Guide to the surroundings

Lipno a Frymburk - panorama

Frymburk and its surrounding area are full of natural beauties and historical landmarks. From Wellness Hotel Frymburk, you can make a nice trip, for instance, to monuments listed in the UNESCO World Heritage program located in Český Krumlov, to Rožmberk Castle, to České Budějovice, to the impressive rock formations by the River Vltava, or to other interesting places. All you need to do is to make enough time and set out for new experiences.


Frymburk

History

We find the first mentions of Frymburk in literature dating back to 1198. At that time, it was called “Fritburk”. Frymburk was awarded the town privilege in the year 1379. Since then, the town began to develop and by the end of the 16th century, 118 residential building and 6 taverns stood there; in addition, agriculture thrived in the region. Frymburk wasn’t spared the torments brought about by the Thirty Years’ War. The town was plundered by the Swedish army, and, just like the rest of the country, it took many years to recover from the wounds the war had dealt. After some time, the regular weekly and yearly fairs were restored. In 1856, the town was struck by a devastating fire which burned down 54 houses and the historical square. During the reconstruction in the 19th century, Frymburk was endowed with a telegraph and street lighting. The development of tourism came about as late as after World War II. The area’s tourist attraction was significantly influenced by the construction of the Lipno Dam which was filled in the year 1959.

Present

At present, the town on the bank of Lipno has more than 1200 residents. In both summer and winter seasons, however, its capacity increases a few times. It is an important cultural, sport and tourist base for Czech and foreign tourists alike. Throughout the year, a large number of sporting events are held here (scuba diving, skiing, marathons for runners, tennis tournaments, angling competitions, etc.). Thanks to Hotel Frymburk , the town is slowly becoming known for hosting medium and larger conventions. The capacity of the hotel waterpark and wellness centre which ranks among the largest in the Czech Republic, cannot be missed out either.

Places of interest
  • the Church of St. Bartholomew
  • plague column
  • stone fountain and a pillory in the park
  • chapel of Virgin Mary
  • waterpark - Hotel Frymburk
  • Wellness Paradise - Hotel Frymburk
  • Wellness Paradise - Hotel Frymburk

Other interesting places

Svatý Tomáš (Saint Thomas) - a natural landmark

The settlement of Svatý Tomáš is located below the ruins of Vítkův kámen (Vítek’s Stone), approximately 4 kilometres southwest of Frymburk. Since 1992, the adjacent mixed screen woods in the mountains with a rich understory have been protected by the government. And how does one get here from Frymburk? First, you have to take a ferry to Frýdava; then follow the road that leads steeply upwards about 6 kilometers.

Vítkův kámen (Vítek’s Stone) - ruins of Vítkův Castle

Ruins of the guard castle lie in the elevation of 1035 meters above sea level ranking second in this respect in the Czech Republic. In the 13th century, the House of Vítek had the castle built. A century later, its ownership went over to the noblemen of Český Krumlov. In the 17th century, however, it was abandoned and since then it has been decaying. Nowadays, only a part of the three-floor prismatic tower on the cliff, the circumferential masonry of some of the buildings, and a part of the fortification remain of the castle. Vítkův kámen offers you a beautiful view of the area landscape. You will see Lipno and, when the visibility distance is good, also the Alps.


Čertova stěna (Devil’s Wall) - a national nature reserve

Čertova stěna is a granite rock formation with a typical bank rock breaking which has been protected ever since 1956. Čertova stěna and its surroundings have not been a national nature reserve until 1992. It lies 3 km southwest of Vyšší brod and approximately 16 km away from Frymburk.

Part of the reserve is, besides the rock massif, a segment of the river bed of the Vltava and both opposite banks above the river that consist of granite stone runs and solifluxion detritus. In the river bed of the Vltava, there are big granite boulders with perfectly conserved “kettle holes” which were caused by water and sand erosion in the cavities of the boulders. The kettles developed because of the softer parts granite contains which washed out due to whirlpools. On the surrounding cliffs, remains of relict pine trees with understory of winter heath (an evergreen bush similar to heath) have preserved. Numerous kinds of lichens occur here.

