Where, oh where, is Cesky Krumlov? Repeating the word “where” is intentional, because this place has to be located twice, or once on the physical earth and again on a timeline it seems to defy. Two questions with homonyms for answers: Is it medieval? Answer: “Check!” … and is it in Europe? Answer: “Czech!”
Well-preserved medieval town of Cesky Krumlov in the Czech Republic, from the hill above, on the enveloping right arm of the castle grounds. The tower on the top left is also part of the castle, showing the great visual dominance of the castle over the town below. All sit on the banks of the Vltava River, the same which continues from here north to Prague.
A riverbank perspective of the Cesky Krumlov castle tower (pronounced “chessky croom-lofv”). The granite geology of the area provides support, and a closer look would reveal drawings of figures and scenes on the walls of the foreground building.
From a balcony over the river Vltava, which is briefly visible in the bottom center between the portion of lowest red rooftop and the awnings and pillars fronting the golden building along the embankment. The town’s square tower rises, only to be dwarfed by the cylinder of the castle’s own edifice. Next to Doug’s left elbow could be a satellite dish in the medieval Cesky Krumlov, or we shall declare it to be a knight’s shield, defending the rooftop!
Castle Tower viewed from the town of Cesky Krumlov, with ornate wall decor on both the building and the walls of the tower.
Religious statues abound in the Czech Republic, and all over Europe. This image is St. John of Nepomuk, a character we first encountered in Prague, where his statue dominates attention on the center of the legendary Charles Bridge. Here he is again, in Cesky Krumlov.
Early art conventions required that artwork bearing images of Christ have his head above the other figures. From a bridge of the river Vltava (“vul – tava”) Betsy has been true to that tradition. From this view it becomes clear that the castle was built in stages, with sections outwardly ranging from bare walls (center) that at their base have natural granite protrusions, to ornate decor on the right typical of the post-renaissance Baroque period, to the left side of the photo, where modern-looking white walls rise to a roof not made of the popular red tile that dominates most canopies of the old town area.
This view returns to the scene of Old Town Cesky Krumlov as seen from the castle grounds above, to compare with the following, more artistic view from the camera’s eye.
This “painted” view artistically shows the medieval town and surrounding countryside in an artistic manner created by a setting on Doug’s Nikon P7700 camera. He likes it and wanted to share it.
With focus on Old Town and the castle in Cesky Krumlov, it might be easy to miss the modern artifacts of high-rise housing and a smokestack on the horizon, but Betsy captured those things in the distance. “Actual people,” that are the residents of Cesky Krumlov have left the city center of Old Town to the tourist traffic that brings the area its income.
As we depart Cesky Krumlov, we observe the narrow cobblestone lanes in Old Town that barely leave room for an auto to pass. A particular side street provides a last glimpse of the castle tower.
We board ship in the evening, treated to something of a light show as the walls of a local contemporary art museum come alive bathed in blue. We are, after all, now afloat on the famous “BLUE Danube.”