The elegant and aristocratic Prague has a unique charm, unequaled by any other city in Europe. Prague is the perfect setting for fairy tales, and so is the region that surrounds it, which abounds in enchanting castles and chateaux, super villas and aristocratic houses.
All you have to do to discover the medieval stories of Prague is to jump on board a train or a bus, or rent a car and drive to these top 5 castles that await in the vicinity of Czech Republic’s capital. If you also choose to book a room at one of the boutique Prague hotels, the medieval ambiance will offer a romantic setting for your stay. Here are the 5 best castles to visit outside of Prague:
This 14th century majestic Gothic castle is among the top destinations for day trips from Prague. The castle is built on a rocky hillside, looking down on mortals with its arrogant allure and the wisdom of hundreds of years carried on its walls.
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The fortress was built between 1348 and 1355, on the orders of the Czech King and Roman Emperor Charles IV, and was the place where the precious coronations jewels and state documents of the empire used to be kept.
Today, the castle continues to house national treasures. The highlights of a tour of the Karlstejn Castle are the Imperial Palace, Hall of Knights, St. Nicholas Chapel, Royal Palace, Audience Hall, the library. Also, the picturesque 30 minute walk up to the castle is an attraction itself.
This romantic castle hides in the beautiful region of Moravia and is a Romantic architectural wonder. Chosen to be the setting for Czech fairy tales and even for the beautiful movie with the Italian princess Fantaghiro, this castle situated 35 km from Olomouc is a fascinating sight for many tourists who visit these lands.
The castle dates back to the 15th century and it once belonged to the Teutonic Knights. It was reconstructed in the 19th century, based on the requests of Archduke Eugene Habsburg, Grand Master of the order, and today it is fully furnished and equipped. The most important attraction of the castle is its Neo-Gothic chapel, which is home to tombstones of the masters of the Order from 1395 to 1515, but you should also visit the Castle Armoury, the courtroom, the observatory and the watch tower.
Veveri Castle is perched on rocks above the Brno Dam and Svratka River, guarding over the lands of Brno. The castle is surrounded by the Podkomorske Woods and many myths and legends. The first mention about the castle dates from the 1213 – 1222, when it seems King Premysl Otakar I used it as a prison for rebellious peers.
Over the course of time, the castle belonged to several noblemen and was the scene for many local legends. Today, this beautiful Gothic structure is a venue for cultural and social events and a day trip destination for visitors that go to these parts of the Czech Republic. If you prefer a unique trip to this castle, you can take the steamboat from Brno or plan a hike on the marked trails that will lead you to the castle.
Kost Castle is the best preserved Gothic castle in Czech Republic, an architectural masterpiece that remained untouched by time and the forces of nature.
This castle, also known as Bone Castle, is situated in a deep forest and it’s surrounded by sandstone rocks, hiding from time and civilization. Its nickname comes from the fact that its walls are hard as bone and no one, not even the mighty Hussite general, Jan Zizka, managed to conquer this castle.
There are two tours of the castle you can choose from: one will take you into the world of the Kinsky family, the current owners of the castle, and will reveal the interior and rooms of the castle, and one will be focusing more on the torture chamber and criminal law back in the 16th to 18th century, and includes a visit of the White Tower. So who will you choose as your guide? Count Octavian or the executioner Herman?
Cesky Sternberk Castle
The “Pearl of Posazavi”, as the castle is also known, is situated above the River Savaza, 60 km away of Prague. This beautiful Bohemian castle was founded in 1240 by the Sternberk family, who are even today the owners of the castle, Zdenek Sternberg still living here (wow!). The Cesky Sternberk Castle was completed in 1300 and, although along time it suffered some modifications, much of its architecture and design remained the same since its beginnings. The tour of the castle includes a visit of 15 furnished rooms, most of them decorated in Baroque style.
One of the most admired rooms is the Knights’ Hall which houses an immense stucco. You will also see parlors and salons, paintings, hunting trophies, beautiful candelabra and, of course, wonderful period furniture. The South dungeon, “Hladomoma”, awaits with interesting fortifications that date back to the late Gothic era, and during summer you can witness a falconry demonstration in the castle courtyard.
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