Czech Republic

June 2015


Czech Republic

Czech Republic - A stupendous visit to many tiny towns with huge histories. Pics L->R: Vijgar Lake in Třeboň, Iron curtain and guard tower, Český Krumlov town square, Krýza 3D nativity scene, Schwarzenberg Tomb, Vltava Waterway, Farm home of Jewish artist Frantisek Nagl (1944 death camp victim), Telč (World Heritage Site), Český Krumlov.

My Czech Republic Path

My Czech Republic Path - All told I spent 2 weeks in the Czech Republic with a Sierra Club group. And let me make this perfectly clear - this was a stupendous trip with a perfect mix of sightseeing, day hikes, culture (often very sad because of the country's history from WWII and the iron curtain), great food (most of the time), excellent Czech beer (all of the time), the meeting of new friends, and the very best local guide I have ever had (thank you Laďa).

We started in Vienna (2 days), then traveled to Mikulov (2 days), to Vranov-Podyjí National Park (1 day), to Telč (2 days), to Jindřichův Hradec (1 day), to Třeboň (1 day), to Český Krumlov (2 days), and finally to Prague (2+ days). In Prague I spent 2 more days, 1 of those days being an emotional visit to Terezín, the site of a Nazi era concentration camp and transit hub to death camps.

Portrait of a Woman

Portrait of a Woman by Wolf Huber, 1522, viewed at the Kunsthistorisches Museum in Vienna, Austria.

The Prophetess Ana

The Prophetess Ana by Rembrandt, 1639, viewed at the Kunsthistorisches Museum in Vienna, Austria.

Silene vulgaris

Silene vulgaris, aka maidenspears.

Jewish Cemetery in Mikulov

Jewish Cemetery in Mikulov - The beginnings of the Jewish settlement in Mikulov dates back 650 years. Mikulov was closest place Jews could flee to after they were expelled from Vienna and Lower Austria in 1421 and then again in 1670. In Mikulov the local nobility welcomed the Jewish community and allowed it to prosper, thus growing into the largest Jewish community in Moravia. Here in Mikulov, the Jewish community has extraordinary burial grounds with Renaissance, Baroque, and Classicist gravestones. Of its 4,000 or so tombstones, the oldest legible dates are from 1605.

Agrostemma gracilis

Agrostemma gracilis

Iron Curtain & Guard Tower

Iron Curtain & Guard Tower - The Iron Curtain was the ideological conflict and physical boundary dividing Europe into two separate areas from the end of World War II in 1945 until the end of the Cold War in 1991. The term symbolized efforts by the Soviet Union to block itself and its satellite states from open contact with the west and non-Soviet-controlled areas. This picture is a remnant of the Iron Curtain, preserved as a reminder of those times. [source Wikipedia] [Google locale of photo]

Campanula patula

Campanula patula, aka Spreading Bellflower.

Vranov Chateau

Vranov Chateau, high on the hill, in the village of Telč.

Vranov Chateau

Vranov Chateau above the village of Telč. [For more information see Wikipedia]

Telc Street Art

Telc Street Art

Mysluvka Guardian

Mysluvka Guardian

Frantisek Moritz Nagl Farm Home

Frantisek Moritz Nagl Farm Home - Born May 28, 1889 to a Jewish family, he studied art in Prague and Vienna. After serving in WWI, injuring his shoulder, he took over his father's farm near Telč. There he married musician Vlasta Nettlovou. Much of this time he painted watercolor landscapes, and presumably stayed happy as a peasant farmer and painter. But as WWII approached, and being Jewish, he and his family were transported to the Terezín concentration camp, then later to Auschwitz where he and his family were murdered in 1944.

Much of his work might have been lost, but many were found in the bricked up attic of his farm home near Telč. Others were found hidden at Terezín along with the artworks of other Terezín concentration camp artists. While at Terezín, he painted watercolors documenting life at the concentration camp. More than 250 of his works of art survive. [Source Czech Wikipedia]


Telč, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Rostejn Castle Gnome

Rostejn Castle Gnome

Sierra Club Group

Sierra Club Group - Kneeling Left -> Right: Michael, Ethel, Anastasia, Herb, Bob, Tom. Standing: Alix, Glen, Fred, Madelaine, Jean, Nancy, Marissa, Sara, Lynn, Jerry. Train Conductor/Leader: Martha.

Jindrichuv Hradec Castle

Jindřichův Hradec Castle - Over seven centuries, the residence and the town (Třeboň) were owned by seven generations of the three leading aristocratic families. The Lords of Hradec, Slavatas and Černíns of Chudenice, who participated in shaping the fate of the entire country owing to their high political and social positions. The castle is now open to the public.

Reflection across the Vajgar

Reflection across the Vajgar in the town of Třeboň.

Dictamnus albus

Dictamnus albus, aka burning bush.

Krýza's Nativity Scene

Krýza's Crèche (Nativity Scene) - Tomáš Krýza (Krýzovy jesličky in Czech) created, what is now, a Guinness Book of World Records mechanical nativity scene. The device is located at the Muzeum Jindřichohradecka in Třeboň. Its entirety contains 1389 figures of humans and animals, of which 133 are moveable, and it stands 17 meters wide by 2 meters tall (55 x 6 feet). [source Wikipedia]

Schwarzenberg Tomb

Schwarzenberg Tomb - The Schwarzenberg family began to rule in the Třeboň Region in 1660. The inspiration to build a family tomb came from Eleanor Schwarzenberg, the wife of Jan Adolf Schwarzenberg II. Builder F.D. Dewortzky constructed the tomb between 1874 and 1877. It is a six-sided neo-gothic building with a beautiful tower and majestic double stairs surrounded by an English park.


Rafting - Many of our group choose a day of rafting down the Vltava from Čreský Krumlov to Zlatá Koruna. Rather, I choose a day of rabble rousing - someone had to take the pictures!

Vltava Waterway

Vltava Waterway in Čreský Krumlov.

Cesky Krumlov

Český Krumlov Castle tower (round Gothic in the background) and a smaller tower in the foreground. The Castle tower dates from the second half of the 13th century and was remodeled in Renaissance style in 1591. [source Guide to the Český Krumlov Castle Complex]

Cesky Krumlov Town Square

Český Krumlov Town Square

Cesky Krumlov

Český Krumlov as viewed from a walled porthole at the castle complex. Saint Vitus Church (circa 1407-1438) can be seen in the center background (the tall steeple).

Jan Halla Mural

Jan Halla Mural - The mural is on the wall of a building at the outskirts of Český Krumlov, see Google Street View.


Starbucks??? - Maybe not, but this artist's coffee-cup tree was along the trail by the River Sázava.


Spirit - More fun along the River Sázava. This section of the river was dotted with vacation homes, often with reasonable sized excavated fields to play ball. But bring a good pair of walking shoes as access was often limited by your own two feet.

Saint Vitus Cathedral Gate

Saint Vitus Cathedral Gate in Prague. Numerous bronze historic caricatures graced its entranceway gates.

Astronomical Clock

Astronomical Clock - Installed in 1410 in Prague, this medieval clock is the 3rd oldest in the world and oldest still working. It is composed of 3 main components: (i) The astronomical dial, representing the position of the Sun and Moon in the sky; (ii) The Walk of the Apostles, a clockwork hourly show of figures of the Apostles; and (iii) A calendar dial with medallions representing the months. [source Wikipedia]

Philadelphus coronarius

Philadelphus coronarius, aka Sweet Mock Orange. A wonderful bouquet of these flowers were found in prodigious bloom in Petřín City Park in Prague. And I do say the park was a pleasant place to relax and walk.