Český Krumlov

History of the palace

The palace area in Český Krumlov, that was added to the UNESCO list in 1992, is one of the largest of its type in Europe. However, more than forty majestic palace buildings and governing buildings, five courtyards and picturesque garden were not built at once. The history of the palace begun in the 13th century, and the history of the settlement of this rocky hill is even older.

Český Krumlov 1908

Heritors of  the five-leaves rose

Although people settled the hill, on which the palace stays, in the mesolithic age – the palace itself was built in the first half of the 13th century. The gothic building was owned by Vítkov family from Krumlov and then the castle was sold to Rožmberk family, that had the five-leaves rose in the coat of arms. It was done in 1302 and Český Krumlov begun its three centuries lasting period of prosperity and fame.

During the Hussite wars Oldřich II built massive defensive walls round the town, those walls were even able to survive the attack of modern shooting weapons. In the second half of the 16th century the object was largerly reconstructed and this act changed it massively. On the place of the gothic castle a wonderful rennaissance palace, that was designed by italian masters, was built. Even the interiors had been designed in a way that showed the wealth of Romžmberg family. That family was one of the most important families in Bohemia. Members of Rožmberg family were very good politicians and governors, they were well educated and supported the culture and art.

„Worldwide famous“ theatre

The famous Wilhelm from Rožmberg died in 1592 and left his huge and indebted wealth to the last member of Rožmberg family – Petr Vok. He continued in the palace construction, namely he enlarged and decorated the palace´s garden. In this period a precious stones had been grinded there and exotic trees from the local lumber mill were bought even by Rudolph II. And it was him, who in 1602 bought the indebted Krumlov domain.

Another very important person, that history remembers is the prince Jan Kristián from Eggenberg, who governed the town in the second half of the 17th century. During his „reign“ the downfall caused by the Thirty years war was surpassed and Český Krumlov was again flourishin in the agricultural, building and cultural spheres. Jan Kristián built a theatre in the palace, and today it is the oldest of its type in Europe.

From Schwarzenberg to the present

Schwarzenberg family inherited the palace after the Eggenberg family in 1719 and in the following years iniciated a huge baroque reconstruction of the palace. And that was tha last reconstruction the palace underwent – today it looks the same as in the Schwarzenberg era. However, the importance of the town begun to decline in the second half of the 18th century and when the Hluboká palace had been reconstructed, the Krumlov palace served only as a summer house. Since 1947 the object is owned by the state and even today it is admired by many visitors from the whole world.

Read more about the history: History of the town

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