Velhartice in Šumava is a place where you can daydream and imagine that you have travelled several centuries back in time. The area contains the ruins of a medieval castle, a tower, a medieval stone bridge, a Renaissance château, and there is also a group of rural houses from the surrounding countryside in front of the castle. The area is open to the public and, if you get thirsty, you can refresh yourself in the castle brewery!
A Šumava family fortressThe castle in Pošumaví between the town of Klatovy and the Šumava Mountains was founded at the turn of the 14th century as a seat of an old and powerful family. Its members belonged to the Bohemian royal court and they were the king’s chamberlains. During the 17th century, the owners at that time built a Renaissance wing that you can now tour. The castle gradually became dilapidated and the repairs did not start until the end of the 20th century when it was acquired by the state.
Not only a castle tourThe castle is open to the public during the tourist season. The oldest Gothic part of the area was in ruins but the castle keepers managed to conserve the ruins enough to be able to include it in the tour. The tour presents the construction history of the castle, a water tank, basement, the former palace interiors, a view from the large stone bridge and the Putna defence tower. The Renaissance part of the tour allows guests to peek into the life of a noble family in the foothills of Šumava in the 17th century. The castle brewery is another building that you should not miss. The authentic space of the medieval brewery now hosts a restaurant that offers traditional Šumava cuisine and local products. The outer bailey is a specific feature of Velhartice Castle. There, you will find the true rural architecture of Šumava in the open air museum. It is open to the public and in summer, at the beginning of July, there is a popular craft market there.
What to see nearbyYou won’t get bored around Velhartice. There are other interesting castles nearby in the beautiful Šumava countryside. For example, Rabí Castle, which is the largest castle ruin in Bohemia, or Kašperk. The latter is the highest royal castle in the Czech Republic. But if you don’t want to just travel from castle to castle, visit nearby Hartmanice. The local synagogue, recently restored, is an interesting exhibition space.