CASTLE OF KARLŠTEJN (HRAD)
Petit Futé's opinion on CASTLE OF KARLŠTEJN (HRAD)
From the village, you can quickly (but breathlessly!) reach the promontory occupied by the castle. After the drawbridge, you will have to wait, unless you have already booked your places, because all visits are guided. The route follows the four main parts that make up the castle.
First of all, there is the suburb with the main entrance in front of which many artists and craftsmen present their skills. There is of course a bit of tourism, and you won't find here the bargains of the centuries, but you will get a good insight into Czech craftsmanship. Then there is the archbishopric, the courtyard with the cashbox and from which a staircase leads down to a well 80 m deep which supplied the castle with water until 1923.
On the ground floor of the royal palace there is the Court House, which traces the history of the castle, and other rooms with objects and works of Czech history. A well-documented exhibition that will allow you to follow the main stages of the construction and renovation of the work. In particular, it will become clear from the overviews that Charles IV had really designed this castle as a vault to house the jewels, the royal crown and the most precious holy relics.
Last part of the castle: the wing of which the church of St. Mary is a part, decorated with murals, probably the work of Nicolas Wurmser, a man from Strasbourg, dating from approximately the middle of the 14th century. The church is linked by a narrow passage to the tiny and private St. Catherine's Chapel; only Charles IV had the right to use it. He came here to meditate, and none of his wives were allowed to disturb him here. Its walls are decorated with precious stones. The large tower, which dominates the whole castle and whose walls are 6 m thick, is occupied by the luxurious Holy Cross Chapel. This is where the king decided to install the crown jewels and relics. In the past, the chapel housed 128 paintings on wood by Master Theodorik, made between 1357 and 1365. This chapel had to be closed to the public, as the walls set with precious stones were badly damaged. The jewels are now in St. Vitus Cathedral in Prague and the paintings are part of the National Gallery.
Information on CASTLE OF KARLŠTEJN (HRAD)
February on weekends, March-November every day except Monday, July-August every day, closed in January. 220/780 Kč depending on the chosen circuit.
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