Situated on the banks of the Vltava river, Český Krumlov was built around a 13th-century castle with Gothic, Renaissance and Baroque elements. It is an outstanding example of a small central European medieval town whose architectural heritage has remained intact thanks to its peaceful evolution over more than five centuries. The historic city center of the city is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Construction of the town and castle began around 1240 by the Vítkovci at a ford in the Vltava River, at an important trade route in Bohemia. It was first mentioned in 1253 as Chrumbenowe. In 1302 the town and castle were acquired by the House of Rosenberg. The majority of inhabitants were German at that time. For 1336 it can be expected that Czechs were only a small minority, who had their own preacher.
In late 15th century, when gold was found next to the town, German miners came to settle, which shifted the ethnic balance even more. In the parochial church the sermons were preached in Czech until 1788, when St. Jošt Church was abolished.
Emperor Rudolf II bought Krumlov in 1602 and gave it to his natural son Julius d’Austria. Emperor Ferdinand II gave Krumlov to the House of Eggenberg and the town was seat of Duchy of Krumlov. 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; the town's structures are mostly in Gothic, Renaissance, and Baroque styles. The core of the old town is within a horseshoe bend of the river, with the old Latrán neighborhood and castle on the other side of the Vltava.
After the First World War the city was part of the Bohemian Forest Region which declared to be part of German-Austria. By the end of 1918 the Czechoslovak army occupied the region. During the interwar era it was part of Czechoslovakia. In 1938 it was annexed by Nazi Germany, as part of the Sudetenland according to the Munich agreement. Between 1938 and 1945 it was part of the Reichsgau Oberdonau. After World War II the town's German-speaking population were expelled and it was returned to Czechoslovakia.
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 from Germany, Austria and beyond.
Český Krumlov Castle is unusually large for a town of Krumlov's size; within the Czech Republic it is second in extent only to the Hradčany castle complex of Prague. Church of St. Vitus is a Gothic church dating back to the 15th century with frescoes from the same period. Český Krumlov is also home to Pivovar Eggenberg brewery. It has also been used as filming locations for movies.References:
The Beckov castle stands on a steep 50 m tall rock in the village Beckov. The dominance of the rock and impression of invincibility it gaves, challenged our ancestors to make use of these assets. The result is a remarkable harmony between the natural setting and architecture.
The castle first mentioned in 1200 was originally owned by the King and later, at the end of the 13th century it fell in hands of Matúš Èák. Its owners alternated - at the end of the 14th century the family of Stibor of Stiborice bought it.
The next owners, the Bánffys who adapted the Gothic castle to the Renaissance residence, improved its fortifications preventing the Turks from conquering it at the end of the 16th century. When Bánffys died out, the castle was owned by several noble families. It fell in decay after fire in 1729.
The history of the castle is the subject of different legends. One of them narrates the origin of the name of castle derived from that of jester Becko for whom the Duke Stibor had the castle built.
Another legend has it that the lord of the castle had his servant thrown down from the rock because he protected his child from the lords favourite dog. Before his death, the servant pronounced a curse saying that they would meet in a year and days time, and indeed precisely after that time the lord was bitten by a snake and fell down to the same abyss.
The well-conserved ruins of the castle, now the National Cultural Monument, are frequently visited by tourists, above all in July when the castle festival takes place. The former Ambro curia situated below the castle now shelters the exhibition of the local history.