The granite cobble detritus occurs in various stages of ingrowth, ranging from beeches to spruce and fir underbrush. Detritus rarely grows even into birch trees, rowan trees, willow trees, great sallows and fir trees.

The wild romance of this place gave rise to many tales and inspired even Eliška Krásnohorská to write the libretto of Bedřich Smetana’s opera called Čertova stěna (The Devil’s Wall). An imp raged and built the Devil’s Wall to thwart Vok’s intentio.

The wall can be accessed by following a green mark from Loučovice for approximately 2 kilometres down to Čertovy proudy (Devil’s Streams). Here, one has to wade across the river bed of the Vltava and climb up the hillsides. It is also possible to leave the upper road directly where it bends and follow the red marks for about 400 meters.


Schwarzenberský kanál (Schwarzenberg’s Floating Channel) - a technical landmark

The channel was built between the years 1789 and 1822. The project was worked up by Schwarzenberg’s forest engineer, Josef Rosenauer. It was built in two phases. The first one, the so called “Old Channel”, was approximately 31.5 km long, and the second stage, the so called “New Channel”, consisted in building additional 429 meters. The entire channel including the associated flumes has almost 60 kilometres. Its gradient is 0.5%.

This floating ditch connects the drainage basin of the Vltava with that of Danube. At the time of its creation, it was a technical marvel. In the past, it was used for lumber transportation from places in the woods of Šumava that were hard to reach. The channel was originally designed for the transport of wood logs to Vienna. The channel was able to convey trunks of up to 24 meters of length. A regular transportation of lumber to Austria was halted in 1891 and it was completely terminated in the year 1932.

The Schwarzenberg’s Floating Channel is a significant national technical landmark. A part of it had still served its original purpose until 1962; its operation, however, was completely abandoned in the year 1966. Nowadays, some shorter sections of the channel are being restored by the work of volunteers.


Medvědí stezka (Bear Trail) - a hiking trail

The trail leading through the wooded hillsides of Perník was set up by nature conservationists from Prachatice. It was the first instructional hiking trail of its kind in South Bohemia and second in the entire Czech Republic.

If you want to see Medvědí stezka, you first have to go by bus or car from Frymburk to Černá v Pošumaví and then continue by train to the station of Ovesná. Here, the trail starts. The trail follows the yellow tourist marks.

In the first part of the trail, you will climb up around bizarre rock formations , which emerged as early as in the Pleistocene by weathering of coarse-grained granite minerals. Variously shaped rocks and boulders received peculiar names from the local folks:

  • Dračí tlama (the mouth of a dragon)
  • Skalní hrad (the rock castle)
  • Kazatelna (the pulpit)
  • Pokličky (the pot lids)
  • Gotická kaple (the gothic chapel)
  • Pýchavka obrovská (the giant puffball)
  • Obří kostky (the giant dices)
  • Mechová pyramida (the moss pyramid)
  • Lodní příď (the boat prow)
  • Poustevna (the hermitage)
  • Hřib (the boletus)
  • Kamenná kráska (the rock beauty)
  • Hotel datlů (the woodpecker hotel)
  • etc.

In the second part of the trail, you will climb to the very top of Mount Perník (1049 meters above sea level). The trail leads on through a forest, along a levee of Jelení pond, around the village of Jelení Vrchy and all the way to the Schwarzenberg’s Floating Channel. Here, it is possible to change the trail and follow the blue marks back to Nová Pec, or carry on with the yellow trail around „Medvědí kamen“ (the Bear Stone), where the last bear living in Šumava was shot dead in 1856, all the way to the train station of Černý Kříž.


Trojmezná hora (Three Landmarks Mountains) - a nature reserve

In the reserve that covers 386.57 hectares, you will find the highest peak of the Czech part of Šumava, Mount Plechý (1378 meters above sea level), Lake Plešné, a glacier cirque, and a stone run formed by granite boulders.

