The Upper Castle Vimperk (Winterberg)

The restoration project under the Integrated Regional Operational Program (IROP) for 2014-2020.

  • Registration Number: CZ.06.3.33/0.0/0.0/15_015/0000350
  • Operational Programme: Integrated Regional Operational Programme for the 2014–2020 period
  • Status: realization of the project

The project focuses on solving a construction condition of the part of the National heritage monument — the Vimperk Castle, specifically on so-called Upper Castle which is currently in disrepair; the guided tours are currently only in a limited operation. Termination of the project is going to make the Upper Castle accessible; a new guided tour is going to be created there as well. Furthermore, a museum exposition and facilities for visitors will be created. With the opening of the castle, the heritage collection presented to the public will be complemented by an object of Central European importance.

  • operational programme: the Integrated Regional Operational Programme (IROP) for the 2014—2020 period
  • priority axis: 3. — An excellent administration of the territory and efficacy of the public institutions
  • specific aim: 3.1 — An effective presentation and appreciation for conservation and development of the cultural heritage
  • investment priority: 6c — conservation, protection, propagation and development of the natural and cultural heritage
  • challenge: no. 13 – Revitalization of selected monuments
  • duration of the project: 1 July 2015 – 31 December 2020
  • amount of money in total: 110 164 811 CZK

The financial support of the project was declared by the decision of the Minister of Culture no. 5/2017, from 27 March 2017. The beneficiary is the National Heritage Institute, Regional Historic Sites Management in České Budějovice.                       

Aim and objectives of the project

The project is focused on the vast restoration of the castle which consists in 4 main activities:

  • Construction of an appropriate visitor centre including a suitable facilities for visitors in the Upper Castle, which is related to a relocation of the mains underground services (power lines, water/gas main, pipes etc.).
  • Extension and modernization of the Museum of Vimperk – creation of the new attractive exposition encompassing the cultural landscape of the region including the local traditions of glassmaking, book printing, displacement of the region and ethnography from the 19th through the 20th century. The modernization of the depository is a part of the plan as well.
  • Creation of representative tour routes which are going to be furnished in the compliance with the relevant period, therefore the routes are going to present the most important historical periods of the building development and everyday life inside the castle.
  • Professional restoration of the chosen facades at the courtyards.

The Vimperk castle was founded in mid-thirteenth century as a fortress protecting one branch of the important trade routes, which connected Bavaria and the Czech kingdom at that time, later known as the Golden Path. The fundamental part of the castle development was the beginning of the 17th century. During that era, the most valuable renaissance rebuilds were taking place under the rule of Novohradský z Kolovrat noble family. The last aristocratic owners, the Schwarzenberg family, had begun to use the castle rather as an administrative centre to manage their estates. After the land reform, the castle was rent as barracks to the Czechoslovak Army. After the World War II, the castle passed to the Czechoslovakian state, thereafter was used as flats and offices of the South Bohemian forest management. After the 1989, the castle was managed by The National Park and Protected Landscape Area of Šumava. The museum of national regional history was located in the castle for more than 50 years, the continuity of the institution is now guaranteed by its name the Museum of Vimperk.

Modern reconstructions, especially those of the previous century, had suppressed and covered historically valuable elements of both, the oldest building era and 19th-century phases. The lack of maintenance in the past years left its marks on the compound. The buildings had suffered from the use of unsuitable roof tiles; there are layers of plaster falling down from the facades, the interiors are devastated - there are several caved-in ceilings and floors in serious disrepair. Besides, the insufficient underground utilities have a malfunction and the operational facilities (including the facilities for visitors) are unsuitable and provisional.

According to the qualified estimation, a prospective attendance after the reconstruction is approximately 18 000 paying visitors per year. Since the castle is the national cultural monument in the vicinity of the Šumava National Park and the town of Vimperk and it is also situated on the important transportation and touristic route, it is expected that the number of visitors will increase after the project is completed.