Saturday, September 3, 2011

I Left My Heart in Cesky Krumlov

The last time I left my readers, after war damage in Europe, the Vienna woods and sunset on the Danube River, we were crossing the Alps in the snow to arrive in the Czech Republic. For those who are fascinated by that last sentence, it was designed to optimize my hits on the internet. A blatant act of self promotion by the blogger who travels the globe to educate his fellow man. I can feel the new hits already.
Anyway, we did arrive in Cesky Krumlov. Cesky Krumlov is a small city in the southern part of the Czech Republic and is best known for the fine architecture and art of the historic old town. The Castle in Old Český Krumlov is a World Heritage and was given this status along with the historic Praque Castle. During the communist era of Czechoslovakia, Krumlov fell into disrepair, but since the Velvet Revolution of 1989 much of the town's former beauty has been restored, and it is now a major holiday destination popular with tourists. The Old town is surrounded by the Vltava River with many cafes and restaurants overlooking the river. If the café is not overlooking the river it is buried in one of the many underground caves and wine cellars.
The Cesky Krumlov Castle is unusually large for a town of Krumlov's size; within the Czech Republic it is second in extent only to the Hradcany castle in Praque. Inside its grounds is a large garden with an extensive bridge over a deep gap in the rock upon which the castle is built. The castle itself, which has many different parts dating from different periods of time. Český Krumlov Castle preserves its Barouqe theater, built from 1680-82 and renovated with modern stage equipment in 1765-66. With this original stage machinery, scenery and props it is among only a few such court theatres that still exist. Due to its age, the theatre is only used three times a year (only two are open to the public), when a Baroque Opera is performed in simulated candlelight. My Sweetheart in her unsupervised wandering stumbled into one of the theater company’s practice sessions.
This town is the cradle of endless Czech culture and seems stuck in is own time warp. I would highly recommend visiting the restaurants, shops and Castle, and even staying a few days, because visiting Krumlov means visiting the old world in the Czech Republic, and it is an experience you will remember for a lifetime. It may be a little trying on old knee joints as you stroll up and down the narrow cobble stone paths but there is always a comfortable chair and glass of wine around the next corner.