The lake is an exemplary illustration of glacier activity. The glacier hollowed out the glacier cirque and piled up a stone mound to the height of 30 to 40 meters. In the elevation of 1090 meters above sea level, a glacier lake that covers the area of 7.8 hectares and is around 18 meters deep was thus created. In the rear part of the lake, rare kinds of plants occur, i.e. spring quillwort and small blue-reed. Above the lake, there is a cliff with remains of the original mountain pine stand. It belongs among the few places in Šumava where mountain pine occurs.


Mrtvý luh (Dead Mead) - a nature reserve

The nature reserve of Mrtvý luh with valley moorland covers the area of 283.21 hectares. It is situated about 6 kilometres southeast of Volary, not far away from the confluence of the Teplá (Warm) and Studená (Cold) Vltava The nature reserve Mrtvý luh is accessible to the public; however, it is strictly forbidden to enter its central part.

In the reserve, you will find stands of Pinus rotundata (a type of pine tree) which, along the way to the centre of the moorland, verges into ascending forms. On the fringes of the reserve, spruces and white birches occur in a sporadic manner. In damper parts, among the stands of Pinus rotundata, some protected species of plants grow: hare's-tail cottongrass, northern bilberry, northern cranberry, bog-rosemary, common sundew, and western marsh orchid. In drier places, common matgrass and heath prevail.

Mrtvý luh is also a significant place for entomological research. The butterfly Prossolania eunomia, which is very rare in the Czech Republic, ranks among the most important entomological discoveries of the area. It commonly occurs only in the region of the Alps.


Lipno - the Lipno Dam

The Lipno Dam is the largest expanse of water in the Czech Republic. The dam is surrounded by the beautiful nature of the Šumava Protected Landscape Area. Lipno and its surroundings are ideal for a family as well as sporting vacation but also for an undisturbed repose and relaxation.

Tourists will surely appreciate the short distance to many sights and interesting places, the hiking and biking trails, and of course the wide spectrum of water sports. In the winter season, the mountains of Šumava afford the opportunity to fans of skiing and other winter sports to enjoy their hobbies.

By and large, Lipno is the ideal place for your vacation.

Lipno in numbers
construction: 1959 (the first project dates back to 1899 though)
elevation: 726 m n. m.
length: 48 km
width: 10 km
levee height: 25 m
average depth: 6,5 m
maximum depth: 21 m
water surface: approx. 48.500 m2
extent: approx. 306 million m3 vody

The Lipno dam consists of two separate water reservoirs - Lipno I and Lipno II. Below the dam, there is a hydroelectric power plant. It is situated in a large, artificially created cave. From its bottom to the ceiling, one would measure almost 40 meters. Further under the ground, there is a 3.6 km long tunnel which drains away the spill water.

Put up at the bank of Lipno, put up at Hotel Frymburk. Accommodation can be booked online.

The Lipno Dam, also referred to as Valley Dam Lipno, should have been built originally at the end of the 19th century. However, the project was initiated as late as after World War II and the dam was finished in the year 1959. The construction of Lipno required extensive demolition and deforestation works, railway relaying, construction of a new road, and flooding of whole villages or at least parts of them. A 25 meters high and 285 meters long levee was built. The dam is watered by the River Vltava and its tributaries. The Lipno Dam is the largest artificial expanse of water in Bohemia. On the maximum upheaval, the water surface amounts to 726 meters above the sea level.

In the underground cave below the dam, a hydroelectric power plant is placed with two Francis turbines. The energy obtained from the power plant is mainly used for balancing energetic peaks. The plant is supplied with water by two vertical, 160 meters deep shafts. The water drains from the turbines through a tunnel, which is approximately 3.5 km long, all the way to Vyšší Brod. Above Vyšší Brod, it was necessary to build a smaller dam, Lipno II, which traps water during peak activities of the hydroelectric power plant and then drains it evenly into the river bed. The second reservoir is smaller, merely 1.5 km long and 10 meters deep at the most. There is also a water power plant here.

Lipno is one of the most visited places in South Bohemia. It is a frequent destination even to foreign tourists. Thanks to the sporting and recreational options, it is an ideal place for recreation and vacation. The left bank of the dam in particular is suitable for swimming, angling, and other activities. There, you will find many pools, beaches, camps, accommodation facilities, etc. In the main season, you can travel over Lipno by ship transport.


