Wanderlust Home and Pet Care
January 6: On our way back to Josefuv Dul we make two stops:
Konopiste Castle a gothic fortress guarding a nearby town of Benesov founded at the end of the 13th century. The most important and famous owner of the Konopiste Castle was the archduke Franz Ferdinand d'Este, a successor to the Austro-Hungarian throne whose assassination in Sarajevo in 1914 became a pretext of the the World War I. The castle is closed but the cafe was open. I had to pee so we bought a hot drink. We told the owner we were from the USA. Before we knew it, he was playing the US national anthem. It was quite a surprise.
Well today’s lunch was another pick and be surprised with the selection. I picked jatra. I was served very over cooked liver in a nice sauce with red peppers. I hate liver.
Cesky Sternberg (Star Castle) built in 1241. We were lucky enough to tag along with a Russian tour group with our English translation. The ceilings in a couple of room were very baroque.
Got home about dinner time to a ton of snow. The snow plow either was getting rid of snow over the ledge or was kind enough to make a spot for our car. Gary still had to remove snow so we could park the car. Climbing over the high plow mound to get to the house was fun too.
January 5: Karolina is with us again today. We visit the UNESCO village of
Holasovice: the plague ravaged Bohemia in 1521 left only two inhabitants alive in Holasovice. The Cistercians brought in settlers from other areas. 23 farmsteads are protected architectural monuments, along with their attached farm buildings (barns, stables, etc.) and gardens a style known as 'South Bohemian folk Baroque', and preserves a ground plan dating from the Middle Ages.
Hluboka Castle was a stunning castle. The Schwarzenbergs (see below) remodeled the castle to resemble Windsor Castle. It took 30 years. The interior woodwork is mindblowing. No expense was spared. It’s not like Versailles with the glitter. It is a must see.
January 4: Our first stop after breakfast is the tourist office. We take the
City tour and the brewery tour with Karolina.
History of the city: Krumlov is crooked meadow; Cesky, Czech and Bohemia all are the same; castle and town are in a 1173 document; the town flourished under the Rosenberg rule; 20th Century - 1938 Czechoslovakia became Sudetenland under Hitler’s rule; All Czechs were forced from their homes and had to immigrate elsewhere; With the end of WWII, Czechs were allow back in but the country came under the influence of the Communist Regime; The government takes all properties, building, farms etc; 1989 Communism is ending and the communists needs to raise money; The Krumlov buildings are sold off; The Krumlov government gives the buyers of the buildings 15 years to improve the property back to it’s original architecture. The city has been awarded UNESCO membership.
Brewery tour: In 1662 the current brewery is purchased by the Eggenbergs. I’ve had better beer.
The sun is out and we head for the castle tower. Great view of the city. We have an expensive but delicious dinner at a Chinese restaurant.
January 3: Our first stop is the Svata Hora Shrine. It existed as a simple church documented in 1565 but in the last half of the 17th century the church completely changed its appearance, having been enclosed by a cloister with four corner Baroque chapels. The ceilings were amazing.
Stop number two was the Orlik Castle on the Vltava River. We knew it would be closed but thought we could walk around. It has seen several remodeling since it’s beginnings in the 13 century. It became a residence of Count Karl Schwarzenberg, a name which will be repeated in Czech history.
We stop at a restaurant near Orlik. Of course we can’t read the menu so we just point to something on the menu and take our chances. We each had a nice meal. The red and white sauerkraut or keli in Czech is wonderful. It is sweeter tasting than what we get back in the states.
Stop number three was the Zvikov Castle. The castle was founded by King Wenceslas I in 1234 and expanded by his son. It is a great example of a Gothic castle. Gothic architecture is the term used to describe the building styles which were used between 1200 to 1500;
- pointed arch could support greater weight, allowing walls to be thinner with wider window openings
- very slender towers
- Knights had traveled to the Holy Land on Crusades. They had seen the magnificent solid fortresses of the Byzantine Empire and these massive buildings influenced and revolutionized castle building.
Our final destination - Cesky Krumlov. Our hotel is in the center of the old town. We are allowed only 10 minutes to park and unload the car. We moved it to a parking lot and walk about 7 minutes back to the hotel.
Right around the corner of the hotel was the tower of the Krumlov Castle. The castle was brightly lit and looked magnificent against the night sky. Dinner at the hotel was over cooked.