Photo Tour: South Bohemia

Friends in České Budějovice -- which is south of Prague, not too far from the Austrian border -- invited me for a Czech lunch and a Sunday drive in the beautiful countryside of South Bohemia. After my lucky three weeks of almost-perfect springlike weather, we had some less-than-perfect springlike weather: snow showers with wind so strong that the snow blew sideways, followed by bright sunshine, then some more snow showers and wind, then a bit of sun... The snow made the landscape even prettier -- and gave us a great reason to duck inside, a couple of times, for cups of hot čaj (tea, pronounced like the Indian chai).

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This village (pronounced HO-lah-SHOW-vee-tsay) is impossibly cute. The buildings around the central square are ornately carved and painted in the style that's come to be called Folk Baroque. In the 19th century, my friends told me, when the Baroque style was popular, actually making a Baroque building front was expensive: all of those curlicues and patterns took a lot of time for artisans to craft. Folk Baroque is a "low-budget" Baroque style that's unique to South Bohemia -- and, especially, to Holašovice. Here are some photos to give you an idea:

Homes around the central square
Around the pond in Holasovice
A few buildings...
... and details of one
top of a building
top of a building
TIny chapel ...and more homes


Kratochvíle is an especially pretty place -- where, by the way, my friends were married. (Hmmm, and you're going to have to ask my friends how to pronounce it ;-).) While we were there, another squall coated the trees and cobblestones with a fresh layer of snow.

snow-covered trees
snowy lane


The little round church at Lomec (LO-mets) has a beautiful Baroque interior -- no photographs allowed. But the outside is nice too:

Virgin Mary pilgrimage church
Church dome

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(These photographs are Copyright © 2003 by Jerry Peek. Much higher-resolution versions of most images, and many other images too, are available at Jerry Peek Photography. Photos are available at reduced prices, or free, for non-commercial use.)

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