Situated on the banks of the Vltava river, the town was built around a 13th-century castle with Gothic, Renaissance and Baroque elements. It is an outstanding example of a small central European medieval town whose architectural heritage has remained intact thanks to its peaceful evolution over more than five centuries.
There are two main historic areas – the Latrán area below the castle and the town proper on the opposite bank, in the meander of the Vltava River. The town has a regular street layout, typical of the planned towns of the Middle Ages, with streets radiating out from the central square and a circular intra-rampart road. The castle contains elements from the Gothic, High Gothic, Renaissance and Baroque styles. It is dominated by the Gothic Hradek with its round tower; this was subsequently converted into a Baroque chateau with the addition of a garden, the Bellaire summer palace, a winter riding school, and a unique Baroque theatre of 1766. Both Latrán and the town proper contain undisturbed ensembles of burgher houses from High Gothic onwards. They are notable for their facades, internal layouts and decorative detail, especially carved wooden Renaissance ceilings.
Since 1992 it is a Unesco site.
Thanks to Lucka for the postcard.