Prague Express – What to visit in the Czech Republic – Karlštejn



If you are staying in Prague for a few days, you absolutely have to visit Karlštejn.

It is a small town in about 30 km from Prague, which is well-known for its castle, which is the second most visited tourist sight in the Czech Republic after Prague. Karlštejn castle stands out among other Czech castles - it is a great example of a medieval gothic castle, overlooking picturesque hilly countryside and the river Berounka from a 72-meter cliff.

The castle was founded in 1348 as a summer residence of Holy Roman Emperor and Czech king Charles IV, but it was also the place where imperial regalia and holy relics (which were collected by the monarch) were stored. Construction and interior works were supervised by the king himself, who moved to the castle in 1355, as soon as the heart of the treasury – the Chapel of the Holy Cross in the Great tower – was consecrated. During the Hussite wars Bohemian Crown Jewels (including Crown of Saint Wenceslas) were evacuated from Prague castle to Karlštejn and kept there for almost 200 years. By the end of the 16th century Karlštejn started falling into disrepair. In 1619 Bohemian Crown Jewels and archive were brought back to Prague, in 1620 the castle was turned over to Holy Roman Emperor Ferdinand II, in 1648 it was conquered by Swedes and during the battle castle buildings were partially destroyed. At the end of the 17th century the castle came to be in possession of Czech kings again. Castle’s exterior underwent multiple changes – in 1480 it was rebuilt in late gothic style, at the end of the 16th century – in late renaissance style, and its present look was the result of the latest reconstruction at the end of the 19th century. Now Karlštejn castle is in property of Czech state and open to the public.

In 1962 it was announced a national cultural monument. Apart from unique architecture, visitors will be impressed by the collection of paintings by Master Theodoric, original decorations of walls which date back to the 14th century, the largest in the country portrait gallery of Czech rulers and replica of royal regalia. Also, Karlštejn is used as a venue for holding beautiful and romantic wedding ceremonies.

Check out our Karlštejn private tour offer or book a private tour online.


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