Daytrip -Karlstejn-, Prague
The Castle 'Karlštejn' is situated about 40 km. far from Prague and is certainly the most important medieval castle built under Karel IV. It was built to serve as a treasury for coronation jewels and state documents. I was there exactly 44 years ago with a group of my friends and barely could remember it now. To be honest, at that time with had more different interests and I couldn't wait to get back to the city of Prague.
This is an old picture and it is not mine but borrowed from a review.
Approximately 25 km southwest of Prague lies the Castle Karlštejn. The castle is situated on a cliff high above the valley of the Berounka.
We took the train from station Praha - Smíchov to Karlštejn.
From the station Karlštejn is about half hour walk to the castle. The trail goes through many souvenirs shops but it is clearly indicated. Many tour operators have day trips to the castle with its heavy fortifications. It is therefore generally quite busy with tourists.
Charles IV had the castle built between 1348 and 1357 as a summer residence.
At the beginning of the 17th century the castle lost its importance and has fallen into disrepair. The current view is determined by 19th-century restorations. According to the information the tour is very worthwhile. Given the waiting time of more than 2 hours, we have not toured. We go shopping and bought Bohemian crystal.
The village is located in a protected nature reserve and the Bohemian countryside is ideal for walks.
For a short impression see my home made video Castle Karlštejn .
karlstejn castle was built for the holy roman emperor charles IV in 1348. it was a residence and treasury for the imperial insignia and the crown jewels. you can take a train from prague's main train station to karlstejn. the karlstejn train leaves about every thirty minutes during the day and the trip takes 45 minutes one way. the castle is about a 30 minute walk from the karlstejn train station. allocate at least a half day to see this site. see my karlstejn pages for more information.
Karlstejn Castle is probably the most photographed castle in all of the Czech Republic. For certain it is the most visited. This is obviously because of its dramatic setting on a rocky outcrop overlooking the Berounka River. The castle was originally built in 1348 by Charles IV to serve as sort of a summer home and to hide away his crown jewels. Like many castle from the medieval era, it fell into disrepair as the development of modern weaponry made these types of fortification obsolete. Only in the 19th century did anyone care to restore the place. This restoration was mostly done by Josef Mocker. If Karlstejn Castle has a flaw, it is possibly it is because of it's over restoration. The castle has a Disney-like aspect to it. Certainly the crowds do not help to eliminate.
There are two tours that can be taken of the castle. The most common, and the one that I took was Tour I (200kc) which takes you through the Knight's Hall, where there was a costumed singer and magician, Charles IV bedchamber, the Audience Hall and the Jewel House. Unfortunately you have to book Tour II (300kc) ahead of arrival. It takes you through the picturesque main tower and the very important Chapel of the Holy Cross.
The Karlstejn Castle is open from Tuesday to Sunday from 9am to 5pm.
Karlstejn castle was never built as a fortification , but from the beginning it was ment simply to be a safe place to store the crown jewels and most of the treasures of Bohemia.
Karl IV had the idea to have the castle built and the french architect Matthias von Arras built the castle between 1348 and 1357.
Today most of the treasures are to be seen in Vienna or Prague !!
NO Photography inside the castle !!
You may get inside the main court of the castle, walk around there and take your pics, as soon as you make the guided tour of the castle-interior, NO more photography...
BUT there is a lot more to see in Karlstejn :
1)A wax-cabinet about persons of Cechia's history
2)The Museum of Nativity Scenes is in the village of Karlstejn, about halfway to the castle.
It shows plenty of great christmas-decorations and cribs ( Boehmische Weihnachtkrippen ) in the old vicarage of Karlstejn.
3)the alchemist laboratory
Alchemists were set into prison and forced to make their experiments in order to find out how to produce gold by a chemical reaction.
Inside the garden of the old vicarage you may see such an alchemist laboratory inside a hut. You cannot enter the hut, but when-ever you put in a coin of 10 Kronen, small windows will open and let you spy in and have a look...
...it is some sort of a " historical peep-show " :-))
4)The harness of Jan Zbynek
The Nobleman Jan Zbyneck Zajic of Hazmburk was a famous alchemist and his harness is shown next to the Alchemist-laboratory inside the garden of the museum of Nativity scenes.
5)The Kings crib of Karlstejn
In my opinion, THIS is the best attraction in Karlstejn, as it is quite unique to see such a huge scenery with a nativity scene in the centre, the castle in the background and plenty of sculptures moving around in a really lovely way.
6)Art Gallerie na Karlstejne 335 with lots of excellent paintings - on your way down to the parking
For more infos and pics - please click on my link below to see my karlstejn-page !!
We took one of the organised tours that included dinner, bus to the bottom of the castle and guided tour. When we got to the bottom of the castle, it was a long walk up and we were warned that the English speaking guides would be going on lunch break until 2pm so everyone had to pay extra to get transported up to the castle. That annoyed us. But...the castle is gorgeous...the outside moreso than the inside, as they're still refurbishing it inside. Definitely worth a day trip.
Castle founded by Karlo IV and constructed between 1348 and 1357 on the hill near the river Berunka, about 30km south of Prague. It was built to glorify his majesty and intended to safekeeping of the crown jewels of the Roman Empire. Karlo IV devoted great care particularly to the decoration of castle chapels and halls. It was reconstructed in 19ht century in the Renaissance style and some objects like the Church of the Virgin Mary, the Chapel of the Holly Cross and the Chapel of St.Chatarine retained their original appearance.
In order to reach the castle you need to pass through the Karlstein village and on that way there are numerous gift and souvenir shops. Karlstein castle is situated in very peaceful surrounding, do not miss visiting this beautiful castle when you are tourist in Prague.
The home for many years of the Royal Jewels. Can be seen in an afternoon trip from your hotel or any tour centre. Well worth a look, especially in winter when it looks amazing.
In winter wear good shoes as the path can be very slippery with ice.
Take the train out to Karlstejn - we were lucky enough to see a black stork in the river on our journey. From the station you'll walk up the hill that draws you slowly in towards the castle. Stop off for a hot chocolate or grog. Carry on up to the waxworks and the kaleidoscope. Bask in the sun and its reflection off the white walls of the castle. On the way down stop off to cool your feet under one of the red and brown trees...
Bohemian King and Roman Emperor Charles IV commissioned this Gothic castle in 1348 as a place for safekeeping of the royal Bohemian treasures and the coronation jewels of the Roman Empire. The construction of the castle was finished in 1365. It has been reconstructed since then, the last reconstruction being carried out the end of the 19th century. Interesting things on display in the castle are the original decoration of wall paintings dating back to the 14th century, the largest portrait gallery of Czech rulers in the country, and replica of St. Wenceslas crown, the coronation crown of the Czech Kings etc.
I wll tell you about Carlshtein castle. It is near Peague. Not, about what is near castle - some rooms of wax figures from history of Check Respublic. Is the name of country, which capital Prague is correct ? In lithuania we call it cekija. ok, so some pictures with Shveik and others !
This is the castle where the Czech crown jewels were held before they were moved to Hradcany. It is a very imposing castle rising up above a valley about 30 km out of Prague. It has an outstanding chapel, which was unfortunately closed to visitors because of the delicacy of the fresco works inside. We could only see a model of the chapel and even that looked great. I tried to imagine how it looks in reality then.