The beginnings of Tábor are linked with the Kotnov fortified castle from the end of the 14th century. In 1420, the Hussites founded a town right near it named “Hradiště hory Tábor”. With the gradual completion of the town’s fortification walls, Tábor became the most fortified town in Central Europe. Part of these fortifications have remained preserved even today, as have some bastions. The most important monuments of this second-largest South Bohemian city are concentrated on Žižkovo náměstí (Žižka Square) – the dominant building is the Church of the Transfiguration of our Lord, and the late Gothic Town Hall is also architecturally very valuable. The town square is surrounded by burgher houses, mostly from the late 16th century. There is an intricate network of underground passages located beneath the entire historic centre of Tábor. The nearby Jordán fishpond, founded in 1492, is considered to be the oldest manmade reservoir in the country. Originally it provided the town with drinking water, but today is used for recreation.
Bechyně is located in the picturesque countryside at the confluence of the Lužnice River and Smutná Stream and was founded by King John of Luxembourg in 1325. The Bechyně Castle is privately owned but is still open to the public. Its interiors house an exhibition of the South Bohemian Aleš Art Gallery (mostly ceramics), a museum dedicated to the painter Vladimír Preclík, a Firefighter’s museum, and a Museum of Hiking, founded here in 2006. The town square is embellished with the Deacon Church of St. Matthew. A characteristic dominant feature of Bechyně, as well as its symbol, is the concrete bridge spanning the Lužnice valley since 1928; its bold arch set at 50 meters above the Lužnice River has earned it the nickname of the “Bechyně Rainbow”. The bridge serves for car, train, and pedestrian traffic.
This used to be a Rožmberk castle on a hill of the same name, founded in the late 13th century by Beneš of Choustník. This was a “double castle”, meaning that its castle walls held two palaces that belonged to two separate owners. Choustník was very thoroughly and very well fortified, which prevented it from being overtaken even during the fiercest times of the Hussite Wars. The castle has been listed as abandoned since the beginning of the 17th century. Its massive castle fortification walls have been preserved, as have its two square towers. The larger tower serves as a lookout tower for visitors.
This underground cave system was formed by water streams in crystalline limestone and amphibolites. It was discovered by accident in 1863 and made accessible in 1868 as the very first cave in the country. The accessible route extends for 220 meters, while the explored part of the cave is presently measured at 1200 meters. Stalactites and stalagmites are not abundant in the cave, but the coloured walls and ceilings are remarkable. The cave has been registered as a national natural monument since 1992.
These castle ruins are where the religious reformer Jan Hus lived from 1412 to 1414. After a fire in 1438, the castle fell into disrepair. It was gradually overtaken by natural growth and eventually became part of the terrain. At the beginning of the 20th century, the castle torso was dug up after ten years of hard work by the amateur archaeologist Jan Švehla.
This town’s history was strongly influenced by the Romanesque Premonstrate Monastery, founded probably in 1184. It is the oldest monastery in South Bohemia. The monastery complex holds other architectural monuments, such as the monastery basilica of the Visitation of the Virgin Mary, and the cemetery (originally parish) church of St. Giles (Sv. Jiljí).
The town square in the historic centre boasts two town halls, there is also a richly decorated synagogue built from 1914 to 1919. Masked processions have taken place in Milevsko since 1862, making it the location with the oldest Masopust (Carnival) tradition in South Bohemia.
The Renaissance castle from 1570–1603 was reconstructed in Baroque style in the early 18th century, then later modified in Classical style. The birth home of historian August Sedláček (1843–1926) holds an ethnographic museum today.
This town was first mentioned at the end of the 13th century. Its period of most significant growth is linked to the construction of a railway in 1869. Today, visitors to the town can admire the Church of St. Václav from 1357. In 1903, the Harrach family built the Strkov country house as their summer residence.
This is a town on the route between České Budějovice and Prague (E55 international highway). The town is known as the summer residence of the second Czechoslovak president Edvard Beneš, who is also buried here .
The first mention of Soběslav comes from the end of the 13th century, but the area itself has been settled since prehistoric times. Sobeslav gained township status in 1390. Its most prosperous period was the 16th century, when it became centre for the entire Rožmberk dominion. The town square boasts several Renaissance houses as well as a Renaissance town hall. The town’s dominant architectural feature is the Church of St. Peter and Paul from the 14th century.
This is a chain bridge over the Lužnice River between the villages of Stádlec and Dobřejice. It originally spanned the Vltava River near Podolsko, but when the Orlík Reservoir was created in 1960, the bridge was removed and later reassembled in its present location.
Today’s town was founded in 1943 on the confluence of the Lužnice and Nežárka Rivers by combining two independent settlements – Veselí nad Lužicí and Mezimostí nad Nežárkou. All that remains today of the second town is the train stop Veselí-Mezimostí. The settlement of Veselí was first mentioned in writing in 1259 as part of the Rožmberk dominion. It was granted township status by Charles IV in 1362 and became property of the Schwarzenbergs in 1660. The second settlement, Mezimostí, was first mentioned in the 14th century. In the 19th century, Mezimostí became one of the biggest train stations in the country and even had more inhabitants than Veselí. Most of the town’s architectural monuments today are located on the T. G. Masaryk Town Square. The town’s dominant architectural feature is the originally early Gothic parish Church of the Holy Cross, first mentioned in 1261. Its square tower was built in the 16th century. On the opposite side, the Renaissance Town Hall from 1579 decorates the town square as well as the Renaissance façade of the municipal museum, known as the Weis House with its rich sgraffito. Also notable is the Art Nouveau Sokolovna building from 1905.
On the northwest edge of the Třeboň Protected Landscape Area, in the midst of the green nature of South Bohemia, a vast sand dune stands out, a post–glacial dune measuring 60 × 80 meters and reaching heights of 6 meters. This nature reservation is home to botanically valuable xerophilous plants and rare species of insects – the area is not accessible to visitors, but there is a marked hiking trail leading nearby this locally–termed “desert”.
GPS: 49° 9‘34,26“N, 14° 42‘53,55“E
This is a left tributary of the Lužnice River over 20 km long. There is a deep romantic canyon created by the stream with many rock cliff formations before its confluence, about 1.5 km southwest of Bechyně. A marked hiking trail leads through the most impressive part of the valley.
GPS: 49°14‘57.021“N, 14°29‘22.896“E