Castle was found
in 1348 by the Czech king and Holy Roman Emperor Charles IV. It was
finished 17 years later, but Emperor Charles moved it in 1355 in the
finished parts of the castle. The heart of the citadel is its imposing
keep that served as a fortified vault to keep treasures and relics of
the Holy Roman Empire. One of most treasured relics that Charles brought to this castle
was the head of the dragon said to be killed by Saint George. From a
closer look it is actually the head of a crocodile.
about Karlstein Castle
Karlstein Castle was
never captured by enemy forces. Hussite Army laid siege to a
military garrison in 1427, but failed to take it. Later during
the Thirty Years War Swedish forces attempted the same feat.
They also failed.
By a strange caprice of Charles IV, no women were allowed to enter the
premises of the Karlstein Castle.
Karlstein Castle was reconstructed in 1480 in late Gothic
architectural style. Late it was reconstructed in
the Renaissance style. In the late 19th century government decided to
return Karlstein Castle to its original appearance. It was
reconstructed in a neo- Gothic style between 1887 and 1899 under
supervision of an architect
Thus middle of summer is probably the worst time to go there due to
large number of tourists. Once you will get to Karlštejn village you
won’t see the actual fortification, so use the flow of tourists as
your guide. It is a single road that runs through a small village and
after 500 meters (1/3 mile) you will arrive there. The road is
constantly up the hill so it might be difficult. Along the way you can
eat, drink or buy souvenirs.
The most visible part of Karlštejn
Castle is the
that stands in the center of the citadel. It is 60 m high and its
massive walls measure 4-6 meters in thickness. The
was designed to be the last refuge if the castle falls and has its own
retractable bridge to prevent penetration. It also houses the Chapel of
the Holy Cross and many interesting collections including a 129 panel
paintings of Czech rulers by Master Theodoric. Much of the interior is
from the 14th century and even some of the furniture pieces
are work of Charles IV who liked carpentry.