This past fall I was lucky enough to be able to spend a few days in Kasperske Hory. This is lovely small town located on the edge of the Sumava National Park in the Czech Republic.
Kasperske Hory is one of the most beautiful small towns in Czech Republic. If you get the chance, this is definitely somewhere you need to check out!
Plzen is only 65 km away and it’s not that far from Prague either. Kasperske Hory has a truly unique and magical vibe that you don’t find in too many places.
The old town was well preserved and quiet. Apart from a few locals there was hardly anyone else in town during my stay.
The architecture beautiful, with an impressive church dominating the center of the main square. Just steps away is the lush and vibrant Sumava Forest. This is a magical natural area full of hiking trails, skiing hills, resorts, and plenty of places worth exploring.
Kasperske Hory – The Gem of Sumava
One of the main reasons that tourists come to visit Kasperske Hory is to check out the nearby castle. Standing high above the town is Kasperk Castle. Although it’s very interesting and especially picturesque it’s not the only thing worth doing in the area.
The castle was built by Charles IV to protect the nearby town of Kasperske Hory. It was an important location along the trade routes that connected the kingdom of the Czech Republic with the Bavaria, hundreds of kilometers away. These days you can head up to the castle and check out the inside. Nearby are more abandoned castles and other defensive fortifications that you can hike up to and explore.
A Quick History of Kasperske Hory
The first time that Kasperske Hory was mentioned in written records was all the way back in the year 1330. You can really feel that historical vibe as you walk through the alleyways and small streets throughout the town.
The surrounding area is full of natural resources. For hundreds of years the locals have been focusing on natural-based activities like logging, gold-mining, and glass making.
Even today, there is plenty of logging going on in the forests surrounding the town. Most of the mines have been closed for quite a while.
The famous Kasperk Castle wasn’t built until the second half of the 14th century. Over the years many upgrades and extensive renovations were done.
Those traveling through the area would have to stop either in town or at the castle. Here, goods would be examined and taxes paid on anything they were transporting through. Gold and other precious minerals were also mined nearby. The town became a hub from where these minerals were then shipped onwards.
By 1616 the castle had fallen into ruins as it was no longer needed to defend the trade routes. It was sold back to the nearby town that has owned it for more than 400 years.
Architecture in Kasperske Hory
The layout of Kasperske Hory is very similar to what you would find in other villages and small towns from the same era in this region. Visitors will notice that everything is radiating from a large, sprawling central square.
Originally, the square would have been used as a marketplace as well as an area where goods would be traded or sold. There was also a large public well dominating one end of the square.
Today, there is a large church right in the center of the square. Right next door is an awkwardly placed grocery store.
The church is known as St. Margaret’s Church. It’s a three-aisled basilica with the original structure having been built in the 14th century.
The structure that you see today was built in 1863. It was reconstructed after a fire damaged the entire building. The church takes on a Neo Gothic architectural style.
Lining the square are buildings that offer beautiful examples of architecture from the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries and nearly all of them are worth admiring and taking a photo of.
The town hall takes on a very notable Renaissance appearance. This building was built in 1579 as an administrative office for the small town and its local people. In 1698 it was reconstructed and took on more of the Baroque style that you see today.
There are quite a few different museums and exhibits to check out in the buildings surrounding the Town Square. If you’re visiting it’s a good idea to walk around the outside edge of the square to see which museums are open.
About a 5 to 10 minute walk from the main square area is another church, the Church of Our Lady of Snow. This church was built by 1867 and designed in a Neo Romanesque style.
Nearby are other small towns and direct access to the Sumava National Park. Here you’ll find a wide range of different resorts, restaurants, chalets, ski trails, and plenty of hiking trails as well.
Kasperske Hory Today
Today, Kasperske Hory is a very quiet place. Not too many tourists take the time to spend more than just a few minutes walking around.
Unfortunately, many of the restaurants were closed during my visit. There were quite a few nice cafes and a brand new brewery. This brewery serves delicious food and even better beer for reasonable prices.
There are also different hiking trails and biking routes that are easily accessible nearby. These provide a great way explore some of the natural beauty that the Sumava region has to offer.
I’m actually not sure if there are any hotels in Kasperske Hory. During my visit I stayed at an AirBnb apartment that was located right on the main square with a beautiful view of the square itself.
If you get the chance I would definitely recommend checking out Kasperske Hory. It’s a unique little small town in the Czech Republic that not too many people visit!