My name is Oto Šrámek, I am a civil engineer and great admirer of Medieval architecture. I speak fluent English and Japanese. As a guide since 1992, I have had the honour to show our town's unusual beauty to the Swedish king and both the Irish and Latvian presidents, various official and state visitors, and professional architects from around the world. Dozens of foreign visitors to Český Krumlov listen to my text every day in the earphones of the automated Audioguide tours. If you would like to let yourself be carried away for a while by the beauty of Medieval architecture and hear some of Krumlov's oldest tales, let me invite you for a walk with me through the town.
Don't let the architecture intimidate you
Český Krumlov is known as a living textbook of Medieval architecture. Don't worry, your guide won't wear you down with a detailed breakdown of petty differences between Neo-gothic and Pseudo-gothic - instead, you'll quickly learn how to recognize the difference between the basic architectural styles with plenty of live examples. The town square seems to have been built for just this purpose
REVIVAL OF CESKY KRUMLOV
Centuries ago, the small Southern Bohemian town of Cesky Krumlov was considered to be the second most important, political and culture centre in Czech Kingdom. Krumlov´s rulers-the lords of Rozmberk aspirated for title of Czech kings, and enriched the original medieval town with many extremly valuable Rennaissance houses, they rebuilt the dark gothic castle into the magnifficant chateux worthy theirs´ ambitions and the Rozmberks´ court of Krumlov was one of the important centers of political life in Europe. Krumlov became a strong and unwelcomed opposition to capital city - Prague. But the history didn´t allow the Rozmberks to fullfill theirs´ royal ambitions. At the same beggining of 17th century, just at the moment of the biggest bloom of the town and castle of Krumlov, the most powerful Czech nobles suddenly disappeared from the Earth. With theirs´ departure the magnificent town of Cesky Krumlov was slowly falling asleep. The town was sleeping for almost four centuries. Sometimes it woke up for a moment, under the rule of Eggenberks of Schwarzenberks, but the fall of its prosperity was unavoidable. During the communistic regime in former Czechoslovak Socialistic Republic, Krumlov was, as Czechs often say: The town forgotten by god. Only the most necessary maintenance was being done and all those valuable medieval buildings were allowed gradually to detiorate. With the fall of communistic regime in Czech Republic, the town of Cesky Krumlov suddenly woke up. Extremely tremendous and expensive work of numerous restorations and renovations began. It took more than 20 years and all the historic town has got quite a new face. The most important fact is, that the town has perserved its historical authenticity. People working at the field of care for historical monuments made the houses´ owners to follow very strict rules during the restauration process to perserve as much autenticity as possible. They succedeed. Todays visitors can enjoy a great nubmer of very carefully restored buildings, facades decorated with original sgrafifti or wallpaintigs. These walpaintings often look partly uncompleted with many blind spaces as the originals have not completely been preserved till nowdays and so it is more historic to leave these parts of pictures blind forever. This the way how the town tries to preserve its medieval value. Krumlov boasts with with many well preserved Renaissance houses, pictoresque gothic lanes and refreshed baroque facades. And just like in history the town of Krumlov is competing to Prague, this time on the field of tourism. Visitors coming to Krumlov have feeling as have moved bakwards in time to the 16th century. They can admire a well preserved town´s historic core in its complexity and almost noting new obstructs the feeling of Middle Ages. Thanks to its many preserved historical buildings the town of Krumlov is often called a Pearl of medieval architecture. But it is not only a question of architecture, the town also has its medieval spirit. It is set in beautiful countryside, and with its 13.000 inhabitants, being far away from commerce and frenetic life it seems to be charming, quite and peaceful place. On the other hand, Krumlov was just recently discovered by tourists. Number of visitor is rapidly increasing and last year more than 2 millions of visitors from all the world came to Krumlov to admire its beautiful architecture. Towns officers also want to attract the visitors and offer them many musical festivals, new museums and other attractionst. Thanks to its advantegous position between two UNESCO towns Viena and Praha, the town of Cesky Krumlov quickly became a popular UNESCO lunch stop for a plenty people from Asia. We can say that the town of Krumlov is emerging from the darkness of forgotten history and again, just like in the 16th century enjoyes its great REVIVAL. Just to play with words, Krumlov owes its current popularity thanks to its many well preserved genuine examples of Renaissance architecture and the name Renaissance in English means REVIVAL . So the town of Cesky Krumlov lives its Revival of Revival now. Lets hope the history will not rehearse again and this beautiful town won´t become a forgotten one again.
written by Oto Sramek, owner of OTOSAN LTD.