The Šumava mountain range stretches across south and west Bohemia, roughly a two hours’ drive by car from Prague. Although, it is a totally different world. A world of deep forests, ancient towns and medieval castles. The three most significant Šumava castles, situated in close proximity, are called the Šumava castle trio (Šumavské trojhradí). They include Velhartice, Kašperk and Rabí castles. And which of them is the most beautiful? That is up to you to decide. Will it be the massive Rabí ruins? Or Kašperk, the highest-located royal castle in Bohemian territory? Or Velhartice Castle, with its unique stone bridge?
Kašperk CastleWhen you set out to reach Kašperk Castle on foot from the nearby town of Kašperské Hory, you’ll discover that it is rightly referred to as the highest-located royal castle in Bohemia. It is situated at an elevation of 886 metres above sea level, and you should brace yourselves for a long ascent. From Kašperk you will surely have one of the best views of the entire Šumava Mountains with their round hills and long valleys. Of the entire castle trio, Kašperk offers the broadest range of tours, starting with a classic guided tour that will present the everyday life of a medieval castle, via a tour dedicated to the construction of the medieval castle up to interactive tours for children.
Velhartice CastleVelhartice is located just a short way from Sušice at the foothills of the Šumava Mountains, and it is well-prepared for those visiting it during the tourist season. A tour route will take you deep into the Middle Ages, during which you will visit the cellars with the castle well, the interiors of the Paradise Palace (Rajský palác) built in the Gothic style, the Putna defence tower as well as a unique stone bridge that connects them. In addition, there is a Renaissance palace and a former castle brewery with a restaurant as well. You can combine a visit to the castle with a walk, for example, past the open-air museum in the settlement around the castle. You will see historic folk houses typical of this area that were transported here from nearby villages.
Rabí CastleLocated just a few miles from Velhartice are the largest Czech castle ruins – Rabí Castle. It is termed the King of Czech castles. The medieval castle played an important role in the past. It protected a trade route and once rich gold panning sites on the Šumavan Otava River. The castle was often the target of attacks because of this, which is also the reason why it had such massive ramparts. They are roughly 3 km long in total. Only a fragment of the castle has survived to this day, and its tours now lead through the spaces of the former palace, cellars and castle tower.
Other places worth visitingThe castle trio lies at the foothills of the Šumava Mountains, and that’s why almost all visitors’ trips lead to the heart of the Šumava National Park – to the environs of Kvilda, Modrava, Srní and other small villages situated in the heart of wildlife. Šumava’s moderate relief is ideal for bike trips. Even less proficient sportspeople will find paths that take them through the lovely countryside and, at the same time, ensure they have enough energy in the evening to sample beer from some of the Šumava breweries.
Sumava Castle Trio