Postcards from
South West of Prague


Mníšek pod Brdy. Some 40 kilometres south west of Prague the small village of Mnisek is noted for it's Zamek. Started in the 13th century was substantially rebuilt in the middle of the 17th century and major changes were then made in the early 1900's. The castle was robbed of much of it's treasures and furniture after the war and very little now remains to show how the previous owners would have lived..



Březnice. Originally a gothic fortress dating from the 12th century the castle was substantially rebuilt in the Renaissance style in the 16th century. It is surrounded by large parklands which are a joy to walk in. We went there twice because it was so nice.
Rožmitál pod Třemšínem. The picturesque town of Rožmitál pod Třem-símem is 80 km southwest of Prague and 17 km from Příbram. In Starý Rožmitál there is the parish church of the Ascension of St. Cross with unique organs from 1750, played in the years 1788 - 1815 by Jakub Jan Ryba. Here in 1796 , his famous Czech Christmas Mass "Hey master" was first begun. The town is dominated by a Renaissance castle, in the past the possession of the famous Lions of Rožmitál. . The castle is fallen into repair and there are legal battles currently underway as to ownership. We weren't allowed to go in but there are substantial remains present. Just behind the castle there was a spectacular walk around a large lake and we enjoyed the stroll immensely.
Blatná The chief glory of the town is the Rennaisance chateau which is surrounded by a moat and extensive parkland. We were to visit the parklands twice as they were really beautiful.
Bob and Anna. We first met Bob and Anna in Prague and they kindly invited us to visit them in their country house if we found ourselves near. Well near Blatna Stephany phoned them and we met up in the town and then followed them back to their place for a barbecue in their garden. It was a wonderful occasion and we were overwhelmed by their generosity and have kept in contact since then..
In the grounds of our hotel. .
Zvikov. Often called "the king of Czech castles", the  castle is at the junction of the Vltava and Otava rivers, some 15 kilometres (9 mi) north of Písek and is one of the most important early-Gothic castles of the Czech lands. We had visited the castles several times before and wanted to see it again.
Zvikov to Orlik. We caught the boat at the bottom of the steps through the gateway and set out for the castle of Orlik.
Stephany Hood, famous from her longbow exploits of previous years at the catle of Rabi, just had to try her skills in the courtyard of Orlik castle. The girl instructing her to fire her arrows almost died - not from arrows striking her but from the resultant laughter. The furthest an arrow got from Stephany's bow was just beyond her feet.
We decided not to go inside the castle as we had already seen inside many years ago and spent our time walking through the gardens and having a nice late lunch in a restaurant overlooking the courtyard. Then we slowly made our way back to the boat and thence back to Zvikov.

Pisek. Famous for the oldest stone bridge in the Czech Republic and for the origins of the Kafka's we just had to visit the town. The bridge is in the gothic style with baroque statues and a cross and was probably built in the 3rd quarter of the 13th century and spans the Otava River, a tributary of the Vltava River.

We parked in the old town square and found that a charming international folk festival was in full swing