Most of the tourists are visiting mainly Prague and Prague castle. Prague castle isn’t the only fancy mansion in the Czech republic. In fact, there is a lot of them. Because of Czech rich history where kings and queens often build several castles, you can now visit more than 100 castles all around Czechia. Of course, some of them are more beautiful and preserved than others, not all of them are open to the public. In my list, you can find mainly these, that you can visit by yourself and where you can get an English guide.
Best Czech castles
Karlštejn is a large Gothic castle, just about 45 minutes from Prague by train. It was founded in 1348 by king Charles IV, the emperor of the Roman Empire. Also, the only Czech King, who became Emperor. The place was used for keeping safe crown jewels and relics and royal treasures.
This castle, in particular, was made so it has a big defense advantage. Its location is conveniently surrounded by hills. Some of the hills are almost impossible to get to due to challenging terrain around. So the only time this castle was successfully invaded was during Hussite wars in 1421 when the attackers catapulted dead bodies to spread the infection among the defenders.
The legend says, that women were not allowed to this castle. That was the decision of Emperor because he wanted this place for praying and for holly purposes, so no “fun” was allowed here. According to this legend, this rule got broken when Emperors’ wife dresses as a boy to see what is her husband up to here. Once he figured out, the women were allowed to most of the castles, but there was still room from praying that were just for men.
This castle is located in the south Moravia region, close to town Brno but also to the borders with Austria. The castle has a big garden in the English style, a very impressive interior and lookout tower outside. Generally, this castle belongs to one of the most beautiful ones in the Czech Republic and perhaps because it belongs to one of the UNESCO heritage. The current look, that you can see now, is here mainly due to massive reconstruction in the 19th century. When it comes to architecture, this castle is perhaps one of the biggest projects in the romanticism style. This style was popular in the Czech republic in the 19th century. You can find a lot of Czech buildings in this style. For example, a national theatre in Prague is there as well.
Even though the castle suffered during the second world war, up till now it kept most of its beauty. The main issue during the war was the thing, that a lot of treasures and art pieces were taken by Lichtenstein’s house to Lichtenstein (the country). And that is one of the reasons why Czechia doesn’t have great relationships with them. Even though this castle used to belong to them.
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Another castle that is part of UNESCO heritage also in the romantic style of architecture. The first mention of the castle is from the 13th century. That means that the Hluboká castle was the first Gothic. However, it was renovated several times to suit different styles. It is also considered one of the most beautiful Czech castles, that there is. It is a very popular place to visit not only by Czech tourists. Except for another great garden, you can find here winter garden, massive riding hall, and very impressive interiors.
The castle was renovated to look a little bit like Windsor castle in England. The renovation took place in the 19th century and since then, you can see the Hluboká castle the way it is now. It is also a popular movie location. You could see this castle in the movie Underworld: Blood wars or in Shanghai knights.
Loket is a castle in Gothic style, that keeps the gothic exteriors and interiors through the centuries. Once it was known and the “Impregnable castle of Bohemia” mainly due to its thick walls that were impossible to get through. The castle is up till now very popular to visit. And even the town makes theatre and opera inside its walls during the summer.
The Loket castle has an interesting history. Basically, through time, every rich house was interested in having this castle. It was mainly due to strategical advantages during wars, when this castle, that is sitting on a massive rock, is very hard to get to and relatively easy to defend. However, in modern times – around the end of the 18th century – the castle had a function of prison. This lasted until 1948. And in the 60’s it was open again as a castle to the public.
Zvíkov is very often called the King of castles. It lays at the junction of Vltava and Otava in the southern part of Bohemia. The castle is the most important mansion of early gothic architecture in the Czech Republic. After the first king dynasty of Přemyslid died out, the castle was taken ba Rožmberk house. It was very tough to crack, due to its position. After the time of Charles IV the Roman Emperor, the castle was owned by a rebellious protestant nobleman. Here you can see that the location of the castle was truly important because at this time the castle was defended by 150 men against 4000 thousand men.
Up till today, there are legends about the castle that had its ghost. Several times this Zvíkov imp inspired artists, some even to the level when they wrote a play about him. It is a Czech play, however, you can still see it now since the castle is popular for exhibitions and near hiking places.
Červená Lhota is yet one more of Czech castles from the southern Bohemia region. It stands in the middle of a rocky island. The castle itself is relatively small, but there is a lot to see around, including incredible landscapes or gardens close by the castle. The first mention of this castle comes from the 14th century. It was built on a granite outcrop, where the piece of land was filled with water making it fishpond. And this little outcrop became an island in the lake.
When you look at the castle, you can clearly see that this building was never made for war purposes. It was one of the castles, where you just celebrate. So you can find here a lot of beautiful art pieces, you can also find here a renaissance chapel of the holy trinity.
This is one of the Czech castles that you can still visit, however, it is only in the form of ruins now. But still, it is possible to visit it just by yourself without any guide actually. Trosky lays in the northern region of the Czech Republic and it is supposed to be one of the dominant Czech paradise regions. The castle lays on two volcanic plugs, the higher ones are called Baba (old woman) and the smaller one is called Panna (virgin). This Czech castle comes from 14 century when it was a very important mansion during the Hussite wars.
However, during the Thirty years of war, the castle was under attack and was ruined to the point, where it is not possible to do reconstruction. Up till now, it is still considered one of the best Czech castles to visit, for its romantic look in the middle of beautiful nature.
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