Lipno nad Vltavou (9 km)

The town of Lipno nad Vltavou is, together with nearby Frymburk, one of the most sought after tourist localities on the bank of the Lipno Dam. The first mentions of the settlement Lipno emerged already in the year 1530. In the past, the town has had a similar fate to Frymburk. Because of the construction of the Lipno Dam, the original settlement of Lipno was flooded and rebuilt in a different place. At present, it offers to its visitors a rich variety of summer as well as winter sporting activities.

Sports
  • Lipno Golf Club (18 holes)
  • water sports - the Lipno Dam
  • winter sports - sports facility Kramolín
  • bobsleigh track (1000 m) open all year
Places of interest:
  • Stezka korunami stromů
  • national nature reserve of Čertova Stěna

Originally, Lipno nad Vltavou was a lumber settlement. Timber was transported from the forests of Šumava to the village by the Vltava River, and from there it was conveyed by carriages and, subsequently, by a railroad. Transportation by the river wasn’t possible any farther because of a stony river bed. The lumber’s destination was a paper mill in Vyšší Brod and other places along the Vltava River. The original Lipno nad Vltavou was flooded midway through the 20th century at the time of filling of the dam and the “new” town was built up at a higher elevation above the sea level.

Today’s Lipno is a significant tourist centre for both summer and winter recreations. The Lipno Dam, skiing resort, waterparks, bobsleigh track and other attractions allure tourists of all age categories and nationalities.


Černá v Pošumaví (9 km)

A nearby village of Černá v Pošumaví lies at the widest point of the Lipno Dam; in consequence, it offers further opportunities for fans of water sports. Apart from sporting enjoyment and beauties of nature in the adjacent area to Lipno, you will also find several historically important places here.

Places of interest:
  • church of the Immaculate Conception of Virgin Mary
  • chapels in the village and near surroundings
  • statue of St. John of Nepomuk
  • limestone quarries of Muckov
  • Josef Gallery and its adit
Sports
  • water sports - the Lipno Dam
  • Paintball
  • Ropepark
  • kiteboarding
  • aquaskipping
  • cross-country skiing

Horní Planá (15 km)

Horní Planá is the largest town on the banks of the Lipno Dam. The settlement was established by monks from the monastery Zlatá koruna (“The Golden Crown”) in the first half of the 14th century. In 1349, Charles IV, King of Bohemia and Holy Roman Emperor, promoted the village to a townlet. In the 15th century, Horní Planá became a part of the demesne of Český Krumlov. Horní Planá lies at the boundary between the Šumava Protected Landscape Area and the Šumava National Park. Besides the circumambient natural beauties, the town offers to tourists a number of cultural and, above all, sporting experiences. Especially the possible summer pleasures entice people to visit this town.

Places of interest
  • church of St. Margaret
  • baroque Chapel of St. Virgin Mary
  • Stifterův pomník ve Stifterově parku
  • a pillory by the Church of St. Margaret
  • fountains in the square (19th century)
  • statue of St. John of Nepomuk
  • house of birth of Adalbert Stifter - a branch of the Regional Museum
  • summer cinema
Sports
  • minigolf
  • go-kart, bicycle, and boat renting service
  • horse rides
  • water sports - the Lipno Dam

Horní Planá is an important recreational centre. It was first mentioned in the 14th century as a property of the monastery Zlatá Koruna. Horní Planá used to be a significant commercial place. Trading with Austria and Bavaria took place here.

An early gothic church from the second half of the 13th century which was extended in the 17th century stands here. In its old part, renaissance wall paintings were preserved. The adjacent vicarage was burned to ashes and reconstructed several times. However, its 1826’s reconstruction survived to this day. Another ecclesiastical building, a chapel, stands above the town in Dobrá Voda (Good Water). In the orchards below the chapel, there is a bronze memorial of Šumava’s poet and writer Adalbert Stifter dating back to 1906. Stifter’s house of birth no. 21 by the road to Černá v Pošumaví was modified and furnished as a memorial to the writer’s body of work in the year 1906. In addition, the “Stifter’s trail”, 6.5 km long with 7 stops, starts here.

