- CESKÝ KRUMLOV Part 4 -

Castle Tower

LINKS to other pages in the Ceský Krumlov site and to the Colin Day Travelling Days series:

1 : Town and Square
2 : St Vitus Church
3 : Minorite Monastery
4 : Castle Tower
5 : Castle and Grounds
6 : Journey from Ceský Krumlov
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A walk through the town passing a number of toy shops. The significance of the 'teddy' bear (below) will be revealed when we pass into the castle site !

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The Castle Tower is a rounded six-storied structure, 54.5 metres high, and visible from most parts of the town. The facade is extensively decorated - the picture below (reproduced with acknowledgement to the official Ceský Krumlov website) is a detail from the tower tambour above the viewing gallery.CeskyTownView16.jpg The lowest part of the tower (the first two storeys) is quite wide and separated from the upper part of the tower by a cornice which has the original ceilings dating from the 1580's.

The ceiling above the third floor is of a simple joist sonstruction and the room is lit by both porthole and simple windows (left). The belfry (visible in the left hand picture with its larger porthole and arched windows) is on the fourth floor, where four bells are set onto a wooden supporting structure.

The fifth storey is an arcaded barrel-vaulted gallery which affords extensive viewa over the town and surrounding countryside. The gallery is reached by means of 162 steps (below right). A room containing the clock is situated on the sixth floor and is lit by small rounded windows. On the top of the tower is a lantern with bells.

CeskyCastle12.jpg The origins of tower are partly Gothic and partly Renaissance. The tower as well as the Little Castle is a segment of a structure dating from the first half of the 13th century. The oldest part of it is the ground floor and first floor.

The origin of the second floor is around the 14th century, while the third floor is part of the Renaissance belfry. We cannot discount the possibility of there having been a Gothic belfry, however, since two of the bells date from 1406.

Under the architect Baldassare Maggi of Arogno, the castle was remodelled and converted from a plain Gothic palace into a Renaissance residence, and the tower was provided with an arcaded gallery at the top in 1581. In 1590 the tower was decorated with mural paintings and figural and architectural motifs by Bartolomej Beránek - Jelínek. In 1947 an ambitious reconstruction of the tower was performed and from 1994 to 1996 the paintings and murals underwent restoration.

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Two of the four bells contained on the fifth floor of the tower.

The largest bells are 1800 kg and 1400 kg in weight and were cast in 1406 and 1671 respectively. The other two are 410 kg and 75 kg cast in 1406 and 1744.

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The final steps to the gallery (right) and a view over the town and Vltava River (below).


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St Vitus Church on the perimeter of the old town (right).

Part of the new town and surrounding countryside may be seen in the far distance.

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Views of the main part of the castle are shown in the pictures below........


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The entrance to the castle is via a bridge over a moat in which guardian bears are to be found (right).
The next page takes us into the main part of the castle and castle grounds.


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