Třeboňsko nature reserve

Třeboň, photo: archive of Radio Prague

Třeboňsko nature reserve spans an area of 700 km2 in the far south of Bohemia. Lying east of the hilly terrain of the Šumava region, the area is notable for its remarkably flat landscape – and is the only vast non-hilly environment of its kind in the Czech Republic to receive such special protection as a so-called CHKO (or landscape park). Not only that, but the Třeboň basin is also a UNESCO biosphere reserve.

Třeboň,  photo: archive of Radio Prague
The namesake historical town of Třeboň serves as the heart of the area. Built by the banks of a huge lake beginning in the 12th century, the town boasts a charming historical centre of the typical renaissance and gothic style, frequently filled with market stalls and inquisitive tourists coming over from nearby Austria. There is also a huge 17th century Renaissance chateaux complex, which first belonged to the House of Rosenberg, and later the House of Schwarzenberg – right until 1940 when it was seized by the Gestapo. The elegant castle grounds contain a large park, and will also lead a visitor to the town’s medieval stone fortifications, of which only the southern wall section has been preserved.

Walking down to the lake, one soon comes across another rather breathtaking site – the Regent beer brewery. It’s a giant historical complex, where beer is still made today. The castle-like grounds of the brewery were built in the 19th century, but the beer itself has a history going back to the 14th century. Visitors can enter the courtyard for a sneak peek, but the brewery also offers extensive tours of the facility.

Třeboň chateaux,  photo: Martin Němec
You can’t say the word Třeboň without also saying the word “carp”. These Christmas fish are farmed here – and apparently the town holds the record for the largest carp ever, which measured an unbelievable 40 metres long (OK, in reality this "carp" really comprised of around 2,000 children forming a carp shape in the town's main square in 2009). Naturally, the restaurants here all offer a variety of carp dishes – proving that there’s far more one can do with this fish than cover it in breadcrumbs.

There’s water, water everywhere in the Třeboňsko region. Swamps, marshes and lakes, all part of the basin of the Lužnice river. The authorities here use a special eco-friendly spray to prevent the area being overrun by mosquitoes in the summer. It gets hot and humid here over those months, while in winter the weather can be surprisingly mild.

Photo: CzechTourism
Třeboňsko region offers endless walks, with minimal exertion thanks to the flat terrain. To the south is the town of Suchdol nad Lužnicí, and forests stretching all the way to the border town of České Velenice, often dotted by quaint, white-coloured historical cottages. To the east, hundreds of lakes stretching all the way to the Austrian border. Třeboňsko can be described as a kind of Czech rural Belgium – its certainly a lovely region to visit and explore.