Hiking in the footsteps of shared history - a cross-border long-distance hiking trail from Grein to Velešín in South Bohemia opens up 19 castles and chateaus.
The Czech-Austrian neighborhood in particular shows how differently one can define a border in the course of history: as a political up and down, as a deadly no man's land, as a European green belt or as a kind of doorstep at which friends can greet each other.
For centuries, castles, knights and dukes fought for power and influence in the border region of Mühlviertel / South Bohemia, while farmers and settlers made the barren crumb arable. It was a borderland, was a buffer between world powers and now wants to be a meeting point. Certainly, the relationship between the Czech and German-speaking population groups has not always been untroubled in the past: what relationship has that ever been? History has shown, however, that at a total limit, as was the case with the Iron Curtain, both sides threaten to wither away. It is up to us to revitalize the old roots, to rethink what we have become together.
Experienced hikers have long known that every step of long-distance hiking has a beneficial effect: on the body, the own soul and sometimes on the history of entire peoples.
We, the tourism associations along the Burgen- und Schlösserweg, invite you to set out on a journey that brings people and countries together. It doesn't matter whether you start in the Bohemian Kaplitz or the Danube town of Grein (the hiking guide can literally be used on both sides) or choose a circular hike. The walking tour takes you to the former centers of aristocratic culture, i.e. to a past in which the Mühlviertel and Bohemia were cleared and settled. Proud castles, magnificent palaces, wildly romantic streams, legendary rocks and hospitable locals guide you along the way - full of magic, sometimes contemplative, sometimes simple, almost always exhilarating.
Step by step we then connect fields, meadows, forests, then castles, villages with countries and, if we succeed, people. Step by step we leave the past behind us in order to open up a new future in the mirror of the old.