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10. Český Krumlov Castle

Český Krumlov Castle is located in the city Český Krumlov near the Austrian border.  It dates back to 1240 when the first castle was built by the Witigonen family, the main branch of the powerful Rosenberg family.  Construction of the town and castle began in the late 13th century at a ford in the Vltava River, which was important because of the trade routes in Bohemia.  In 1302, the town and castle were owned by the House of Rosenberg.  Emperor Rudolf II bought Krumlov in 1602 and gave it to his son Julius d’Austria.  Emperor Ferdinand II gave Krumlov to the House of Eggenberg.  From 1719 until 1945 the castle belonged to the House of Schwarzenberg.  Most of the architecture of the old town and castle dates from the 14th through 17th centuries.  The town's structures are mostly in Gothic, Renaissance, and Baroque styles.  The core of the old town is within a horseshoe bend of the river, with the old Latrán neighborhood and castle on the other side of the Vltava.

Český Krumlov Castle is unusually large for a town of Krumlov's size.  Within the Czech Republic it is second in size only to the Hradčany castle complex of Prague.  Inside its grounds are a large rococo garden, an long bridge over a deep gap in the rock upon which the castle is built, and the castle itself, which consists of many varied parts dating from different periods of time.  When the garden was not adequately maintained during the second half of the 20th century, the site was included in the 1996 World Monuments Watch by the World Monuments Fund.  With financial support from American Express, the garden's central fountain reconstructed, and is functional today.

During the Communist era of Czechoslovakia, Krumlov fell into disrepair, but since the Velvet Revolution of 1989, much of the town's former beauty has been restored, and it is now a major holiday destination popular with tourists from Germany, Austria and beyond, as far as China.

The city of cesky krumlouv is on the list of the unesco world heritage.