Vimperk Chateau - the Šumava gateway

Vimperk Chateau was originally built as a castle in the late 13th century. The oldest known written record of the castle originates from 1263, when it is referred to in an important document by the Mayor of Vimperk as a witness. The settlement below the castle was established at the turn of the 13th and 14th centuries.

From the end of the 13th and the start of the 14th century, the castle belonged to the noblemen of Sulevice.

From the end of 14th century, the castle as well as the estate belonged to Kaplíř of Sulevice. In 1470, Václav Vlček of Čenov representing his uncle imprisoned Petr Kaplíř. The front fortification of Hazelburk originates from this period as well as the construction work and the name, Vlčkova tower. On 24. April 1479, King Vladislav Jagellonský elevated the town of Vimperk. In 1494 the childless Peter Kaplíř handed down the estate to Zdeněk Malovec of Chýnov; in 1554 Joachim of Hradec bought Vimperk and its surrounding villages and sold it the same year to Vilém of Rožmberk who passed it down to Petr Vok in 1565. In 1601, Vimperk was bought by Volf Novohradský of Kolovraty. In 1630, a commission sold the indebted estate to Jan Oldřich of Eggenberk and after the last family member died in 1719, the estate was inherited by the Schwarzenberg family. The castle was reconstructed during the late 16th and early 17th century and a new and comfortable estate emerged with a lower chateau with arcades built in the Renaissance style. The lower chateau was reconstructed into a Baroque style chateau between 1728 and 1734. The last large reconstruction of the castle into its present appearance was carried out in 1857 when the chateau was hit by lightening and burned down.

In 1948 the chateau ownership was transferred to the town only to be bought by the Czech Republic Ministry of Environment in 1991.



Part of the chateau is used as a museum housing the following exhibitions:

  • Nature in Šumava National Park - basic information about the national park, the flora, photographs of natural attractions, animals and birds living in the park.
  • Printing - the history of book printing in Vimperk, demonstration of miniature Korans, prayer books, calendars, printing press, gold blocking press, etc. 
  • Glassblowing - the history of glassmaking in Vimperk, hyalite demonstrations, painted and cut glass.
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