Fortunately the weather is better today for our visit to Cesky Krumlov. Built on a bend of the river Vlata, which is almost a complete island, this is a good defensive position, and a castle on the bluffs above make it a dead certainty for a medieval town. Parking is available close to the old town, though admittedly it’s the end of the tourist season. Cost about $2.10 an hour, WCC please note.
Even though this is a total tourist trap, I have to admit it’s absolutely spectacular. You have to talk to a local though, as we did to the owner of the cafe where we had lunch, to realise that the brilliant restoration is relatively recent. He had completely refurbished his premises only two months ago.
The town claims a connection to Egon Schiele, the Austrian/German expressionist painter, his mother was born there. There is a Schiele gallery, but it is not showing any of his works a the moment, so we can pass on by. Just walking all the streets can take most of the day and there is a great view around every corner.
Walk through these arches, then you see
Waterwheel with guardian elf
Touristy but cute
Bend in the river
View over the roofs
“All our fashions come from Italy” – 40 years ago!
We thought we should do at least one castle tour so we climb up to the entrance, but as it is possible to walk through the exterior for free, we miss the ticket office. As we are about to exit the other side of the castle we spot an English tour going in a door and the guide says we can pay her, so we join.
It turns out that the tour is not of the castle, but of the castle’s baroque theatre, second oldest in Europe, by one year, and it is incredibly fascinating. The theatre was built by the Schwartzenberg family, owners of the castle and huge theatre fans. Around 230 years ago they shifted their centre of activities and the theatre, forgotten, has not changed since 1776!
There are original flats, depicting about twelve different scenes, stage machinery and costumes from the era. There is a wheell filled with gravel or shot, to imitate the sound of rain, and a wind machine, made of a fabric drum inside a fabric sleeve. These are demonstrated and are marvellously realistic.
At one point the guide asks us to guess how long it takes to change scenes, and people are saying something like five minutes, ten minutes, even absurdly, twenty minutes. So, knowing a little about stagecraft, I yell out what I think is. Conservative – thirty seconds! – stunned silence. Actually, they took abou twelve seconds. I win. Thank you ladies and gentlemen, I’ll be here all week!
No pics, sorry, not allowed.
I was there, and so was the Japanese girl’s backpack
Next day we return to Prague via Trebon, overcast,
and Telc, Unesco world heritage site and fantastic architectural vision. It is built on an island, or perhaps surrounded by a large moat? The long square is wonderful to behold.
a University campus is holding a seminar on Indian symbology and I feel anthropology stirring in my blood again. Almost pop in to listen.
The Universty chapel, above, is a quiet gem.
there are two soups on the menu, Garlic and Goulash, Eva has both, I have Cicken with mushroom sauce, wild mushrooms, yummy and a first for Czech Republic, salad.
Last view of Telc, looking across the lake, or moat.
Returned to base without incident.