Červená Lhota is a Renaissance chateau in the small village of the same name in southern Bohemia, near the town of Jindřichův Hradec. The location is very picturesque. The unique colour of the chateau contrasts very nicely with the colour of the lake which surrounds it and the colour of the nearby trees. This beautiful scenery attracts thousands of visitors every year.
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About the Name
The word Červená means “red” in Czech. The word Lhota appears in many names of villages in Czechia. Its Slovak counterpart is Lehota and in southwestern Poland you may come across Ligota. This word can be translated as “due period” and it refers to a type of medieval settlements where the settlers were relieved from paying taxes for a certain period, in return for making the land arable. This period of tax exemption was called lhota in Czechia.
There are a few hundred villages containing this word or its variant. They are mainly located in Bohemia. Together with their Slovak counterparts, these villages organize annual meet-ups in one of them on an alternating basis.
History in a Nutshell
This village of Lhota was founded by the Lords of Hradec in the 13th century. The settlers were relieved from taxes in order to stimulate the development of this area. The first mention of a fortress at this site is from 1465, when Petr of Zásmuk inherited it from his father.
In 1542, the then owner Jan Kaba ordered the Italian architect Giovanni da Spazio (a.k.a. Hons Vlach) to remodel the castle in the Renaissance style. The work was completed in 1555. In the same year a new name of the settlement and castle was mentioned for the first time: Nová Lhota (meaning: “New Lhota”). This new name didn’t last long, because already in 1602 sources referred to the chateau as Červená Lhota (“Red Lhota”), after the colour of its plaster.
Over the course of centuries, this beautiful edifice changed ownership many times. After World War II, it was nationalised and for a short time it housed a children’s hospital. Since 1949, it has been open to the public.
Getting to Červená Lhota
The village with this amazing chateau is not the only one with this name in Czechia. If you want to see this chateau, you need to go to Červená Lhota in the Pluhův Žďár municipality, in the Jindřichův Hradec District.
If you’re are based in Prague, you can go there for a day trip. However, if you would like to use public transportation, it may not be very convenient because there are very few connections. You take a train from Praha hl. n. to Soběslav and change there to a bus going to Deštná. The journey should take less than 3 hours. In this case, check the return trip in advance here and be careful not to miss it.
If you are based closer to Červena Lhota, for example in České Budějovice, the travel time will be shorter, but you will still use the bus to Deštná. The last return trip of this bus is in the afternoon. If you miss it you will have to improvise.
Other options are using a private car or going for an organised tour.