Places of interest - Třeboň town walks
Town of Třeboň
If we exit the castle through the east gate, we find ourselves on Krčínova Street. This cuts through Žižkovo Square, also called “Kozí plácek” (Goat Square), formerly used as a place to keep goats. This was the final stop for carriages with hay and straw delivered to the back streets of the town houses, also to bring important loads of goods back to the fields. On the left, next to the castle, is a house which was inhabited by Jakub Krčín in the 16th century. On the façade of the building, just across the street, segments are barely visible of a former Jewish synagogue. On the right side of Žižkovo Square is the Svinenská Gate, probably the most beautiful gate of the entire fortification. It has an early Renaissance round-shield and is covered with Renaissance sgrafitti.
We continue to Rožmberská Street – this picturesque street mainly features houses in Baroque and Classique styles. You may be surprised by the fact that here, on the site of today´s Hotel Myslivna, there used to be a municipal round-house prison. The oldest barber shop used to be in building number 30 on the right, which drew water from the Golden Canal, running through its rear tract.
At the end of Rožmberská Street we find Masarykovo Square. First we turn right through Hradecká Gate from the years 1525–1527.
Just behind Hradecká Gate runs the Golden Canal, which circles the city. This is a compound aquaculture work of Štěpánek Netolický. It takes water from the Opatovický fishpond and Wet Fields and follows the eastern and northern town walls. A walk along its right bank offers a romantic view of the “Wet Fields” with haymows. This illustrates the local former swampland area on one side and the dark alleys behind the houses and the brewery on the other.
But we will go in the opposite direction. The canal forms a spa walkway here between the town walls and the outer town. It will take us to the Berta Spa, then along the town walls through Budějovická Gate back to the city center. This gate, together with the already mentioned Long Hallway in the castle, was built in late Renaissance style by Dominico Cometta, probably the most important architect in the service of the Rožmberk family.
The monastery and the Church of St. Jiljí
Just past the gate, we find ourselves next to a set of buildings that make up the Gothic Augustinian Monastery and the Church of St. Jiljí and the Blessed Virgin Mary the Queen. The monastery was founded in 1367 and greatly contributed to the development of education and arts in southern Bohemia. The church once held famous Gothic plate paintings, today in the National Gallery in Prague, done by an unknown artist known as the Master of the Třeboň Altar and still holds a statue of the Třeboň Madonna.
The church is built in early Gothic style and has remained nearly unchanged, aside for the tower’s Baroque annex and vaulted presbytery. Its uniqueness lies in the double body of the church, very unusual for the time, but often seen in the later constructions of other churches in the southern part of Bohemia. Both interior sides of the body display fresco paintings from the 15th century and tombstones of some of the Rožmberks.
The monastery is connected to the church with a Gothic cloister from the north side. At the present time, the exterior appearance of the monastery is mostly Baroque; only some portals and the St. Vincent Chapel, originally a private chapel for the Rožmberks, are original from the 14th century. The fountain in the middle is from the 17th century.
Before we turn into Březanova Street, we can see two buildings just behind the church in Husova Street with gables typical for southern Bohemian rustic Baroque architecture (no. 11). These two buildings seem out of place among the modern architecture in this particular street.
Březanova Street, lined with Renaissance and Gothic burgher houses with archways, used to be a connecting street between the castle and the monastery. The most interesting building on this street is the former pharmacy (no. 118) – this is a Renaissance building with sgrafitti façade which was built on the order of Peter Vok of Rožmberk as a depository for the family library, a picture-gallery and an archive. The Rožmberk archivist and historian Václav Březan lived on the ground floor, whose life is commemorated with a memorial tablet on the façade of the building. Also worth noting is the corner house known as Vratislavský house (no. 84) from the late Renaissance period.
Exiting Břežanova Street, we find ourselves on the western side of Masarykovo Square, just across from the castle gate with the Rožmberk coat-ofarms. The rectangular shape of this small square comes from its former function as a market place, and the burgher houses were gradually built around it. The square is lined on each side with thirteen burgher houses built on extended Gothic sites with typical Renaissance and Baroque gables.
On the right hand are two buildings (no. 106 and 107) that belong to the Zlatá Hvězda Hotel. They are connected with three illusive neo-Baroque gables which give the impression of three adjacent buildings instead of two. House no. 107 has a renovated original arcade and decorated semicircular and cross vaults.
