CESKY KRUMLOV

 Svornosti Town Square, with colourful old buildings, in Cesky Krumlov, Czech Republic.

It is the year 1253, and on the banks of the Vltava river, that same snaking water that winds its way through the heart of Prague, a castle is taking shape. 

The castle is situated on a swarth of green meadow, caught between a twisted loop in the river - a natural embodiment of security from the thieving bandits around-abouts. 

Where there is a castle, there grows a town. Around the walls, people flock to find work, patronage for their art, or markets for their livestock. And so the town of Cesky Krumlov was born - named after the curved meadow on which it sat. 


WONDERS OF A MEDIEVAL TOWN

Terracotta roofs, huddled close to one-another.
River-rafters braving the rapids; Oliver and I, watching the spectacle from a bridge above.
Small shops selling dusty books in unknown languages, traditional spiced cookies, and barrels of mead.
The dark-doorways of the bars, and the promise of a cold draught beer for the price of a smile.
Walls covered in Renaissance style sgraffito and painted illusions: bricks, stones, florescues and curlicues. 
A moment spent sitting on the wall of a park, watching children play a game of piggy-in-the-middle below my feet in a private garden.
During the sun's pinnacle ascent, the crowds in the old town became too much. This was the perfect time to find a tea-room, and rest a while on pillows under the shade, drinking teas infused with rose waters, coconut flakes, and exotic flowers that bloom when hot water is poured on them.
Winding streets, alcoves and arches - the ideal setting for a promenade of hand-holders.
A market-place in a medieval courtyard, stalls piled with wooden spoons and blown glass.
A meal in a dark hovel of a place, the pork knee cooked upon an open fire. 
The sheer mystery of it all... All the while, I was trying to peer behind the screen of façades, to learn of the once-beating heart that was this medieval town.
 Cesky Krumlov castle square and tower - painted in many pastel colours.
 Houses and small lanes in the medieval heart of Cesky Krumlov, Czech Republic.
 A view of the castle from an old lane, Cesky Krumlov.
 Cesky Krumlov market in an old courtyard
 Cesky Krumlov arches for the road in the old town - orange buildings.
 Spiced biscuits sold in the old town of Cesky Krumlov
 Pilsner Urquell pub sign in Cesky Krumlov, Czech Republic
 A pot of oriental tea at a tea-house in Cesky Krumlov.
 Castle Tower Cesky Krumlov - in the midday sun.
Cesky Krumlov, the little jewel box of a city in southern Bohemia.
— LAINI TAYLOR