Cellars in the IVth Courtyard of Český Krumlov Castle

The extensive cellar area under the IVth Courtyard of Český Krumlov Castle occupies the entire area under the courtyard as well as the adjacent with of Castle No. 59 - Upper Castle. The area came into existence on the site of the former fortifications as a necessary levelling of the steep terrrain and castle moat, which used to be on the site of the large vaulted cellar under the IVth courtyard. Only on this artificial "table" could the wing of the new palace be then built. We learn about this ambitious reconstruction from written sources of the period. A contract has been preserved from April 2, 1447 between Ulrich II. Von Rosenberg and the earthworkers Baroch and Mníšek of Hořepník stating "on the back of the cloak (now Cloak Bridge), connected from below and from above, across the whole cloak and verticals walls all latticed and held together with grillwork. And such an extension should be thick from all sides, both in and out, so that everything that sticks out is covered and the ground is evened out, and that side from the field should be thicker than the one leading here from the castle".

What resulted was a monumental three-level cellar area, which in comparison with the surroundings is even above the level of the courtyard in some places. It is said that twice, in 1394 and 1402 one of the cellars was used as a prison for the Czech King Václav IV. For this reason the cellars even today carry the name of "Václavské sklepy", or Wenceslav´s Cellars. Presently the area is under the patronage of the Czech Ceramics Design Agency Český Krumlov which regularly sponsors international expositions of ceramic creations. The cellars are open to the public during the main summer season.

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