. More than 300 buildings have been preserved, reflecting the eras in which they were built or updated—Gothic, Italian Renaissance, and Baroque architecture has been preserved in this cultural crossroads city.
While enjoying Cesky Krumlov travel, visitors can stop at one of the biggest castles in the entire country. The Italian Renaissance influenced the design of the town's castle that towers over a bend in the Vltava River. Built and expanded over the course of 500 years, the castle is a virtual time capsule of different eras. Besides setting the stage for guided tours, the castle welcomes visitors will a full calendar of events and concerts.
In addition to all this history, Cesky Krumlov has its contemporary side as well. As you wander along the cobblestone streets, you'll find many of the old houses that have been transformed into art galleries, concert venues, and museums. You'll also experience an array of modern comforts to round your Cesky Krumlov travel plans. Cozy inns, boutique hotels, and apartment rentals are readily available, providing attentive service and modern amenities such as flat-screen TVs and wireless Internet access. A wide range of restaurants, cafes, and shops are available to enjoy as well.
Many visitors include at least one cultural stop on their Cesky Krumlov tours. The elegant Baroque Theater still brings in the crowds, and the castle garden hosts performances in the summer. Annual events, including the Festival of the Five-Petaled Rose, International Music Festival, and a festival of renaissance music all celebrate the city's rich culture. The Egon Schiele Art Center is another draw for residents and visitors alike. Opened in 1993, the same year the Czech Republic became a country, the Schiele bridges the gap between Eastern and Western Europe with exhibits documenting the life and work of the namesake artist, studios, and a range of short-term exhibits.
Cesky Krumlov travel also gives visitors a chance to enjoy nature. The Vlatva River is a favorite place for rafting and kayaking. The surrounding green countryside has excellent opportunities for cycling, golfing, and horseback riding. The Lipno Dam, one of the largest lakes in Central Europe, is another option for outdoor recreation, as is Sumava National Park, which preserves a vast swatch of the Bohemian Forest.
If you'd like to build on your Cesky Krumlov tours and see more, Prague; Munich Germany; and Vienna, Austria are easily accessible by highway and bus. International express trains pull into nearby Ceske Budejovice, which is about 45 minutes away by rail and 30 minutes by bus from Cesky Krumlov.