The next thing to catch our attention is a large four-storey tower with a gallery (May to October, 10:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m. according to the weather; tel.: +420 384 721 169; www.itrebon.cz), which at a height of 31 meters offers a beautiful view of the surroundings. It was added to the building in 1638 as a contribution from Emperor Ferdinand III, as part of the old city hall built in 1562 on the site of two buildings destroyed in a fire.
A town brewery was built in the back wing of the city hall at the same time. The brewery was destroyed by fire, however, and reconstructed into the city theatre, ceremonially opened in 1833. Today it is named after the famous Czech playwright Josef Kajetán Tyl, who lived in Třeboň for short periods of time (1852 and 1856). The neighbouring arcade houses the information and cultural center of Třeboň, providing visitors with full service.
On the opposite side of the square, a hotel in the lower part stands out from the other houses. The hotel is called Bílý Koníček, or the Little White Horse. The façade is the first sign of Renaissance influence in Třeboň; the sign on the pillar of the arcade dates back to 1544. The house’s unique features include the gable with ledges, the battlement and the key-shaped gunholes. The walls of this building recently revealed a hidden treasure: a portrait bust of the wife of John of Rožmberk, Eliška, most likely created in the royal shop of Peter Parléř. A narrow picturesque aisle where the meat shops once stood leads alongside the hotel.
In the center of the northern side of the square we notice house no. 89, a building with well-preserved Gothic elements and Renaissance vaults on the ground level. This building used to be the home of Štěpánek Netolický. Today it is used as the municipal ceremonial hall.
In the square stands a Renaissance stone fountain with the reliefs of antique heads and a Baroque Marian Column with Classique elements. This column is the work of a sculptor from České Budějovice, Leopold Hueber. Catching the fish placed there by local fishermen is a favourite amusement among local children.
Between the Zlatá Hvězda Hotel and the Bílý Beránek department store (The White Lamb), which, by the way, is a nice example of a tasteful combination of a new building placed into a complex of old buildings, is a passageway from the square back to the Goat Square. If we wish to take a tour of the brewery or of the dam of the fishpond Svět, we continue in this direction, pass through the already mentioned Svinenská Gate and a small square called Trocnovské opens up in front of us. In this location there used to be a deep moat with a temporary wooden bridge that served as the city´s fortification. The bridge used to connect both gates: Svinenská just behind us, and Novohradská, the older one. The moat is no longer there, and a gate leads the way from Trocnovské Square to the castle yard and straight into the brewery.
The Regent brewery
The oldest written reference of the brewery dates back to 1379, which makes it one of the oldest breweries in the world, and it still brews beer today. The beer is brewed in the original traditional method, and natural materials are used for its production.
The brewery buildings were reconstructed from the Rožmberk armoury at the beginning of the 18th century on the design plans of the Schwarzenberg builder Baltasaar de Maggi. A few steps south from the brewery we find ourselves on the dam of the fishpond Svět, the second largest fishpond in Třeboň. From here a beautiful tree-lined path about 1.5 km long leads the way all the way to the Schwarzenberg Crypt. From here you can enjoy a full view of the fishpond Svět. Beneath the dam on the other side is a fish hatchery of small carp in the Třeboň store ponds.
On the dam by the Novohradská town gate is a small marina with a steam boat which takes the tourists on a “Trip Around the World” (the fishpond’s name “Svět” in English means “World”) (open daily from April to October every full hour, from 10:00 a.m.–7:00 p.m., in bad weather the boat does not launch; tel.: +420 723 814 045)
The Schwarzenberg Crypt
The final stop on our walk is the Schwarzenberg Crypt, something you should not miss during your visit to Třeboň. This is an elaborate neo-Gothic construction, a chapel with an altar unusually aimed southwards above a crypt where the remains of some of the Schwarzenberg family members are stored in 26 coffins. The chapel of the crypt is used very often today, especially for classical music concerts.
By the end of the 19th century, the family tomb of the Schwarzenbergs in the St jiljí church was no longer suitable due to its space limitations and hygienic concerns. Princess Eleonora, wife of Johann Adolf II of Schwarzenberg, decided to build a new respectable tomb. The creation of the English park on the Svět pond waterside was not easy: since the place was under the level of the surrounding terrain it needed to be drained off first. To achieve this goal a complex draining system had to be built, consisting of a two-meter deep canal. Its purpose was both to drain and ventilate the construction site. The construction of the tomb was managed by the family architect Karel Kühnel. It was built in neo-Gothic style, its construction was completed in 1877, and the total cost was over 250 thousand guldens. It is of interest that the hearts of the Schwarzenbergs were kept in a special repository in Český Krumlov.
Weather forecast from Yr, delivered by the Norwegian Meteorological Institute and the NRK