Heading Out Of Prague
We had a great 8 days visiting Prague. This was our first experience in the Czech Republic. But then we left Prague for our stay in Cesky Krumlov. And got another view of this diverse country.
View The Past At The Pribram Uranium Mine
The first stop on our trip out of Prague was a more sobering view of the country’s past. We pulled up to visit the Pribram Uranium Mine Vojna Memorial. A double row of razor fence enclosed the camp. The camp was initially set up as a forced work camp for German war prisoners. It was then used to hold Communist political prisoners until 1961.
Prisoners worked in the uranium mines all day. And then were subjected to re-education therapy at night. We walked around the camp and saw the restored buildings – dorm buildings, a small hospital and the common room. Under the slag hill we saw the railway cars that went out to the mine.
An interesting museum showed some of the history of this mine and the resistance movements. Several interesting pieces of art brought home the point.
On our visit to Prague, we got a small glimpse into the past of the Czech Republic. This stop at the uranium mines on our way to stay in Cesky Krumlov certainly gave us a much more visible reminder.
Lunch in Charming Pisek
Our lunch stop was in the small town of Pisek. This charming little town lighted our mood after our morning stop. The bus parked on the outskirts and we walked through the small town to the restaurant. It had a colourful town with yet more artistic buildings that we saw again in many of the small towns we visited.
After lunch we walked towards the Otava River for a walk over the stone bridge. This was the oldest bridge in this area and one of two oldest bridges in Central Europe. Like the Charles Bridge in Prague, there were statues on the bridge.
Along the banks we saw two sand sculptures being created. We were amazed at the detail that could be obtained in sand.
Our stop in Pisek gave us a glimpse of the small towns we found when we headed south to stay in Cesky Krumlov.
The Walled Town Of Cesky Krumlov
After a busy travel day, we arrived for our stay in Cesky Krumlov. Our hotel was located at the edge of the old town walls and the bus could not get right to the door. So we followed Vashek like the pied piper along the outside of the walled city. The walled city reminded us so much of the small walled city of Obidos in Portugal. Vashek showed us the lower town gate.
The Hotel Latran booked for the Overseas Adventure Travel (OAT) group was a smaller hotel just on the edge of the town. We walked up steep twisty stairs to get to our quaint attic room. There was a strudel shop right under our room. The smell called us down to breakfast every day. I had to be careful not to move too fast. Either I hit my head on the beams or I got vertigo on the stairs.
From the hotel it was an easy walk along cobbled stones into the heart of the walled city. The Vltava River snaked its way through the old town. The castle stood prominently above the town with its painted tower. The St Jost Church tower formed the other anchor of the town view. In the other direction we saw the spire of the Vitrus church.
When we came and went during our stay in Cesky Krumlov, we got the greatest panoramic views of this old town.
The historic buildings in Cesky Krumlov provided the setting for this great little Czech town.
Wandering Through The Medieval Town Of Cesky Krumlov
We got lots of opportunities to wander through the medieval town of Cesky Krumlov. Every street had something interesting to see.
We were excited to see that many of the Cesky Krumlov buildings had the same sgraffito paintings we saw when we explored the buildings and architecture of Prague. We even found fascinating mosaics inside one of the buildings.
The main town square was down at the river level. Streets led up the hills in all directions. One day we even got to explore a market in the main square.
We loved to wander the streets of Cesky Krumlov. If you plan to stay in Cesky Krumlov, there will be much to discover
Castles And Churches In Cesky Krumlov
During our staying in Cesky Krumlov, we spent one morning as we explored the Cesky Krumlov Castle. This was one more in a long list of castles in the Czech Republic that we visited. The castle museum gave us a small glimpse into castle life.
To get to the castle, we crossed over the moat. Down in the moat we actually caught sight of the bear one morning on an early walk.
It was great to get a view of one of the castles in the Czech Republic.
On the other high point in Cesky Krumlov, we visited the St Vitrus Church. We got a tour inside this gothic church and around the outdoor courtyards.
As we wandered in the town, we saw the green spire of the St. Jost church. But we never did get inside that church during our stay. Something left for another trip.
The Cesky Krumlov Castle and the two churches dominate the skyline of the small town. They represent the balance of secular and religious life from this bygone era. We were glad we had the chance to explore both facets during our stay in Cesky Krumlov.
A Countryside Break
One of the days on our stay in Cesky Krumlov, we headed out to enjoy the countryside. We went to the Lipno Lake area and got to walk high above the treetops. The ski area was used in the off-season by hikers, mountain bikers and people who used the ski lift and observation tower to enjoy the views.
We took the chair lift to the top and then walked up to the top of the observation deck. It was a great spot to get a panoramic view around. From that point we could see the hills in the distance what was Germany! And then we had a blast when we took the slide back down.
It was great to get another view of the countryside from the Lipno Treetop Park. Lipno was an easy day trip on our stay in Cesky Krumlov.
Another Look Back In Time
Another day trip we did during stay in Cesky Krumlov was an afternoon visit to the Vyssi Brod Cistercian Abbey. We started the afternoon with lunch in the small town of Rozmberk nad Vltavou. High above the town we saw the summer home of the Rozmberk family.
After lunch we visited the Vyssi Brod Cistercian Abbey. The Rozmberk family also built this large property with many buildings, 12 farms, a water mill and a hospital. You could see yet more building art on the outside of remaining buildings. We first saw this sgraffito in the buildings and architecture of Prague. And then again as we walked through Cesky Krumlov.
