Český Krumlov: A Guide for Handicapped and Other Visitors - The Castle Route - topimage

Český Krumlov: A Guide for Handicapped and Other Visitors - The Castle Route


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The Castle Route

Nobles at the 2nd Courtyard of Český Krumlov Castle, foto: Lubor Mrázek The Castle Route (The Castle stairs, 1st Courtyard entrance, the Red Gate entrance from the Latrán Street, the 1st courtyard – formerly called the Animal Run, the Internet Café, UNIOS Tourist Information Office, barrier-free public toilets, Fast Food outlets, the Salt House, Doxa Gallery, the Lapidary, the Round House, the Jelení Garden gate, a path from the Jelení Garden leading up to the 5th Courtyard, a junction of the Baroque Theatre, Castle Gardens and Riding Hall directions, a bridge over the Bear Moat, a passage to the 2nd Courtyard, the Little Castle and Tower, the Court Mint - the Castle Booking Office, Museum Shop, a barrier-free toilet, the Court Dairy, a steep pathway to the 3rd Courtyard passage, the 3rd Courtyard, Guided Tour 2 : Starting/exit point, Guided Tour 1 : Starting point, a passage to 4th Courtyard, 4th Courtyard, Guided Tour 1 : Exit point, WC, a passage to the 5th Courtyard, the Wenceslas Cellars, the Plášťový Bridge, the Baroque Theatre, the Iron Gate)

This Route can be followed in both directions depending on what an individual visitor prefers – either to ascend or descend. Exceptions can be made in respect to coming to the Castle by a car. It is necessary to apply for a permission with the Castle Administration Office, which issues the permission to access NO Entry areas. No special permission is required when using the car park in the 1st Courtyard after the Internet Café (Parking places for the disabled available) providing a disabled person is transported in a car and a disability logo is made to be visible.

The 1st Courtyard is accessible by walk either from the Castle stairs (+ 50 steps, no railing) or from the Latrán Street through the Red Gate, in which close proximity there are two parking places for the disabled (A steep slope, a cobbled pavement). Another solution is to enter the Courtyard and park a car in places for the disabled after the Internet Café on the right hand side. The main communication and prevailing area of the 1st Courtyard decline eastwards, the bottom part is cobbled and the rest has rolled and sandy surface. When standing at the gate, on the right there is the Internet Café, formerly the Salt House, UNIOS Tourist Information Office (An entrance door area – a cobbled drainage, uneven surface, +3 steps, no railings, a standard toilet, barrier-free Internet facilities) and a garden style Coffee Shop.

A Short Break at the Terrace of the Internet Café - the 1st Courtyard of Český Krumlov Castle, foto: Lubor Mrázek Public Toilets are situated on the left of the Red Gate, a barrier-free WC is provided, and it is accessible from the courtyard across a cobbled drainage (Cobblestones, assistance to people in a wheelchair necessary).

On the left hand side of the courtyard there are the Column Hall, which accommodates Doxa Gallery (A particularly uneven pavement +1, -2 steps) and the Castle stairs. Behind the fountain and benches there are two Fast Food outlets that are surmounted by trees (Barrier-free access or +1 step). The courtyard surface is rolled and sandy on the left hand side, first slightly declining and then flat. The Castle Lapidary is easily accessible and therefore worthy to visit. There is a permanent exhibition of originals of Baroque-style sculptures open to public (A gradual slope, large cobbles at entrance door, barrier free access, interiors have even floor – stone slabs). There is also a passage to a traditionally furbished place called Šatlava (Access: +3 -2 steps). On the right, just in the end of this area you can find a gate to the Jelení Garden (A gradual descent, a bumpy pavement, -2 steps, an uneven step access platform, a gradually sloping footpath further changes into an asphalt path).

The Jelení Garden – an even asphalt pathway (flat - asphalt) Pass the information board and cross the Jelení Garden Route, then follow the Hradní Lane along the Polečnice stream with a view of the parking lot for cars and coaches. Get to the Chvalšinská Street and make a sharp turn to left and continue further up around garages towards the Na dlouhé zdi Lane (Expect quite a long journey up the hill – asphalt surface), which takes you to a junction by the 5th Courtyard and to the Iron Gate. At this spot there are several parking places – but no disabled parking available.

A Visit to the Castle Lapidary in Český Krumlov, foto: Lubor Mrázek

At this point, a road splits into three directions. Starting from the right, the first one reverses back and climbs up the hill towards the Riding Hall (Accessible by a car – disabled parking next to the entrance), the second from right follows the Castle Gardens wall up to their entrance gate. The third direction is the one to follow if you wish to reach the Castle. It turns left to the 5th Courtyard and leads through the Iron Gate. From now on, the Castle Tour may start. You can set from the 5th Courtyard and continue down, pass the other courtyards towards the 1st Courtyard.

