Český Krumlov Castle - Prehistory
The strategic position on the narrow rock cliffs over the ford of the Vltava river has been an attractive place for settlement since time immemorial. It was an important guard point on the old trade route leading from the Alpine region and Podunají to the heart of Bohemia that used the valley of the Vltava river as early as the Bronze Age.
The beginnings of prehistoric settlement of the castle hill in Český Krumlov can be at present followed only by archaeological explorations. The archaeological discoveries of period artifacts representing an advanced material culture of the local inhabitants produce reliable evidence for the beginnings of the settlement dating at the turn of the early and middle Bronze Age. A small collection of pottery is evidence of the presumable existence of an elevated settlement, possibly even a castle site, on the site of the IInd courtyard, which dates back to the early Bronze Age (about 1500 B.C.). Analogous places settled at the same time in the near vicinity are known from Vyšné, Boletice and Mříč - (see Castle Dívčí Kámen). The existence of the settlement in the late Hallstatt Age - about 500 B.C. - is supported by other potsherds. Elevated settlements or castle sites are also rather common at that time.
Also interesting is the occurrence of ceramic objects from the late La Tene Age about 150 years B.C., which, however, do not originate from direct archaeological exploration but only from collection and lack an exact location. Even in this case, it was probably proof of an elevated castle site.
The oldest artifact found on the castle hill is a unique neolithic polished-stone axe/hatchet dated back to about 4000 B.C. which was discovered by accident during the Second World War. Although archaeological research did not produce any evidence of a settlement at the time, the authenticity of the discovery is supported by the detection of a civilization which used simply decorated pottery, which was found in the brewery garden at Latrán. Prehistoric Settlement of the Castle Hill in Český Krumlov was subject to archaeological research in the 1990\'s.