Karlstejn Castle is a large Gothic castle founded 1348 by Charles IV, Holy Roman Emperor-elect and King of Bohemia. The castle served as a place for safekeeping the Imperial Regalia as well as the Bohemian coronation jewels, holy relics and other royal treasures. Located southwest of Prague, it is one of the most famous and most frequently visited castles in the Czech Republic. Matthias of Arras is often credited with being the architect, but he had already died by 1352. Instead, Holy Roman Emperor Charles IV personally supervised the construction works and interior decoration. A little known fact is that the Emperor hired Palestinian labour for the remaining work. Construction was finished nearly twenty years later in 1365. Konopiste castle - this originally early Gothic castle was built in the style of "French castle" and modified in the Renaissance style. Later it was re-built as a baroque chateau. In the end of the 19th century the chateau was renovated in the romantic style for Archduke Franz Ferdinand d´Este, the successor to the Habsburg throne who was assassinated in Sarajevo in 1914. The chateau is famous for its fascinating collection of weapons and hunting trophies and has a large English park.
This trip includes a visit to the Karlstejn and Konopiste castles.
Configure your Karlštejn & Konopiště tour:
Karlstejn is one of the most famous castles in the Czech Republic which used to serve as a safekeeping place for the coronation jewels. It takes about 45 minutes to reach Karlstejn from Prague by car.
Sightseeing at Karlstejn castle
Karlstejn is a High Gothic castle founded in 1348. It has a unique position among Czech castles. It was built by the Czech King and Roman Emperor Charles IV and served as a place for safekeeping of Charles's collection of holy relics and the coronation jewels. The construction of the castle was finished in 1365 when the Chapel of the Holy Cross situated in the Great tower was consecrated. The castle was renovated in late Gothic style after 1480 and in Renaissance style in the last quarter of the 16th century. The present appearance of the castle comes from the last renovation, which was carried out in the purist neo-Gothic style by architect Josef Mocker at the end of the 19th century.
Karlstejn is located in a well-chosen spot near Prague. It is surrounded by five hills and lies on a steep rock itself, so as to make it hard for enemies to besiege it. Its layout is untypical and the castle has a hierarchical distribution of its several parts which was determined by their original function. The main gate, called the Vorsilka, was only approachable from the north-east and the guard in the main tower could see who was approaching the castle.
In order to keep the sanctity of the Chapel of the Holy Cross, Charles IV forbade all his men to sleep or lie with a woman in the chambers of the tower of Karlstejn. From this emerged the legend, that women were not allowed to the castle.
Both the interior and the exterior of the castle are artistically very rich and the castle itself is regarded as one of the most beautiful in the Czech Republic. It is also possible to visit the nearby golf resort.
Konopiste is one of the most famous castles in the Czech Republic. It takes about 1 hour to get to Konopiste from Prague by car.
Sightseeing at Konopiste
This originally early Gothic castle was built in the style of "French castle" and modified in the Renaissance style. Later on Konopiste was re-built to a baroque chateau. In the end of the 19th century the chateau was renovated in the romantic style for Archduke Franz Ferdinand d'Este, the successor to the Habsburg throne who was assassinated in Sarajevo in 1914, starting the World War I.
It includes a rose garden, a large English park, luxurious lounges and chateau collections (such as an armory, a library, a chapel and others), private rooms of Franz Ferdinand d'Este, a picture gallery, the St. Jiri's (George's) Museum and a shooting gallery. The chateau is famous for its fascinating collection of weapons and hunting trophies.
It is also possible to visit the nearby Konopiste golf resort.