We walked around the exterior of the church but the real gems were inside. The church was restored about 5 yrs ago and was beautiful. We were also led through a series of rooms in the library building. Both library rooms were beautiful with exquisite ceiling paintings.
It was great to see yet another view of the history of the area on our stay in Cesky Krumlov.
It Was Great To Stay In Cesky Krumlov
Most people only visit the medieval town of Cesky Krumlov as a day trip. On a quick visit you can certainly take in the charm of this town. The castle is the major draw and certainly worth half a day to explore. But you can only enjoy the real town if you plan to stay in town.
We were we had a chance to stay in Cesky Krumlov. It was a great base to head out to the countryside and enjoy a treetop walk in the Lipno Lake area. It was too bad that low water levels caused our river rafting to be canceled.
We also got the chance to head out of the town to see other historic properties in the area. The breadth of the influence of the Rozmberk family was seen beyond the walls of their base in the medieval town of Cesky Krumlov. The summer home and the Vyssi Brod Cistercian Abbey were both interesting to see.
After a stay in Cesky Krumlov, we headed to another part of the Bohemian part of the Czech Republic in Slavonice. There was still so much more to discover.
Did you stay in Cesky Krumlov? Were you just there for the day or did you get to enjoy so much more?
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I didn’t make it to Cesky Krumlov when I went to Prague, about 30 years ago. I’d dearly love to go back but Prague is one of those favourite travel memories and I don’t know if I want to overwrite it! But I do need to visit the charming Cesky Krumlov, your photos really make me want to go now!
Kavita, I totally know what you mean about not being able to go back. We have returned to places and they lost their special memories. If you have not yet visited Cesky Krumlov though, that could add some new special memories. Linda
Like so many visitors we are guilty of taking a quick flight from the UK and just staying in Prague. We know there is so much more to see and we should practice what we preach about people visiting Britain and not getting out of London. The walled town of Cesky Krumlov looks really interesting as well as being picturesque, love the picture of the viaduct with the buildings on top, was that an entrance to the old town or part of the castle? We are looking for somewhere new to go in the Autumn.
Marcus and Mel, I would definitely recommend visiting Cesky Krumlov. If you stay in the town, you get it when it is quiet and the big crowds are gone. There are some great day trips from there to see the countryside. I hope you do get back for a visit it the fall. Linda
That wall is INCREDIBLE! I can totally see myself wandering through the market grazing on all the local food specialties. It looks like quite the place to visit in CR
Andi, Cesky Krumlov definitely was a great spot to visit in the Czech Republic. It was great to stay in the city to allow time to wander at will. Hope you get to visit some day. Linda
I’ve not been to Prague yet and I can’t wait to visit soon. Such rich history in Cesky Krumlov. Your castle and church photos are amazing. What’s cooking at the farmers market in those supersized pans? What a great recap of what to do in the city. Will add Cesky Krumlov to the list for when I finally visit the Czech Republic.
Rosemary, I hope you do get to visit the Czech Republic. It was such a treat to see both the big cities and these smaller towns like Cesky Krumlov. We love it when we are in town for a market day. That was like a paella cooking in the market. Everywhere we looked we found something interesting to see. Linda
Walk along Otava River is one the best walks, don’t you agree?! I would love to watch sand sculpting in real. Great creations and lot of talent. The castle and church images are mind blowing.
Indrani, We definitely loved the chance to stay in Cesky Krumlov. The town itself was great to wander. Love little towns like this that wind around the river. But we also got the chance to see the smaller countryside towns. This castle was such a fairy tale image. Linda
I have never been to Prague and Cesky Krumlov seems like a must go to place! With all the places you visited, I don’t think I’ll enjoy going through all of that in just a day, too. I would love to see the Otava river myself and the sand sculptures are amazing!
Kirstie, We were lucky to have almost 2 weeks in the Czech Republic. Our local guide wanted to make sure we got to see all the local gems. And even so, we missed some of the places we wanted to go. I guess that means we just have to go back. Linda
I loved Cesky Krumlov, it is such a beautiful town! I’m glad you stayed a while, it really does warrant more time than just a day trip that so many people do. I wanted to go to Lipno too but it was just too cold when I was there – it was still snowing!
Claire, We were very glad we stayed in Cesky Krumlov. Love that time of the day when the streets quiet down. Sorry you did not get to Lipno. It was a great view out over the countryside. Next time! Linda
I keep hearing Cesky Krumlov is one of the most beautiful small towns in Europe. Definitely looks worth doing more than just a day trip! Interesting that you got to tour the uranium mine — I had no idea that was part of czech history.
Carrie, Cesky Krumlov definitely is a most beautiful medieval town. Great to stay so you can use it as a base to explore. The Pribram Uranium Mine visit was a reminder of such another time in Czech history. But important to see that history too. Linda
Are the mine carts at Pribram Uranium Mine Vojna Memorial still radioactive? I would love to learn the history behind the mine and how the prisoners were treated.
Is that man carving statues out of sand? I would love to walk around Krumlov and explore the town and see all the sights.
Jennifer, We wrote a separate blog post on the Pribram Uranium Mine if you want to hear more. I do not believe there is any concerning levels of radiation left. But you can visit the worker’s buildings and the museum. A very touching tribute. The sand carvings at Pisek were a great and fun treat one day when we were travelling. So great to see the small towns that many don’t get to visit. Linda
The strudel smells will be my wake up call when I stay at the Latran. Hehe… The city is pretty. I like how they preserved the old buildings so today visitors can enjoy them.
Umiko, We were so glad we made it to Cesky Krumlov and stayed overnight to enjoy the town when the tourists left. Linda