The Bohemian Town Of Český Krumlov
The Vltava River runs southeast along the Bohemian Forest and then north across Bohemia where it flows through the center of the city of Prague on its way up toward merge with the Elbe River at Mělník. About 125 miles south of Prague the river meanders through the town of Český Krumlov where it turns north through České Budějovice and on to Prague.
Český Krumlov is considered the quintessential Bohemian town and attracts thousands of visitors from around Europe and the world. The town is centered around a medieval castle that dates back to 1240 AD when it was built by Vítkovci, a powerful member of the Bohemian family Rosenberg. Currently the population of the town is about 12,000 who are mainly supported by the restaurants, shops and inns focused on the tourist trade. The castle is listed as a national heritage site.
Bohemia to those with just a casual knowledge of European history and geography is often associated with Germany. Today it is actually the westernmost and largest region of the Czech Republic. The name Bohemia has also referred to a wider area consisting of the Lands of the Bohemian Crown ruled by the Bohemian kings, including Moravia and Czech Silesia. Bohemia was once a duchy within Moravia, later an independent principality, a kingdom in the Holy Roman Empire, and subsequently a part of the Habsburg monarchy and the Austrian-Hungarian Empire. After World War I the independent Czechoslovak state was created and the whole of Bohemia became a part of Czechoslovakia. That European establishment denied the claims of the majority German-speaking inhabitants in the region who believed they should be included in the Republic of Germany. In 1938 Nazi Germany reclaimed Bohemia as the Sudetenland.
After World War II the region fell under the control of the Communist Soviet Union. From 1948 to 1989, Czechoslovakia was part of the Soviet Eastern Bloc with its inclusion in the Warsaw Pact of 1955. A period of political liberalization in 1968, known as the Prague Spring, was violently ended when the Soviet Union, assisted by other Warsaw Pact countries, again invaded Czechoslovakia. In 1989, as communism was ending all over Central and Eastern Europe, Czechoslovaks peacefully deposed the socialist government in the 17th November 1989 Velvet Revolution.