Our personnel at the hotel reception will readily provide you with more detailed information on the particular towns and villages, transportation means, opening hours, prices, etc.


Vyšší Brod (20 km)

The marketplace of Vyšší Brod was established in the 13th century by a decision rendered by Petr Vok who also established a Cistercian monastery here. Approximately two centuries later, Vyšší Brod was awarded the town privilege by John III of Rožmberk. The most significant landmark is the already mention monastery. Inside of it, there is the gothic Church of the Assumption of Virgin Mary which was established by the local Cistercian monks. Another important place behind the walls of the monastery is its library which is the largest library in the Czech Republic.

Places of interest
  • cistercian monastery
  • gothic Church of the Assumption of Virgin Mary
  • monastery library
  • decanal Church of St. Bartholomew
  • postal museum
  • national nature reserve of Čertova Stěna - Luč

This town is renowned first and foremost for its ecclesiastical architecture. The House of Rožmberk established a gothic monastery here in the year 1259. Today, the monastery complex comprises a church, abbey, and adjacent farm buildings. Even the gothic fortification was partially preserved. The oldest part of the monastery is the chapter house (1285). The baroque courtyard surrounded by a cloister was constructed between the years 1360 and 1385. The creation of the abbey dates back to the 17th century, the library and baroque gallery to the 18th century. The library contains 70 000 books among which are also rare manuscripts and incunabula.

The monastery church with a piscina is also unique; it dates back to the year 1328. However, it was reconstructed in the 19th century. Under its presbytery, there is a tomb of the House of Rožmberk in which Petr Vok, the last member of the family, is also buried. In the church, a copy of the panel painting depicting the Madonna of Vyšší Brod is exhibited; the original is deposited in the National Gallery in Prague. Further on, the church’s interior is decorated by a baroque high altar dating back to the 17th century and two wing altars built in the 16th century. In the column hall, there is a picture gallery which falls under the Aleš South Bohemia Gallery.

In addition to all that, in the village, you will find a baroque bridge over the Vltava built in the 18th century, a gothic town hall dating back to 1525, and a century older, late gothic hospital.


Rožmberk nad Vltavou (21 km)

The town of Rožmberk lies in the valley of the Vltava River, amidst virgin nature, on the fringe of the nature reserve of Dolní Jílovice. The town was founded midway through the 13th century. Its name suggests that it is connected with the aristocratic House of Rožmberk. Among the well known names which you may remember with regard to Rožmberk is, for example, Petr Vok or the White Lady Perchta.

Castle Rožmberk

The castle was subjected to several changes throughout the centuries. Out of the original “complex of two castlers”, only one survived. The gothic castle was transformed into a comfortable renaissance mansion and, in the 19th century, a romantic museum accessible to the public was set up in the chateau. In the interiors, you will find valuable collections of paintings, weaponry, furniture, porcelain, and glass. A legend has it that the White Lady Prchta of Rožmberk appears at the castle. You can see her portrait in the Rožmberk Hall. More information on the castle can be acquired at www.hrad-rozmberk.cz.

Places of interest
  • Castle Rožmberk
  • Executioner’s House - a museum of capital justice
  • Church of St. Nicholas
  • historical centre of the town

Český Krumlov (29 km)

Český Krumlov is part of the UNESCO. World Heritage. Ever since the 19th century, the town has retained its historical face almost unchanged. Český Krumlov is a significant historical and cultural town. You will find more than 300 historically important buildings, several museums and galleries here. On a yearly basis, many festivals, koncertů, představení, concerts, shows, exhibitions and openings are held in the town. We also recommend you to take a night tour of the town which is coupled with telling eerie tales and legends. You can also take a look around the town from a canoe or a raft while descending the Vltava River.

