Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Český Krumlov and South Bohemia

Great photo from wiki
Český Krumlov is a small city in the South Bohemian Region of the Czech Republic, best known for the fine architecture and art of the historic old town and Český Krumlov Castle. Old Český Krumlov is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and was given this status along with the historic Prague castle district.

Truly an authentic medieval town with a very labyrinthine layout.  Krumlov is a major stop on the ancient pilgrimage route westwards towards Spain through Austria.  I decided to walk a portion of this route through the Sumava National Park and had a very interesting adventure. The first segment of my route consisted of Krumlov to Kajov and back to Krumlov.  Kajov has a unique pilgrimage church with a sundial calendar. 
 Back in Krumlov on the second day I took the bus to Frymburk, another town on the pilgrimage route on the Lidna.  I really enjoyed Frymburk.
About as peaceful place as you can be.  The weather was outstanding.  I walked the 5k north to Vrasna and back to Frymburk along the lake.  The third day was a mission to say the least. This is my route.
I walked about 45k, from Frymburk to Lidna to Predni Vyton to Sv. Tomas to St. Oswald to Haslach an der Muhl. 
Following the pilgrims path was a unique adventure. 

My route went across the "abandoned zone" that was formerly the guarded border between Austria and Czechoslovakia.  Navigating was quite challenging and fun.  There are no roads that go directly from St. Thomas to St. Oswald, and in fact, many of the original pilgrim's paths had been destroyed intentionally. 
This is Vítkův Kamen at Svatý Tomáš.  At this point, I realized that I had no choice but to continue on to Austria for accomodations.  There is a nice lodge here, but it is a seasonal hunting retreat. I arrived at Sankt Oswald bei Freistadt at dusk.
St. Oswald
There was unquestionably a feeling of relief on seeing the steeple of the church here.  Though on entering the town, I realized that there were no services.  So, I pressed on to Haslach in the dark.  I arrived there at 21:45, nearly 11 hours after starting in Frymburk.  
Pilgrim's path marker in Haslach an der Muhl.  

Monday, March 28, 2011

Kostel Nejsvětějšího srdce Páně (Vinohrady)

Sacred Heart Church is located at Prague's náměstí Jiřího z Poděbrad in the district of Vinohrady.It is a modern construction of the famous Slovene architect Josip Plecnik was carried out between1928 and 1932 .
In 2010 the church was identified as a national monument.
In the shadow of Zizkov Tower, this church is graced by its own náměstí (square) that emphasizes its distinctive, albeit oft ignored and possibly scorned design.  
Picture of church from Zizkov Tower.

Monday, March 21, 2011


Vltava River from Vysehrad

Vyšehrad is a castle located in the city of PragueCzech Republic. It was probably built in the 10th century, on a hill over the Vltava River

Sunken tennis court with amphitheater seating
Situated within the castle is the Basilica of St Peter and St Paul, as well as the Vyšehrad Cemetery, containing the remains of many famous people from the Czech history, among them Antonín DvořákBedřich SmetanaKarel Čapek, and Alphonse Mucha.


Thursday, March 17, 2011

Hradčanské Námĕstí

Prague Castle is a castle (fort de facto) in the Prague district of Hradcany , the traditional seat of Czech kings since 1918 President of the Republic.

Successive additions and modifications from the Castle since founded in the 9th century, one of the largest castle complexes in the world.. It is often considered a symbol of the Czech Republic . Within the castle is St. Vitus Cathedral, where such stores Czech crown jewels and buried many of Czech rulerPrague Castle Buildings represent almost all the architectural styles of the past millennium:
Hradcany Square is a public space located in the heart of Prague Castle in the city of Prague in the immediate vicinity of Prague Castle . This is the main square of Prague Castle, which follows from the east to castle courtyard and western gateway and western facades of Prague Castle.

The Archbishop's Palace is (together with the Cathedral of St.. Vitus ), the headquarters of Prague archdiocese . The building is located on Hradcany Square in the vicinity of the main gate of Prague Castle . On the north side slopes Deer ditch on the west side of the palace leads to the passage of the Sternberg Palace . Archbishop's Palace was built in the 16th century in Baroque style, but to this day has been reconstructed many times.

The Cathedral of St. Vitus , Wenceslas and Adalbert , is the dominant building in the Prague Castle , the seat of the Church as Archbishop of Prague .

Schwarzenberg Palace is a Renaissance palace at Hradcany Square, Prague .

The three-wing building was a large fire at the Castle in 1541 rebuilt according to original Vlach Augustine Agostino Gallo) for the Czech noble family Lobkowice in the years 1545 - 1567 as a town residence . As one of the first buildings in Prague was built in the style of the Italian Renaissance . The walls are decorated with black graffiti and giving the impression that the regular natural stone masonry (the diamond) in a special form výstupkovitého block . The staircase shields is rich figural decoration. Also inside the building are preserved ceiling paintings from around 1580 .

I visited the museum here and viewed a collection of baroque scupture and painting that was awe inspiring. More to follow.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Petřín Lookout Tower

The Petřín Lookout Tower (Czech: Petřínská rozhledna) is a 60 metre high steel framework tower in Prague, which strongly resembles the Eiffel Tower. Although it is much shorter than the Eiffel Tower, it stands atop a sizable hill, Petřín, so the top is actually at a higher altitude than that of the Eiffel Tower. The Petřínská rozhledna was built in 1891 and was used as an observation tower as well as a transmission tower.

When I climbed the tower, it was a fantastically clear day providing some decent skyline photos. Prague is unquestionably one of the most beautiful cities in the world.
In 1889, members of The Club of Czech Tourists visited world exposition in Paris and were inspired by the Eiffel Tower. Later, they collected a sufficient amount of money and in March, 1891 the building of the tower started for the General Land Centennial Exhibition (1891). It was finished in only 4 months.

In 1953 on Petřínská rozhledna a TV broadcasting antenna was installed, whereby the program feed was performed by a directional radio antenna. This served as Prague's main TV signal provider until the opening of the Žižkov Television Tower in late 1992.  Žižkov is due west from Petřín.  In 1999, the tower was completely renovated.