(On your trip you follow trails with striped marks on rocks, trees and poles. Central European Hiking Markers System uses three bars - usually one colour (blue, green, red or yellow) in between two white bars in a 10 cm x 10 cm square.)
How much do you know about Vimperk? Did you know that the town walls of Vimperk are rarely well-preserved? Have you already seen the town’s oldest house called “Stag House” or the traditional wooden houses?
Start: Vimperk State Castle
Finish: Black Gate
Distance: 2,5 km
Right in front of the castle main entrance gate, you take the red marked road which follows the educational trail called “Vimperkem” (through the town of Vimperk). The road leads up the hill where the first stop is - the artillery bastion Haselburg from 15th century. Since it is a private property nowadays, you can view only exterior of the Haselburg tower.
The trail goes on through Zámek street. In the end of the street, you shortly leave the educational trail and follow the red mark until you get to the Stations of the Cross from the 1870s. Then follow the Way of the Cross downhill where the hospital is (originally the 18th-century hospital). From this point follow the educational trail “Vimperkem” again.
This trail leads through Zahradní street where you can enjoy a beautiful view of the castle and the town below. At the end of the street turn left and walk downhill to the main square. Pay attention to the burgher houses and the various styles which they represent. The current look of the houses is affected by the vast fire in 1904 after which most of the houses had to be rebuilt. You can also see remains of the town walls in the surroundings of the houses no. 24 and no. 27. The late medieval fortification surrounded the whole medieval town and it is very well-preserved up today. Along the way, you can try out how many town bastions you can find.
There are also two fountains (the upper and the lower) and the town belfry on the square. If you need a map or want some nice souvenirs, you can visit the Tourist Office. In the lower end of the square, you can find the Church of the Visitation of the Virgin Mary with the vicarage (no. 46). However, our trail does not lead that way (on the left), instead, goes downhill through Steinbrener street (on the right).
This street is named after J. Steinbrener whose house you pass by (no. 3, used to be called “Elephant House”). One of the most important citizens of Vimperk was born there - Johann Steinbrener, the bookmaker, who had revived the tradition of book printing in Vimperk. On the left side, you walk by the brewery "Šumavský pivovar" which has revived the tradition of brewery in Vimperk (there used to be even two breweries in Vimperk!). You can ask for the guided tour in the today’s brewery or buy a local beer.
If you go on farther downhill, you will get to the area of traditional wooden houses from the 18th century. Passing the houses turn left and take Na baště and Kostelní streets. Those streets head to the current main boulevard of Vimperk – the Pivovarská (Brewery) street. Right across the street, there is one of the oldest houses in Vimperk - so called “Stag House” (no. 61). The green house is decorated by a head of a stag with true antlers and by the frescoes representing the St. Hubert legend. Inside the house, you will find stylish café called “Kavárna Ve Skále”.
Thereafter follow the red marked trail again. It leads through Pivovarská street, before the Gymnasium building turn right and take the steps. (Or you can follow the Pivovarská street another 100 metres and come by the sweet shop “Cukrárna pod zámkem”. Try some traditional sweets like “kremrole”, “punčový řez” or “věneček”.) Turn right again to the Podzámčí street heading back to the castle, but before you get there, you will have to go under the Black Gate, the only one survived of four town gates.
If you do not want to end your trip yet, we recommend you to have a short walk in Arboretum which is right in front of the castle. Or you can walk right downhill instead, through the alley, and visit the St. Bartholomew church with the Chapel of Fourteen Holy Helpers.
Tips: You can leave your car in the town’s car park and get the map of the educational trail “Vimperkem” in the Tourist Office (in Czech or German) or you can print the map before your visit. The map will lead you through the whole trail and you will find there some facts about every stop. By your way you can visit the castle (the stops no. 8 and no. 10) and rest on the guided tour or in the museum.
(The information about the sights of Vimperk or about interesting places in the neighbourhood has been taken over from the official website of the town.)
(click on the map to open it in the new window)