100 km south-west from Brno, built on a narrow rocky promontory about 70 m above the surface of the river Želetavka lays spectacular, enormous and ready for your visit castle Bitov.
We parked in the Bitov centre, so it was around 3 km to walk one way to the castle. After about 500 meters we noticed the scooter rental advert. And since walking this distance with a kid, without a stroller already took us half an hour we thought: This is it. Let’s try it. We’re extremely lucky. Scooters, even with kid’s seat were available. We got instructed by a nice lady and moved ahead, this time on the wheels. If you want to be sure one is waiting for you, reserve yours up on arrival here.
HILLS OR NOT
As first-time scooter riders, we did quite ok. Uphill was a bit tiring and we had to get used to new gears, but after a while we drove like crazy. Just to clarify, my heart will always stay with the bike and nothing can change that. The green path that we followed to the castle leads partially through the forest, partially through pavement, thus it’s not that boring.
We’ve seen the castle from the distance. But only closer, we could see its real beauty. Undoubtedly, the castle is very recognizable, not only because of its size but also because of the neo-Gothic chapel with the oldest movable monument Bítovská Madonna from 1334, in the middle of the courtyard. Still very well preserved. I found it fascinating to discover various angles of the castle. To explore that the large castle garden, the so called Burggart, was changed into a ZOO, because of the Baron Jiri Haas. What’s more to learn that the same baron during WW2 couldn’t left his castle and the animals, so he decided to commit a suicide. And last, but not least to discover that the castle’s history is very old, the first reference about the fortified settlement near castle dates back to VIII – IX century. I believe taking a guided tour is worth it. Good news is that the tours can be held in other that Czech languages as well. To find more information check here
We chose the Pivovarska 12, Vranovsko bike trail to return to Bitov city. On the way, a restaurant Rumburak will undoubtedly draw your attention. The monuments of ravens, observation tower, kids’ playground are not the only attractions there. Check more and plan your visit. Another interesting point we drove by was a marihuana farm, you cannot miss it. There’s a bar and probably a very relaxed atmosphere. I felt it’s quite inappropriate to go there with a 2-year-old, so we just passed by.
We stopped for a moment at the U Tesaru restaurant only to gather strength, stretch the bones and fill our stomachs before the next stop. There’s also a fine pastry shop right next, so if you need extra calories, dessert looked really good.
Because the day didn’t finish and we had the strength to continue, we decided to go for another adventure and visit the Cornstejn castle. The green path, 5007 and Vranovsko bike trails in the opposite direction than the Bitov castle leads to Cornstejn. It’s another 2,5 km from the centre of Bitov. It goes through the bridge, then up the steep hill, where scooters weren’t really useful. Once we arrived on the top it turned out we missed the opening hours for about 10 minutes. We didn’t make it on time. As a result, we’ve seen the gates only.
We moved back along the water shore until we reached the lively and vibrant Bitov camp, with the swimming pool, various fast food stands and full of people. We stayed for an evening swimming at the dam, then head back home.
There’s a paid parking place about 1 km away the Bitov caste. Another one is in the city centre, on the “main square” (namesti) and this is where we parked. It’s almost 3 kilimeters from here. If you’re planning to visit Cornstejn use the parking area called Parkoviště Bítov-chatová oblast rigt next to the bridge. I use mapy.cz to find the suitable place to park.