Once upon a time in the 13th century, along a strange little crook in the Vltava River, a prince began a castle along an important trade route in Bohemia. The route was lost with the coming of the New World, and the town became obscured from the world. But in a strange fate in 1938, it was annexed to Nazi Germany as part of Sudetenland. The Czech speakers were expelled for other parts. Following liberation after WWII, the German speakers were expelled, and the lovely town was restored to Czechoslovakia.
During the Communist era of Czechoslovakia, Krumlov fell into disrepair. Overrun by gypsies, it is said, but not exactly a fate worse than death. Frozen in time until the Velvet Revolution of 1989, it was “rediscovered” and its splendor restored. Old Český Krumlov was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The rest, is tourist history. Each image a postcard.
On Good Friday, I stood inside St. Vitus church, watching and photographing as locals came in for an afternoon prayer on this holy day, as they set off to go home. The coldness of the church made me think of what it must be like to sit through a mass here, or worse, what was it like for the populace, several centuries earlier in the real cold of winter. Ah, faith.
For any of you art fags, who have the dire need to visit a museum, there is the Egon Schiele Gallery in this little town as you first arrive. I, myself, was a little too frozen that day, as I had been to the Leopold the day before. But it still looked neat, even if Frommer’s or someone did not give it a big thumbs up.