But our routing follows a traditional tour to the Castle, which starts in the 1st Courtyard and leads cross the Bear Moat – live bears are bred here (The bridge walls are 1m high including the top grill, large cobblestones), and through a passage to the 2nd Courtyard (Large cobblestones).

The 2nd Courtyard is barrier-free and even, there are cobblestone pavements on four sides and in the centre, the rest of surface is made of rolled sand. On the left, in the southeast corner there is the entrance to the Little Castle and Tower (54.5 m high, +162 steps, a spiral staircase, rope railings in some places, 3x lowered passage - app. 1.6m, 1x contracted passage - app. 0.60 m). Next to the Tower there is the Court Mint – the Castle Booking Office, Information Board, Museum Gift Shop, WC (Barrier-free, a key is available in the booking office). The building of the New Burgrave’s House limits the Courtyard from east and south and continues as the Dairy (A ground floor restaurant, a garden restaurant +1 step, access -5 steps, on the first floor - the Gallery of Bohemian Culture, access from outside/slope +10 steps). Westwards there is a steep connecting path leading towards a passageway to the 3rd Courtyard (A steep slope, cobbled pavement, 1.40 to 1.80 m high wall, the Court Mint direction – a window protected with the bar, a viewpoint of the town). The passage to the 3rd Courtyard – Prepare for overcoming a steep slope of the wooden flooring (People in wheelchairs need assistance, flooring made of wooden boards, which are laid crosswise), do not miss a splendid viewpoint in the midway between the 2nd and 3rd Courtyard.

The Castle Information System in Český Krumlov - the 1st Courtyard, foto: Lubor Mrázek

The 3rd Courtyard (Cobblestone pavements, stone slabs on sides) In the southwest corner of the 3rd Courtyard there is the starting point of Guided Tour 1 to the Castle interiors. (Guided Tour 1:The entrance hall +1 + 1+ 13 +9, the Court Chapel +3 +1 +5, the Renaissance style chambers: + door step +2 +12 +12, the Baroque style suites: the Eggenberg Hall, bedrooms, Dinning Hall, Picture Gallery; -1 -25 -1-13 the Hall of masques -9 -10 steps).

In the northwest corner of the 3rd Courtyard find the starting/exit point of Guided Tour 2 (Guided Tour 2: A visit to the Schwarzenberg Gallery; the early 19th century interiors: the Music Room, bedrooms, the interiors of the late 19th century: the Lounge, the Little Dining Hall, the Princess Eleonora’s Suite) The passageway between 3rd and 4th Courtyard - Cobblestone pavements, a quite steep descent, Gift Shop - 5 steps.

Shopping in the Gift Shop - the 2nd Courtyard of Český Krumlov Castle, foto: Lubor Mrázek

In the northeast corner of the 4th Courtyard (Granite slabs) find the exit point of Guided Tour 1, Souvenir Exclusive gift shop and Public Toilets (Standard amenities - the entrance door is 0.62 m wide, toilet stalls width – 0.6 m).

The passageway between the 4th Courtyard and Plášťový Bridge: Start with overcoming a crosswise granite gutter – people in wheelchairs need assistance, then continue on an uneven pavement, a westward descent, the entrance to the Wenceslas Cellars is on your right. You can find there a permanent exhibition called the International Exhibition of Ceramic Design (Access: A spiral staircase (45°), -10 -5 -10 +3 , tilly, stone and wooden steps, in some places either uneven paving or hard clay, a labyrinth of ascending and descending corridors)

The Plášťový Bridge (A highly uneven pavement, a crosswise granite gutter with a longitudinal drainage). There are protecting walls (1 m high) with statues on both sides, a viewpoint of the town in a southward direction and the Jelení Garden northwards.

A Strategic Meeting with Guides at the 2nd Courtyard of Český Krumlov Castle, foto: Lubor Mrázek The 5th Courtyard (An uneven pavement, a drainage by the southern wall with windows - a viewpoint - rolled sand prevails, sloping eastwards) The Court Baroque Theatre – The pearl of Český Krumlov (Side entrance: +2 steps, for people in wheelchairs - an auditorium is accessible only). The Renaissance style house and the Iron Gate close the 5th Courtyard in the west.

A junction after the 5th Courtyard a) Turn right down the hill around the Renaissance style house following the Na dlouhé zdi Lane and enter the Chvalšinská Road heading towards the Jelení Garden. You can also take a short cut to the Jelení Garden by climbing down U Prachárny path, but mind there are many steps and a steep descent. b) Turn right up the hill towards the former Winter Riding Hall. Nowadays, it is an ideal venue for public events - a conference/music hall (Access: 1/2 entrance door - 0.65 m wide, -4 steps, a standard toilet on the 1st floor, a spiral staircase). The Castle Gardens are accessible from the Riding Hall.


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