Amazing Czech Castles
The Czech Republic and its predecessor Kingdom of Bohemia has a long history. Like in many other European countries, the main development has happened in the Middle Ages. People had to protect their property at those time, and noblemen built the castles to do so. And Czech country is literally full of chateaus, castles, forts, monasteries, and ruins of these buildings.
Take this short blog as a tip for your trips. Not all the Czech castles we mention here are the most visited, but they are our favorite ones.
Each summer, my sisters and I had to pack our small bags and go with parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles and family friends to the castle Bouzov. It was a family tradition, it was close to our summer cottage, and we simply hated it like other small children in this our „weird“ group. Therefore I had to visit this castle like twenty times. Only this year, when I visited Bouzov after almost twenty years, I have appreciated the magnificence of this fairy-tale castle.
Bouzov is located in the North Moravia, only twenty kilometers from the historic city of Olomouc. It was built in the 14th century in a Gothic style and rebuilt several times during the ages. Nowadays romantic appearance is from the end of the 19th century. Almost sixty meters high tower is the dominant feature, and it is visible from far away. During the WWII, it was owned by the Nazis. Fortunately, this is history. Today it is open to the public, and you can visit eight different guided tours. Castle is open from April till the end of October. Once you are here, don´t forget to visit another „fairy-tale“ place, nearby Javoricko Cave (Javoricske jeskyne).
Hluboka nad Vltavou
If I named Bouzov to be a „fairy-tale“ castle, I could hardly find the words how to describe the chateau Hluboka nad Vltavou. If you like the history and the beauty of the architecture, you must visit this castle. It´s situated on the hill above the Vltava river, close to the city of Ceske Budejovice in the South Bohemia. The Czech kings owned this building. Would you guess that initially, it was a fortress from the 13th century? Hardly, I believe, as the rebuild from the 19th century gave to the chateau romantic „pseudo-gothic“ appearance. And also the beautiful contiguous English park. You can only walk around this charming building, but it would be a shame not to enter, as the wooden interiors are exciting as well. Also, the movie makers knew it and filmed here several famous fairytales.
We have spent here one sunny afternoon in May this year, and it was great to see the foreign tourist admiring this place. If you want to be one of them, you can come to Hluboka nad Vltavou during the whole year.
Romantic appearance, crystal chandeliers, carved wooden ceilings, stucco…..This is definitely something that you would hardly find inside the Trosky castle. Because Trosky means in the Czech language the ruins.
I perfectly remember, when I saw the castle for the first time. I was twenty, and we went through the Bohemian Paradise with my friends. We call it in Czech „čundr“ (wander). But while standard groups walk during the day, our strange group marched in the night. And when I open the eyes in the morning, I saw these beautiful ruins with two towers dominating in the landscape.
Towers are called „Virgin“ (Panna) & „Biddy“ (Baba). Guess which one is tall and thin, and which is small and thick. Castle was constructed at the end of the 14th century at the top of two rocks. The fortification was massive. It consists of three stone rings. But the history of the „living castle“ was very short. It was only the storehouse from the end of the 15th century. We don´t know exactly how the fort looked like as no picture survived till today. Anyway, we can say that Trosky is beautiful. The location at the border of the Bohemian Paradise, an area full of rocks, makes it one of the most charming „ruins“ in the Czech Republic.
If you want to taste the real Middle Ages atmosphere, then you should visit Pernstejn. There are not so many castles in the Czech Republic that are so well preserved. The current look of the building comes from the High Gothic period at the end of the 16th century. Arched ceilings, Gothic and Renaissance frescos, narrow corridors, all these attributes are very characteristic for Pernstejn.
You will find Pernstejn in the South Moravia, approximately fifty minutes from the city of Brno. You can explore during your visit also nearby Moravian Karst (Moravsky Kras) with famous Punkevni Cave.
Karlstejn is the name of the village and the castle of the same name. It is located forty kilometers south-west from Prague, in the beautiful woody hills of landscape park Czech Karst (Cesky Kras). The castle is sunken deeply among the forests. Emperor Charles IV. built the castle in 1348 in Gothic style. Initially it was supposed to be the representative residence of Czech kings, later on, it was decided, that the castle will serve as the treasury of the crown jewels. It is one of the most visited sights in the Czech Republic. Czechs understand the importance of the castle as the symbol of the patriotism.
The concept of the building is different from the typical buildings of such a kind. It´s actually complex of several towers and edifices.You can join the guided tours within four different circuits. The basic one offers mainly the king´s chambers, the St. Wenceslas Chapel, the treasury and many others. The Exclusive circuit includes beside many other premises the fantastic Chapel of the Holy Cross, the most valuable part of the castle, where the crown jewels were stored in the past. The chapel is on the second floor of the Great Tower, and the whole interior is absolutely amazing. Other circuits are shorter. You might either enter the Great Tower (without the chapel) or visit the exhibition of the Castle Treasure. The tours are available in Czech, English or German.
There many and many other fantastic sights in the Czech Republic. Orlik, Konopiste, Cesky Krumlov, Bezdez, Loket, Kost, Cervena Lhota or huge Prague Castle. All these are only parts of the architectonic treasure hidden in the very heart of Europe.