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Pisek and Karlstejn Castle

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 Pisek

Thursday 28th Aug.
We arrived late in the afternoon in Pisek and negotiated our way to the car park which Ewout had found on one of his many information resources. It was a sunny afternoon and many people were out and about and the car park was mostly full so we had to then have a look at an alternate plan. After looking at my Osmand app we could see another large car park close by and decided to check it out. We were in luck and it was mostly empty, so decided it was a good place to park and settle for the night. We had our dinner in the camper and then decided to take a walk into the town to see where the Tourist info centre was and get an idea of how big the town was. Walking up towards the river we could hear blues music and after crossing the bridge found it was coming from the castle/town hall area and decided to investigate. Finding a bar and a pizza café in the area with a live band playing we thought it would be nice to sit and listen to the music while having a drink, so that is what we did. It was a nice atmosphere, sitting in the courtyard which was also part of an old brewery, enjoy our drinks and listen to the blues; a pleasant way to get to know a town. We had a short wander after our drinks through the town square and then headed back to “home” as it had been a busy enough day and were feeling ready to call it a night.

View of Pisek from the other side of the river.

View of Pisek from the other side of the river.

The castle courtyard where the entrance to the museum is.

The castle courtyard where the entrance to the museum is.

Friday.
After our usual breakfast, muesli for Jenny and toast for Ewout, we headed back into town. We crossed the oldest stone bridge in the Czech Republic built in the late 13th Century and restored after the floods of 2002 which is a national cultural monument. We found our way back to the Town hall and Tourist information office where we obtained a booklet with a map and information about the town’s most interesting features.

Inside the museum there were extensive displays. They even had fish tanks with the local fish of the region. Here is a cat fish.

Inside the museum there were extensive displays. They even had fish tanks with the local fish of the region. Here is a cat fish.

Jenny in one of the room. This one was the gold exhibition hall.

Jenny in one of the room. This one was the gold exhibition hall.

Displays of early life in the region. They were presented very well.

Displays of early life in the region. They were presented very well.

Another display depicting a funeral.

Another display depicting a funeral.

The Knight's Hall in the castle museum.

The Knight’s Hall in the castle museum.

View of the courtyard from the 2nd floor.

View of the courtyard from the 2nd floor.

Have a look at the cherubs faces, they are all looking very old.

Have a look at the cherubs faces, they are all looking very old.

On the upper floor there was a art gallery with some interesting pieces.

On the upper floor there was a art gallery with some interesting pieces.

Map in hand and a route planned we set off on our discovery tour, first the Castle and museum, which for a small entrance fee we had a very enjoyable and educational wander through the many rooms. The displays were narrated in Czech but they gave us a booklet that explained most things in English. We spent a good hour or two in the Castle museum and found that we were ready to have some coffee and started on the rest of the walking tour, stopping at a small bakery/café for a coffee for refreshment.

A derelict building with some artwork in the windows.

A derelict building with some artwork in the windows.

Jenny at one of the parks in the town.

Jenny at one of the parks in the town.

On the side of the Hotel Dvoracek were 11 painting on the facade. We thought this one of the best.

On the side of the Hotel Dvoracek were 11 painting on the facade. We thought this one of the best.

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Statue of St. Florian. He is the patron saint of fireman and chimney sweeps.

Statue of St. Florian. He is the patron saint of fireman and chimney sweeps.

The rest of the walk took us to the fortified walls of the town, past churches, beautifully decorated buildings and many statues and fountains. We had a great time exploring some of the back streets and eventually finished up back at the main square. Deciding not to linger longer in the town for lunch we walked back to the camper and decided to get on the road to our next stop, Karlstejn.
We decided that it was time to stay in a campground and there was one very close to Karlstejn, so we set the gps to our destination and headed onto the motorway in the direction it was guiding us. Unfortunately plans don’t always work out as smoothly as we would like and we found as we got close to our destination the roadworkers were at it again. Problem was the initial detour signs didn’t continue and we found ourselves doubling back and eventually crossing a very narrow bridge across the river, through some small back streets and eventually finding a main road along which we finally made it to the campsite. Soon after arriving the rain had started so it time to settle in and cosy up in the camper for the rest of the afternoon.

Our ride to the castle. It was up all the way. On the way down we walked.

Our ride to the castle. It took us up all the way. On the way down we walked.

Saturday.
Lucky for us we woke to a nice fine day and so it was a perfect time to visit Karlstejn Castle, a large Gothic castle founded 1348 AD by Charles IV, Holy Roman Emperor-elect and King of Bohemia. The castle served as a place for safekeeping the Imperial Regalia as well as the Bohemian/Czech crown jewels, holy relics, and other royal treasures. We moved the camper to the car park at the bottom of the hill and opted to take the horse carriage ride up and had an enjoyable journey to near the entrance to the castle.

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The line up to the ticket office.

The line up to the ticket office.

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We walked the last steep slope up to the castle gates and found the courtyard filled with visitors. The line for the tickets was quite long but we got on the end and soon were able to buy our tickets for the English tour for 1.35 pm. We had about an hour to wait so walked back down the road when to our surprise there was a sudden heavy downpour and we had to seek shelter under the awning of a souvenir shop. Spotting the eatery next door we made a quick decision to make our way into the establishment and found a nice dry place to wait out the rain shower and have something to eat. It ended up being a good decision and so we had a nice lunch inside a very atmospheric pub which would not have looked out of place in a mediaeval movie.

This was a train barbeque at one of the many eateries near the castle.

This was a train barbeque at one of the many eateries near the castle.

Lunch done we then made our way back to the castle and for our tour. The tour was great, a small group of 11 and the tour guide made it very interesting, but unfortunately we weren’t allowed to take photos of the inside of the castle so thanks to google images we will put up a couple to give and idea of what we saw.P1130828P1130835P1130840
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View of the town and the castle.

View of the town and the castle.

Tour done we wandered down the road again, in full sunshine, back to the car park and the motorhome. The car park was quite busy, obviously a lot of visitors to the castle, but also the restaurants and café’s close by as well as a sports complex next door. When it finally quietened down we moved across the car park to near the river and eventually when everyone had gone we had a quiet night alone in the car park.

The Chapel where the jewels were kept.

The Chapel where the jewels were kept.

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During the day this car park was full. As you can see it is now morning and it is empty. Very quiet night near the river.

During the day this car park was full. As you can see it is now morning and it is empty. Very quiet night near the river.

 

One Response so far.

  1. Mark says:

    Congratulations on your 2 years of traveling in your camping car great effort and to keep the commitment happening each year we will have to buy you both a drink to celebrate if we ever bump into you on our travels,we enjoy reading your blog very informative and entertaining,we are in Verona at the moment staying at the aire very busy,but an easy ride into town.
    Take care and safe travels.Mark and Mireille

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