Cesky Krumlov Castle – Ghost Stories, Bears, Unique Architecture13 August, 2009
One of the key attraction in Český Krumlov is its Castle. This castle is the second largest in Czech Republic after the Hradčany castle complex of Prague. This is quite unusual considering the size of Krumlov town. It was said that in order to enhance their status in the Czech royal court, the royalty in Cesky Krumlov had built its own castle to closely emulate the Prague castle e.g. Castle Steps and Church of Saint Vitus.
The walls in the castle ground looked as if they were wallpapered – with brick-like designs. However, they are not – the designs were carved into the wall using a Renaissance era architecture technique – sgraffito (which I will elaborate more on in a later post about our night tour of Cesky Krumlov).
The Český Krumlov castle complex is the main tourist attraction in town. There are many ways to explore the castle. Walking about the castle complex admiring the unique architecture (see above picture) and having a picnic at the Castle Gardens is free. The interior of the castle is only accessible via a 55-minute guided tour and Tour I (there are 2 tours) comes highly recommended by various travel forums.
One thing to note is that the Castle interiors are closed on Mondays – so plan your trip to take this into account.
No photography is allowed in the castle interior. Our guide had a very strong accent that was quite difficult to understand. The best thing about this tour was the stunning soprano performance that the guide gave in the last part of the tour, to demonstrate the acoustics of the ballroom.
As with most places with long histories, they are bound to be ghost stories in Cesky Krumlov castle. One of the most famous one shared by the guide was the story of White Lady von Rosenberg.
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Perchta von Rosenberg, known as the White Lady, lived in the Český Krumlov castle in the 15th century. She was married as part of a matchmaking arrangement, to the Moravian lord Johann von Lichtenstein who treated her badly throughout their marriage life. When Johann was dying, he tried to ask her for forgiveness for what he had done throughout the years. However, she refused and was thus cursed by her husband to roam the Cesky Krumlov castles forever.
Since then, the soul of the White Lady von Rosenberg roamed this castle ground and tends to appear before significant events. White gloves on her hand bear good tidings, whereas black gloves are a sign of impending disaster.
One other attraction of the Krumlov Castle is the Bear Moat, where the famous Krumlov bears walk about lazily. Bears had been kept in the castle since the 16th century as they are the symbol of the Rosenbergs family who ruled Cesky Krumlov back then.