In the past water helped castles and châteaux defend against enemies, today it makes them beautiful and highlights the architecture of past centuries. At some places they are happy to give you a boat ride, at others you can search out the best shots of the building and its reflection from the shore. Where to go on a trip to castles and châteaux when you are tempted to see Czech sights out of the water?
Blatná Water ChâteauBlatná Water Château in South Bohemia near Strakonice is one of the most visited sights built on the water. The château is dominated by the White Tower, which is reflected from a distance on the surface of the château pond. Château tours, which are possible from April to October, include visits to historic interiors. These are furnished by the family collections of the Hildprandts, who have owned the château for several centuries. Around the château there is an English park connected with a game park, where a herd of spotted fallow deer live. Enjoy boat rides along the château pond, carriage rides, fallow deer feeding or a simple walk through the park.
Červená Lhota ChâteauAnother well-preserved water manor house is the South Bohemian château Červená Lhota near Jindřichův Hradec. It is a smaller, but all the more distinctive château built on a rock above the pond. Again, there is an opportunity to rent a boat and ride along the château pond. But you should not miss interior tours either. You can see the period interiors of the Schönburg-Hartenstein princes in the form they took after 1910, when the last reconstruction of the château was completed.
Kratochvíle ChâteauA Renaissance gem among ponds in South Bohemia. A whim that brought a breath-taking result. This is a brief description of Kratochvíle Château, a picturesque manor house with an equestrian centre, surrounded by forests, ponds, alleys and pastures near České Budějovice. The hunting renaissance summer house from the 16th century in the style of an Italian villa is surrounded by a moat and a Renaissance garden. During the tour you can see the original Renaissance interiors with mannerist paintings and rich figural stucco decoration, where hunting, musical, cultural and social delights of aristocratic owners took place at the end of the turn of the 16th and 17th centuries. The name Kratochvíle in Czech means “to pass the time”. And that is exactly what the château was designed for. The water around the château only completes the summer atmosphere of well-being and happiness that the owners had here.
Švihov CastleOne of the largest medieval buildings in the Czech Republic built on the water is the Švihov Water Castle in West Bohemia. The castle was built at the turn of the 15th and 16th centuries on an artificial island and was protected by two moats. The moat is today used during the tourist season, when you can ride a rowboat and enjoy the unusual views of the massive walls and tall towers. The castle also offers special tours for children, including a route dedicated to the most famous Czech fairy tale Three Nuts for Cinderella.
Český Šternberk CastleThe massive medieval castle of Český Šternberk proudly stands out above the Sázava River in Central Bohemia. It is one of the oldest still-standing castles in Bohemia and is interestingly still owned by the aristocratic Sternberg family, which founded it in 1241. The castle retains its Gothic appearance, but the interiors have been converted into a château over the years. The castle has one tour route, which is located on the second floor of the castle and includes 15 richly furnished rooms. The other floors are used as living quarters of the Sternberg family. There is a great view of the romantic bends of the Sázava River from the castle. It is also a popular waterway that offers the opportunity to sail down river.
Lednice Château with Dyje meandersThe South Moravian Lednice Château, together with the family seat in Valtice, is part of the landscape experiment of the princely Lichteinstein family. Although the château itself does not include any water area, there is more than enough water in its vicinity. The château is surrounded by an extensive park with meanders of the Dyje, billabongs, ponds and other water bodies. You can take a boat ride in the park or just shorten your trip to other sights.
You can ride a boat through the château park and the natural floodplain forest. The meanders of the old Dyje emit a slightly mysterious impression. At the same time, you have the opportunity to get to know the nature of South Moravia in a way that you would otherwise be unable to do, and maybe spot beavers or grey herons during the voyage!