Jaunts in South Eastern Bohemia



Jindřichův Hradec is a lovely Gothic and Renaissance town situated above Vajgar lake some 156 km south of Prague. It is dominated by the 16th century  Renaissance château. The château is both castle and palace and is the third largest in the country after those in Prague and Český Krumlov. It covers 3 hectares (7.4 acres) and contains 320 rooms. The district museum, which is in a Renaissance building nearby that was once the Jesuit seminary contains the Kryza, the largest mechanical Christmas manger scene in the world.

The  Column of the Most Holy Trinity (1768) is the dominant feature of the trapezoidal square in the historical centre. A lot of Gothic houses (from the end of the 14th century) and Renaissance houses (16th century) can be seen around the square. Most of them were reconstructed after the fire in 1801 Some of the hoses are decorated in beautiful Renaissance sgraffito depicting scenes from the bible.
The château of Červená Lhota lies about 20 kilometres north-west of Jindřichův Hradec. It stands at the middle of a lake on a rocky island. Originally a  Gothic castle it was rebuilt as a Renaissance château between 1542-1555  and rendered with red plaster in 1597 , from which it got its name Červená Lhota. The four-winged two-storey château, with a small courtyard in the center, occupies the whole rock and juts into the fishpond. A stone bridge, built in 1622, links the château with the banks of the pond, replacing the original drawbridge. The interiors have an extensive collection of historic furniture, tiled stoves, pictures, porcelain and other items. The southern edge of the fishpond is covered in thick forest, which forms a backdrop to the château.
 Landštejn. Southeast Bohemia's Landstejn Castle found south-east of Jindrichuv Hradec, close to the Czech - Moravian - Austrian border, remains one of the Czech Republic's most imposing structures. The famous Romanesque ruin, originally designed to protect Bohemia's frontiers as well as to guard an ancient trade route to Austria, was built in the early 13th century and was much fought over.
Slavonice is a town situated in the southwest of Moravia on the border with South Bohemia,, about a kilometre from the Austrian border with about 2,700 inhabitants.

The town has a traditional medieval renaissance city centre with Sgraffito covered buildings dating from the 14th to 16th centuries, the oldest dating to 1545. The Sgraffito are the second oldest in the Czech Republic, with older existing only in Prague from 1544. And in some of the houses the original medieval paintings are still preserved. The renaissance character of the town is due to a period of extreme wealth in the 14th to 16th century when Slavonice was an important town on the route from Prague to Vienna. When the route was relocated to the north, passing through Znojmo the town's source of wealth dried up and the town's architecture varied little after that. It is a time capsule.