South Bohemia has many great tourist destinations, and some of these are the ancient castles, fortresses and ruins. Everywhere in the region are various castles and towers structures that were built hundreds of years ago and have withstood the time and elements – symbolic of strong determination and will reflective of those who resided inside their walls in years past.
One of the most famous castles in the area is the Rozmberk Castle. It is one of the oldest castles in the area having been built in the 13th century and the abode of one of the most powerful families in Bohemia after the king. Rozmberk Castle is known for its beautiful location on a small hill above the river Vlatva in the panoramic hills of the Bohemian Forest. Aside from that, there are no souvenir stalls and crowds in the area – only green trees, fresh air and the peaceful sound of nature. In its earlier days, the castle was built upon medieval architecture with everything that you can see in a medieval castle like battlements and turrets. However, when the Rozmberk made the castle their seat, renovations were made that gave the castle its renaissance look. Centuries later, the residents decided to add some neo-gothic touch to the castle, and that is what can be seen in this place presently.
Another popular structure is the Orlik Castle. It was constructed in the 1200s on the edge of a cliff over the Vlatva River. The word orlik by the way means “little eagle”, the Orlik Castle seems to be an eagle’s nest on a rocks edge. However, after the construction of the Orlicka Dam, the water rose and the cliff is now underwater, making it look like the castle is built on a river bank. Several prominent families of generals and lords stayed in the castle over the centuries, one may be tempted to think that the renovations made to the place were because of the varying tastes of the owners, and although that may be true, much of the reconstruction were due to the different fires that consumed the structure, one in the 1500s and another in the 1800s. The sights inside the castle are equally amazing as the outside, as you can view the varied collections and displays of paintings, furniture and the other ancient possessions of the previous residents.
Finally, there is the Hluboka Castle, with its clean white walls, arched windows and doorways and towers that make it look like a fortress. The castle has wonderful and well-maintained grounds and lawns, with trees that change its foliage’s color according to the season. The castle is massive, with an inner courtyard that leads to the various parts of the castle’s interiors. Presently, majority of the castle poses a baroque style of architecture, but in its construction in the 1200s it followed a gothic architectural design. Inside the castle are wonderful paintings and portraits of the past owners, some of which are decades and even centuries old. The interior walls made of dark wood have ornate patterns that reflect the fine craftsmanship that went into its construction.
The castles of South Bohemia are truly wonderful to behold, and standing in front of one or inside one gives any visitor that feeling of awe and wonder that only these majestic structures can evoke.
Photo by orb_cz on Flickr