This is also why the historic centre was declared an Urban Conservation Area in 1981. The town’s importance in history was significantly influenced by one of the most important old roads of the region – Golden Path, connecting Bohemia with Bavaria, which crossed the Šumava primeval forest. It was especially in the Middle Ages that it acquired extraordinary significance owing to trade in Bavarian salt, which was carried by pack animals from the episcopal town of Passau to Prachatice.
And why Prachatice has retained its historic character to such a degree? It is also thanks to the stagnation of economic life in the 17th and 18th centuries. As a result, Prachatice today offers its Renaissance atmosphere to both visitors and residents, which is obscured only partially with rather new Empire-style conversions.
The environs of the town consisting of a submontane upland with the dominating peak of Libín (1,096 m a. s. l.) is worth attention as well. The upland changes continuously into the mountain chain of Šumava. Higher elevation along with great ruggedness of the terrain markedly affect the climatic conditions. The average winter temperatures range from −5 to −9 °C, and the average summer temperatures are in the range from 13 to 17 °C.