Sumava – a unique region with its castles



Sumava, or as it is called by the Germans Bohemian Forest, is the largest forest area in Europe, which is located on the territory of three states – the Czech Republic, Austria and Germany. Its area is more than 90 thousand hectares.

Since 1990 the unique nature reserve has been under UNESCO protection. The place is suitable both for active rest, as well as a great opportunity for family holidays.

Recreation and attractions

One of the most popular resting places in the Šumava region is the Lipno reservoir, whose northern shore is almost entirely built up with hotels and pensions. Not only Czechs like to come here in the summer, but also people from neighboring Austria and Germany, so in the high season to find a free room is quite difficult.

Lovers of active recreation enjoy diving and sailing here. In the summer a ship plying the lake, the passengers of which take a two-hour tour of its most beautiful places. Numerous holidaymakers often visit the picturesque town of Frimburk, located a little downstream of the reservoir on the Vltava River.

In the summertime, hiking and biking tours are organized in the national park, and fans of canoeing and water sports go on trips along the Vltava, Vydra and Otava. The Sumava Glacial Lakes with their crystal clear water deserve special attention. Located high in the mountains, they do not have time to warm up even in summer, so here more often enjoy the magnificent scenery than swimming.

The area around Sumava is rich not only in nature, but also in architecture, including the castles of Velgartice, Bezdekov, Švigov and Strakonice, as well as numerous ancient churches, chapels and monasteries.

In the foothills of the Šumava Mountains there is one of the most beautiful towns in the country, Český Krumlov, whose historical center is protected by UNESCO.

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In winter, popular destinations include Špíčák, Lipno-Kramolín, Kašperské Hory, Zadov, Nové Hutě, and other resorts. Most of the slopes are gentle, so they are perfect for beginners and skiers of all ages.


Most likely the name Shumava comes from the ancient Slavonic word “šuma” which means “thick forest”. The highest point of the mountain range in the Czech Republic is Mount Plech (1378 m). By the way, from here rises the Vltava River and several other major rivers.

The period of development of the Šumava, where islands of pristine nature are still preserved, falls in the XII century. Up to the middle of the XVII century practically the whole territory of the reserve was covered with primeval forests, but with the development of forestry and glassblowing and as a consequence, with the appearance of worker settlements, their area has decreased considerably. In addition, precious metals and iron ore were once mined on the territory of Šumava.

Sumava is a great option for a varied recreation and unity with nature. If you get tired of the noisy metropolises and want to enjoy the beautiful scenery, breath in the cleanest air and travel among the many natural attractions while staying in comfortable villages, you should visit this magical land.

Šumava – Czech Republic

It is one of the oldest highlands in Europe. Šumava is the largest National Park in the Czech Republic (69,030 ha).


Czech Republic, Kašperk Castle: An impregnable fortress – VIDEO

A beauty that adorns the Sumava peaks, and the tallest royal castle in the Czech Republic. Kašperk Castle may also seem impregnable to many tourists today, at a time when it is no longer necessary to defend against any military incursions.

The enchanted root at Kašperk

Šumava is riddled with green “I”, so there is enough information for tourists here. The most direct path to Kašperk Castle, over two kilometers long, leads from Kašperské Hory. However, if someone goes to Kašperk from elsewhere, the most dramatic point awaits him a few hundred meters under the summit, where there are several signs, but it is not actually clear which way leads to Kašperk. This is where it very often happens that from simple travelers become allies, looking for a common goal. It is no coincidence that numerous groups come to Kasperk made up of people who did not know each other an hour ago.

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 Kašperk Castle

Those who chose the place to build the castle, just like the builders of Kasperk, have accomplished their task perfectly. The enemies who wandered beneath the castle no longer had enough energy to fight, and most of the wandering tourists again seize the stalls with Sumava delicacies, garlic soup, and beer. If hungry and thirsty people were offered better service here, they’d probably make more money.

 Kašperk Castle

Cold Shumava.

As perfect a view as Kasperk Castle offers. But, if the weather is unfavorable, Kasperk is not very comfortable. Considering that it’s only a couple of miles to Quilda, the coldest place in the country, so it’s really worth keeping an eye on the weather forecast. Even in the summer.

 Kašperk Castle

Kasperk for King Charles IV

Kasperk Castle was built as a watch castle. Its warriors guarded the border with Bavaria, the gold route and on it once rich deposits of gold. Even today one can still see the adits in many places where gold was once mined. The path leads from the Kasper Mountains along the so-called Amalina Valley along the Zlata Potok. It was once part of the important trade route to Passau in Bavaria, so it had to be carefully guarded. That is why in 1356 Emperor Charles IV ordered a castle to be built on Mount Zdanov.

 Kašperk Castle

Kasperk Castle is not a very extensive structure. The nobility lived in the palace and two adjoining towers. Part of the castle is also an elongated courtyard, which was used for household purposes. The entire castle is beautifully fortified, both by long fortress walls, as well as difficult terrain. From Pusty-Gradek, which stood on the same mountain since the fifteenth century, today only ruins remain.

Kasperk Castle, thanks to constant care, is in good shape. There was probably not a single year in the new millennium in which something was not repaired in Kašperk. Since 1616, the castle has been managed by the town of Kašperské Hory.

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Text/photo/video: Klara Svobodova

Translation: Alla Kutserova

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