Český Krumlov

Český Krumlov

Český Krumlov is notable for its well-preserved Gothic, Renaissance, and Baroque architecture. Before independence, the city was known by its German name, Krumau an der Moldau. The castle, built in the 13th century, is the second largest castle complex in Czech Republic, after Prague castle. The Vltava River snakes through the town, so that the town’s historical center is located in a horseshoe bend in the river, with the old Latrán neighborhood and castle on the other side. The town’s historical center was added to the UNESCO World Heritage List in 1992.

Construction of the town and castle began in the late 13th century at a ford in the Vltava River, which was important for trade routes in Bohemia. In 1302, both the town and castle were owned by the House of Rosenberg. Emperor Rudolf II bought Krumau in 1602, and gave it to his natural son Julius. Emperor Ferdinand II gave Krumau to the House of Eggenberg. From 1719 until 1945, the castle belonged to the House of Schwarzenberg. Most of the architecture of the old town and castle dates from the 14th through 17th centuries.

Route Distance Links  
České Budĕjovice to Český Krumlov 29 km map/gpx cue sheet
Český Krumlov to Nové Hrady 85 km map/gpx cue sheet
Český Krumlov to Bad Leonfelden 45 km map/gpx cue sheet
Bad Leonfelden to Linz 34 km map/gpx cue sheet

The town became part of the Austrian Empire in 1806, and of Austria-Hungary in 1866. By 1910, Krumau an der Moldau had 8,662 inhabitants, including 7,367 Germans and 1,295 Czechs.After World War I, Krumau belonged from October 1918 until September 1919 to Upper Austria within the Republic of German Austria. In November 1918, Czech troops occupied the town. During the interwar era it was part of Czechoslovakia. Between 1938 and 1945, it was annexed by Nazi Germany as part of the Sudetenland. The town’s German-speaking population was expelled after World War II and it was restored to Czechoslovakia.


During the Communist era, Český Krumlov fell into disrepair. Since the Velvet Revolution of 1989 much of the town’s former beauty has been restored, and it is now a major holiday destination. In August, 2002, the town suffered from damage in the great flood of the Vltava River.

Photo credits

  1. Český Krumlov. © Matt Carman, 2008.
  2. Český Krumlov. © Li-Wen Chang, 2008.
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