Czech Republic trip Day 5 – 24 Nov 2012 – Cesky Krumlov Castle, The Czech-Krumlov Surreality art exhibition (International Art Gallery), towns of Telc and Trebic, Trebic basilica and Jewish Quarter (UNESCO sites).
It’s a question I was pondering while walking to the castle in Cesky Krumlov this morning. The castle and C. Krumlov is one of the most visited sites in the Czech Republic, for good reason – it’s a magnificent place. It’s also a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Was it really worth flying and driving all the way here just to see a castle? After all, it’s much easier to find it with the Google and look at photos online :). Well I found an interesting answer (for me) to that question today.
It wasn’t the castle itself – although that was quite spectacular. It was an art exhibition in the castle. Not on my itinerary, and I almost skipped it because I wanted to get to the next destination. But it looked kind of interesting and I thought a quick look won’t hurt. Two hours later I walked out, thinking that was one of the most fascinating things I’ve seen, although of course, often with art and music and stuff, what moves one person is garbage to the next.
The exhibition was partly about events in Czech history – mostly to do with German and Russian occupation – and about reflections of a personal nature from the artist. It was in the castle labyrinth of caves or dungeons which made it interesting. The artist had also written quite detailed descriptions of the thinking that went into his work, which I found fascinating to read. Anyway, that’s enough philisiph … phollifossil … phloppisocki … heavy thinking for today.
After visiting C. Krumlov, it got dark. I forgot how early the sun sets in Europe in winter. It also got foggy and I discovered a useful feature on my GPS. When you can’t see where the road goes, you can use the car position on the GPS. Bounced off a few cows, fences, trees before I got the hang of it though, but Czech rental cars seem to be reasonably robust.
Stopped in a place called Telc to find some cobblestones. All the spare cobblestones in the Czech Republic were delivered here in the 13th century (1234 I think) from which an enormous town square was built – large enough to be seen from the moon if you bring a good telescope. It’s a UNESCO World Heritage Site because of the cobblestones. There was also a chateau but the lights were off, a pond with some ducks, and an ice hockey match. So I’m still going with the cobblestones as the UNESCO thing. I continued through the dark foggy night … at 3:20 pm …
… To a place called Trebic. Which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Another one?? Well two or three it turns out – a Jewish cemetery, a Basilica, and a Jewish quarter old town. The hotel could also be on the UNESCO list for historic and well-preserved cheese and tomato toasted sandwiches.
Most of the time, you have to search for the UNESCO listed places. In Czech it’s the other way around. Everywhere is UNESCO listed by default, and there is a Czech Ministry of Removing Places from the UNESCO List.
847 – Pension in Cesky Crumlov where I stayed – great place, book it if you ever go there.
858 – Cesky Krumlov Castle
878 – Cesky Krumlov Castle grounds
912 – Cesky Krumlov Castle courtyard (one of several) view from tower
913 – Toy Cesky Krumlov Castle courtyard haha :).
922 – Cesky Krumlov Castle Tower
936 – Cesky Krumlov Castle inside
956 – Cesky Krumlov Castle bathroom. Now that’s a throne!
010 – Cesky Krumlov Castle
019 – Cesky Krumlov view from castle
065 – Art exhibition – “Suitcases” – represents a time when the Czechs expelled Germans after WWII. These were the Germans who were living in the border areas (Sudentenland) that Germany had annexed from Czechoslovakia before WWII.
136 – “Expulsion from Paradise” – also refers to that period of Czech German history after WWII when German residents were expelled. The yellow cross was a last minute addition by the artist before the first exhibition in 1998 (a yellow cross designates a tree to be removed or something). It was apparently politically controversial.
188 – another view of art display – the lamp post bases were fingers. There was a fingertip theme but I can’t remember why.
342 – C. Krumlov Castle
358 – View of C. Krumlov church from castle
361 – View of C. Krumlov and castle from castle viewing platform.
381 – C. Krumlov Castle garden.
405 – An abandoned (I think – it was darker than it looks in the photo and no lights were on anywhere) church in a field between towns. Important because unusually for a building in CZ, it’s not a UNESCO listed site – perhaps why it was abandoned.
413 – Telc town square
421 – Telc bridge, ducks, pond, chateau or church, and fog. One of them is the UNESCO site. Take your pick.
422 – Trebic UNESCO sites all together – Jewish quarter, basilica, and Jewish cemetery on the hill to the right.
445 – Trebic Jewish quarter
453 – U-Jelinku pub and hostel/hotel in the Jewish quarter – cool place to go for a beer.
457 – See? I’m not making it up about the UNESCO sites. Although I suppose I could have a sign and a paintbrush in the car to install in front of every place I visit haha – now you’ll never know ;)!
458 – Trebic lane to basilica
474 – Trebic basilica