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Karlštejn Castle

Karlštejn Castle

Karlštejn is a large Gothic castle just outside of Prague, 20 km (12.5 mi) from a city. It is most popular and most visited castle in the Czech Republic.

 

 

 

 

Location: 25 km (16 mi) Southwest of Prague

Tel. 311 68 16 95

www.hradkarlstejn.cz

 

Month Open Exception
Jan, March, Nov, Dec 9am- 3pm tues 2nd
Feb Closed
April, Oct 9am- 4 pm Mon.
May, June 9am- 5 pm Mon.
July, Aug 9am- 6 pm Mon.
Sept. 9am- 5 pm Mon.

 

 

 

 

History of Karlštejn Castle

Karlštejn 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.

 

Karlstein Castle Old painting  Karlstein Castle Old painting

Interesting facts 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 Josef Mocker.

Karlštejn Castle  Karlštejn Castle  Karlštejn Castle  Karlštejn Castle  Karlštejn Castle  Karlštejn Castle  Karlštejn Castle

Visiting of Karlštejn Castle

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 Great Tower that stands in the center of the citadel. It is 60 m high and its massive walls measure 4-6 meters in thickness. The Great Tower 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.

Karlštejn Castle  Karlštejn Castle  Karlštejn Castle  Karlštejn Castle  Karlštejn Castle  Karlštejn Castle

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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