History of Farming in Český Krumlov

The farming setting of Český Krumlov was mainly concentrated into kitchen-gardens (manorial, monasterial and burgher ones) or orchards situated in the immediate proximity of dwelling houses (especially in the back parts of house plots) as well as farming estates lying in the suburbs not far from the town walls or in the nearby villages.

Zlatá Koruna school, classroom aid from 18th century, picture of care of home animals

The number of gardens began to increase from the 15th century. We also must mention the vineyards (e.g. on the south terraces of the Castle or by the Minorite Monastery which has then been called Tramín or Na Tramíně since that time). Vegetable (onion, garlic, carrot, cabbage, beet and legume), spice (saffron), medicinal herbs (balm, sage, mint, lavender) as well as flowers for show or various kinds of exotic fruit were grown in the gardens. As concerns fruit trees, pear-trees, apple-trees, sour cherry trees, cherry trees and plum-trees, they were grown most of all.

From the rather large historic gardens within the town only the Castle Garden with its provisioning gardening has been preserved up to the present. As an example of a kitchen garden and at the same time decorative is the Brewery Garden where a detailed description of plants (exotic fruit trees, laurel trees, quince-trees, cypresses, orange-trees, lemon-trees, fig-trees) grown in the green-house has been preserved. In another part of the garden peach-trees, medlars and a number of various kinds of vegetables were grown. ( Brewery Garden in Český Krumlov). Fish-hatcheries where fish were bred were often a part of main gardens as well. There also appeared hop-gardens which had its basis in the tradition of beer brewing (and drinking) related not only to the manorial and burgher breweries but also to each burgher households. Barley and wheat, the latter used for brewing of the so-called white beer, were important agricultural products as well as trade articles connected with the beer brewing. ( History of Brewing in Český Krumlov).

Ploughing a field, historical photo

Farming estates in the nearby surroundings of the town began to be established as early as the 14th century. The Letters of 14 August 1347 issued by Peter von Rosenberg joined those estates altogether with several villages to the town of Krumlov. These Letters enumerate the estates of that period - Jindřichův and Ludvíkův Estates near the village of Zahrádky, Kojišův Estate lying near the road to Velešín, Přibkův Estate, Pidíkův - the present-day Kvítkův dvůr situated approximately 2 kms from the Český Krumlov Castle, Vlaštovičník Estate in Nové Spolí, and others.

The information related to 1502 documents that the town bought "Lhota Along the Ridge" Estate, later called only Ridge. Those estates held cultivated pieces of land, operation buildings as well as numerous labourers and they provided a substantial part of agricultural production necessary to provision the burghers of Český Krumlov.

Thrashing wheat, period illustration

Minor domestic animals (poultry) and cattle (cows, bulls, horses, oxen, sheep, goats, pigs) were bred mostly in the extensions in the back parts of the house estates. In the free space straw was littered, dung was carried out, rubbish was thrown and domestic poultry and pigs ran about freely there. The nobility often pointed out that condition by pushing the prohibition of cattle breeding in the town. At the beginning of the 17th century the town was privileged the right by its owner of that period - the emperor Rudolf II. von Habsburg - to hold horse and cattle markets regularly on Thursdays between 25th January and 25th July.

Potatoes as a rather new agricultural plant began to enjoy a gradual preference in Český Krumlov. At the end of the 18th century potatoes were experimentally grown in the Clare Nuns Convent garden in Český Krumlov and since the 1830's new varieties initially grown in the botanical gardens situated in the Jelení Garden of that period were applied. ( Beginning of Potato Growing in the Český Krumlov Region).


Other information:
Historical Gardens and Parks in Český Krumlov