News > 2012

Český Krumlov Invites Visitors to the Other Lesser Known Riverbank

Židovská synagoga

This December Český Krumlov will celebrate the 20th anniversary of being listed in the UNESCO World Heritage List. Next year the town will host another significant event: the first ever cross-border Land Exhibition will commence in April 2013, linking South Bohemia with Upper Austria. Krumlov will use this opportunity to present its lesser know face.

There are intense works going on to renew and revitalize the so-called third meander. This part of town includes the Southern Teraces, Egon Schiele House, the Synagogue and Museum Photo Studio Seidel up to the Municipal Park. A town quarter called Plešivec lies to the south of the historical town centre on the southern riverbank of Vltava River.

Mr. Miroslav Reitinger, Director of the Českokrumlovský rozvojový fond (ČKRF), a daughter company of the town of Český Krumlov: "This is a lovely area which had been neglected up to about 10 years ago. We try to find a meaningful use for it which would be based in its character - this area links like little pearls on a string a few locations with beautiful stories and a strange, almost intimate atmosphere."

This will be one of the contributions of Český Krumlov to the large Land Exhibition as it will give it a new location. A newly reconstructed Synagogue will host the exhibition called "4 Photographers, 2 Countries, 1 Region" presenting works of 4 photographers active at the end of 19th and first half of the 20th century in Český Krumlov, Vyšší Brod, Bad Leonfelden and Freistadt. The topics of the photographs include architecture, traditions, religion, industrial production and stories of individual families living in this cross-border area.

The third meander project offers new locations attractive for tourists as well as quiet relaxation areas for town visitors and inhabitants alike. Its recreational purpose is determined by the Municipal Park which has been renovated last year. The newly completed Rose Garden will become another oasis of quiet.

Schileho ateliér From the Rose Garden you can take a path down towards the Vltava River passing the little house which used to be the home of painter Egon Schiele in 1911. His stay was filled with happiness and massive artistic inspiration before the upset burghers drove him away from the town. Luckily, the idyllic mood in the cozy house survived. The house is being renovated currently by ČKRF in co-operation with the Egon Schiele Art Centre, turning it into a spot where the famous artist will be remembered. Visitors will be able to see copies of his furniture and reproduction of his drawings and oil paintings which either originated in Krumlov or were inspired by it. Over winter the house will be used as an atelier for talented artists.

By taking the opposite direction from the Rose Garden you will reach the Synagogue, currently being renovated. The building was erected in 1909 by the local Jewish community and it is one of the very few synagogues which survived World War II. Even so it had a very moving fate: it was used as a Christian church for U.S. Army soldiers, as a Czech Hussite Church object between 1945 - 1968 and afterwards it became a warehouse. Currently it

is owned by the Prague Jewish community which rents it out to the ČKRT. It is being restored to be used for exhibitions, concerts and events. It will also house a permanent exhibition about the history of the Jewish community in the region.

The third pearl in this string has been shining in the Linecká Street for over four years and this year in mid October it shone very brightly indeed. Museum Photo Seidel has just completed a large digitalization project which opens its unique photography archive to virtual visitors of Český Krumlov.

Museum Fotoatelier Seidel The database of photographs on presents a formidable argument about the world class cultural importance of this photo studio. The jugendstil building from 1905 houses original photography equipment but also approximately 140 000 glass plates as well as celluloid tapes with negatives. This is a unique collection and a majority of it has been just digitalized. Project manager Petr Hudičák explains: "The Photo Studio Seidel photos depict Šumava inhabitants and their homes between 1884 and 1952. After the Studio closed, František Seidel had continued taking photos of Český Krumlov until the early 90´s of the past century. The photos capture babies, children, soldiers, schools, old people, weddings and funerals." Two books on this topic have appeared this year: a book of photographs and a book on the history of Photo Studio Seidel and the people linked to it.

The Land Exhibition takes place from April to November 2013. The following towns will participate: Český Krumlov, Vyšší Brod, Bad Leonfelden and Freistadt. It will present expositions on the life in the cross-border region, cultural and artistic jewels, trade and economy development and other aspects which influenced the relationship between Bohemia and Austria. Visitors of Český Krumlov can visit and exhibition in the Regional Museum called "Never realized projects linked to the region of Southern Bohemia and Upper Austria".