Castle Český Krumlov

A dominating feature of the town is the castle and chateau complex with a castle tower. Visitors will be fascinated by unique exteriors as well as interiors which have gone through a lot of changes since the 13th century. The changes followed the spirits of the Gothic, Renaissance, Baroque and Rococo. In the castle, take the two sightseeing circuits (interior), see a baroque theatre, the chateau lapidary collection, the castle tower, the castle garden, and, from up high, you can also take a look at the bear moat. More information on the castle and chateau complex can be found at www.castle.ckrumlov.cz.

Places of interest
  • Castle Český Krumlov, the castle park, a baroque theatre
  • the Church of St. Vitus
  • synagogue
  • Egon Schiele’s Art Center
  • international Gallery of Ceramic Design
  • gallery of Czech Culture
  • international Art Studio
  • house of Photography
  • gallery ART at St. Jošt
  • museum of Marionettes (the Church at St. Jošt)
  • Regional Museum in Český Krumlov
  • Museum of Architecture and Craft in Český Krumlov
  • Fairytale House - a puppet museum
  • Museum of Torture Instruments - medieval torture instruments
  • Wax Museum Český Krumlov
  • Mill of Český Krumlov - an exhibition of historical vehicles and antiquities
  • golf course
  • and many others...

Zlatá Koruna (36 km)

In the village of Zlatá koruna (Golden Crown), not far from Český Krumlov, a gothic monastery of the same name stands. This national cultural landmark has been preserved even though it was transformed into a factory at the end of the 18th century. Thanks to a costly reconstruction which took place in the 20th century, this unique ecclesiastical monument is nowadays accessible to public. Tourists may, within the framework of one of the sightseeing tours, see a permanent exhibition of South Bohemian literature and the depository of a scientific library. Beautiful interiors of the monastery even take rank with many chateaus. You can feast your eyes on them in the course of another sightseeing tour.

Places of interest
  • cistercian monastery of Zlatá Koruna
  • church of the Assumption of Virgin Mary
  • chapel of Angels
  • building of the Small Convent
  • church of St. Margaret
  • protected landscape area of Blanenský les (the Blanenský Forest)

České Budějovice (53 km)

Already in the 6th century, the confluence of the Vltava and the Malše was settled by Slavic tribes. The settlement of “Budivojovice” was founded in the 13th century and it soon bloomed into a King’s town. Budějovice has always been an important commercial centre of South Bohemia. In the 19th century, it became a centre of progress - the first railroad for horsecars which led to the Austrian town of Linz was constructed here. Today, České Budějovice, the metropolis of South Bohemia, is inhabited by over 100 000 residents and constitutes a popular destination of both Czech and foreign tourists. České Budějovice offers its visitors many landmarks and periodic cultural events.

To the most often visited places in České Budějovice belongs the square surrounded by baroque houses (a protected historical centre), the Black Tower with its fabulous view, and ecclesiastical buildings.

Places of interest
  • square of King Přemysl Otakar II and the adjacent baroque houses (a protected historical centre)
  • town hall
  • baroque Cathedral of St. Nicolas
  • Black Tower
  • Piarist Square
  • Church of Presentation of Virgin Mary
  • gothic log cabin dating back to the 15th century
  • Rabštejn Tower
  • and others...

Hluboká nad Vltavou (64 km)

If you happen to be in South Bohemia, you must not miss a visit to the town of Hluboká nad Vltavou and, above all, the chateau which was built in the style of Windsor Neo-Gothic. The chateau, its gardens and the adjacent English park were a favourite excursion resort of Emperor Charles IV during his stays in České Budějovice.

Chateau Hluboká

Přemysl Otakar II had the original castle built in the 13th century. Over the centuries, however, it was rebuilt several times. It obtained its current shape as late as in the middle of the 19th century. You can take three different sightseeing tours of the Chateau of Hluboká nad Vltavou. Its exteriors and interiors form a unique example of Windsor Neo-Gothic which was first introduced in Bohemia by Princess Eleonora. You will find more information on Chateau Hluboká at www.zamek-hluboka.cz.

Places of interest
  • Chateau Hluboká, an English garden
  • Hunting Chateau
  • Aleš South Bohemia Gallery
  • Church of St. John of Nepomuk
  • baroque Chapel of St. Barbara
  • and others...