The best way to get to know the fairytale beauty of the historical centre of Český Krumlov is to walk around its picturesque narrow lanes, take in the multicoloured facades of the town houses, wander into the traditional little shops or visit one of the many cultural events. Only in this way will you get to know this town, which was the seat of the Rožmberk Family, who chose Český Krumlov as their residence. The Rožmberks were one of the wealthiest families in the kingdom and gradually took control of a significant part of Southern Bohemia, where under the influence of the Italian Renaissance they intensively established towns and representative residences, thus contributing towards the advancement of the whole region.
The town name was first mentioned in a letter of Duke Otokar Štýrský in 1253. The town was established essentially in two stages. The first part was built spontaneously below the Krumlov castle, called Latrán and settled mostly by people who had some administrative connection with the castle.
The second part of the town was founded as a typical settlement on a "green meadow", i.e. in a place where no previous settlement had been. The town subsequently took shape as a typical colonisation ground plan with a quadratic square in the centre with streets from its corners leading to the town walls. This part of the town and its first Magistrate Šipota were first mentioned in 1274. Since the very beginning of the town both Czech and German nationalities were represented, occasionally even Italian.
The State Castle and Chateau of Český Krumlov, which was included to the list of UNESCO World Cultural Heritage Monuments in 1992, ranks among the most important European sights. More than 300.000 visitors can visit its most important historical interiors, from the 16th, 18th and 19th centuries, and exteriors, during the tourist season (April - October).
The whole castle complex can be passed through and is open to the public The exterior tour shows a complex of forty richly decorated Renaissance and Baroque buildings and palaces, creating an impressive noble residence, situated around five castle courts.
The castle houses the Český Krumlov Baroque Theatre, which is situated on the Vth Castle Courtyard. It is one of the world's most completely preserved Baroque theatres with its original theatre building, auditorium, orchestra pit, stage, stage technology, machinery, coulisses (stage curtains), librettos, costumes etc.