Strakonice is a county seat city near the Šumava Mountains located on the confluence of the Otava and Volyňka Rivers – it was formed in the 12th century by joining four smaller villages. In the 13th century, the Bavor family founded a fortified castle on a convenient location on the confluence of both rivers and devoted part of it to the Johannite Order (Knights of Malta) in 1243. This order was active in Strakonice for over 700 years, and their symbol (Bavarian bullet and Maltese cross) is still visible on the municipal flag today. Part of the castle is the well-known cylindrical tower with its edge, known as Rumpál, where the Museum of the Central Otava Region is today. The textile industry began to develop in the city from the beginning of the 18th century, and the celebrated tradition of producing fez hats began here in 1812. The Česká Zbrojovka (ČZ) factory was founded here in 1919, which in the 1950’s and 60’s became known for its motorcycle production. Strakonice has been the site of a famous bagpipe festival every two years since 1967.
This is a town on the confluence of several creeks which form the Lomnice River. It was likely named after the many swamps (blaty) in the surrounding valley. The first written mention that refers to the local fortress is dated from 1235. Later the fortress was reconstructed into a smaller Gothic castle, later to be reconstructed into a representative aristocratic residence. Today, Blatná is one of the Czech Republic’s few well-preserved “water castles”. The castle’s typical dominant feature is its square tower with upper timbered floor.
The most important historical monument of this small town, first mentioned at the beginning of the 14th century, is its Baroque castle from the middle 17th century surrounded by a vast park. Štěkeň is where the “writer of Šumava” Karel Klostermann (1848–1923) lived out his last days; there is an educational trail leading around the town today that commemorates his life.
Volyně was first mentioned in 1190 as a royal township on the salt route. There are two main squares, Upper and Lower, reminiscent of the time when the town was divided into two areas. The first part is dominated by a richly decorated Renaissance town hall from
1501–1529 and a Marian Column from 1760. On the hilltop stands the Gothic Church of All Saints and a preserved Gothic fortress which now houses the municipal museum.
This town is mostly known for its fish cultivation (there has been a fishing school here since 1920). The town was founded in the late 13th century by Přemysl Otakar II and sided with the Hussites during the Hussite Wars. Vodňany experienced its greatest period of prosperity in the 15th century due to gold panning and fisheries. The town square bears an early Gothic Church of the Nativity of the Virgin Mary from the early 15th century; its decorations from repairs in the late 19th century are partially the work of Mikoláš Aleš.
It was first mentioned in the middle 13th century. Gold panning led to the town’s successful development and it eventually became an important centre of trade. It reached its greatest prosperity in the 16th century. A Gothic fortified castle was reconstructed into a Renaissance castle, later modified into Baroque style in the 17th century.
This is our most extensive medieval castle ruins. It was founded as a fortified castle in the 13th century. In the 14th and 15th centuries it boasted one of the strongest defense systems in the country. This is where the Hussite commander Jan Žižka lost his second eye. in 1421. The castle was abandoned at the beginning of the 18th century, salvage work began in the 1920’s.
It was named after the leading profession of its inhabitants whose livelihood was processing and trading linen.
At the end of World War II it formed the demarcation line between the American and Soviet Armies. The first mention of the town is from 1318.