Czechia’s fairytale Karlstejn Castle

Masa Mesic | Live the World

November 23, 2022

Karlstejn Castle is known for many as one of Czechia’s most stunning historical sights. The castle is located in the town of Karlstejn, around 30 kilometers from Prague, and was built by Emperor Charles IV- the King of Bohemia at the time. 

The castle was founded in 1348 CE and was primarily used to store royal treasure, crown jewels and other precious items. If you’d like to escape Prague for the day, then this is one of the best day trips you can go on. Karlstejn Castle is surrounded by beautiful nature and creates a very fairytale-like atmosphere.   

Picture © Credits to istock/sneska

In 1355, the Karlstejn Castle became the primary residence of Emperor Charles IV, who also witnessed some of the castle's last constructions, such as the Chapel of the Holy Cross, which was the primary safekeeping place in the castle for all the jewels and treasures. The Emperor lived in Karlstejn Castle with his son Wenceslas IV until 1419. 

The castle went through a troublesome period and all the jewels and treasure had to be removed during the Hussite religious civil wars. The jewels and the treasures were returned to the castle in 1436. It was only in 1480 that the castle got a "makeover" and was refurbished with stunning gothic architecture. 

What is so unique about the Karlstejn Castle?

The Chapel of the Holy Cross is located in the Greater Tower of the castle and hosts 129 paintings. The castle is also known for having its own well and a replica of the royal Crown of Bohemia. 

Picture © Credits to istock/alessandro0770

For anyone out there who is looking for a unique wedding place, the Castle is available and you can organize weddings in the main courtyard and the Ceremonial Hall, which can host up to 35 people. The total cost of this extravaganza will be around 500 euros (for non-Czech residents).  

Tours & Practical Information  

The Karlstejn Castle is open for tours all year round with a few exceptions. The tours include visiting the rooms of Emperor Charles IV, the Chapel of the Holy Cross, and the Great Tower- from which you have an incredible view. Note that the Chapel and the Great Tower are closed from November until the end of April. 

Picture © Credits to istock/ondrejVladyka

There are numerous organized tours, which depart from Prague's city center a few times per day and guide you through this historical site. Whether you take a tour bus to the Karlstejn Castle or come by car, train or bike, you will have to park in the Karlstejn town area and walk to the castle, which will take roughly 15 minutes. 

If you have extra time to spare and you want to spend some time outdoors, then check out some of the hiking trails surrounding the Karlstejn Castle. As you might already know, Czechia is gifted with its sublime nature, hiking paths and green areas. 

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