Hluboká's main focus is its castle, with a cluster of white towers flanking its walls, and tour groups pop in and out regularly. Although the structure dates from the 13th century, what you see is pure 19th-century excess, perpetrated by the wealthy Schwarzenberg family attempting to prove their good taste. If you think you've seen this castle somewhere before, you're probably thinking of Windsor Castle, near London, which served as the template. Take a tour; the happy
hodgepodge of styles in the interior reflects the no-holds-barred tastes of the time. On Tour A you'll see representative rooms, including the stunning morning salon and library. Tour B brings you into the private apartments and hunting salon, while Tour C takes in the kitchen. Tour D is available daily only in July and August, and weekends in June and September, and shows off the tower and chapel. Check out the wooden Renaissance ceiling in the large dining room, which was removed by the Schwarzenbergs from the castle at Český Krumlov and brought here. Also look for the beautiful late-baroque bookshelves in the library. The gardens are free to wander in.
Galerie Mikolaše Alše. Located near the chateau, the region's museum for art history displays a variety of works including sculpture, paintings, and porcelain. It's one of the most extensive collections of Gothic art in the country, and temporary exhibitions range from modern to contemporary. Hluboká nad Vltavou čp. 144, 373 41. www.ajg.cz. 80 Kč.
Zamék 142, Hluboká nad Vltavou, Bohemia, 373 41, Czech Republic