The Czech Republic belongs to Europe´s super powers when it comes to its beautiful array of castles and chateaux. There are more than two hundred nationally protected historic buildings spread all over the Czech Republic. During the summers they come to life with exciting cultural programmes – from concerts to theatre performances and medieval markets showcasing traditional crafts, historic dances and fencing tournaments, or night tours.
Cesky Krumlov a Fairy tale castle in the South Bohemia
The historic town of Cesky Krumlov has retained its magical atmosphere through centuries. Charming houses and streets still conceal numerous secret legends and myths. Dominated by a castle stretching over the meandering Vltava River, Cesky Krumlov’s narrow cobblestone streets are full of attractive exhibitions of world-renowned artists, festivals and performances. Cesky Krumlov, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is also a lively cosmopolitan town surrounded by unspoiled countryside. The cosy inns, coffee shops, and ancient taverns entertain a diverse international crowd.
The castle area is one of the largest in central Europe. It is a complex of forty buildings and palaces, situated around five castle courts and a castle park spanning an area of seven hectares. The name of the castle Krumlov originated from Latin expression castrum or ancient German Crumbenowe. It reflects the configuration of the landscape – krumbenowe means the place on the rugged meadow. The Ceský Krumlov Castle was mentioned for the first time by an Austrian knight in 13th century. The Baroque Castle Theatre in Ceský Krumlov is definitely a world’s rarity. Its origins go back to the 15th century but only during the 18th century it has gained its nowadays beauty and singularity. The original theatre life has been preserved in its originality till today including all the stage, auditorium, decorations, costumes and lightning technology. The unique mechanisms for changing the scenes and other decorations were prepared by the Viennese carpenters. The decorations emerge from the style of illusive European Baroque, the most renowned representative the Italian theatre architect.
Karlovy Vary Region boasts the most beautiful shrine
The Castle and chateau at Becov has been rebuilt several times throughout the centuries and the most recent conversion led to it joining on to the neighbouring chateau. The newly refurbished Becov castle is now inviting visitors back to take a tour of its beautiful premises and to admire a unique discovery of St Maurus relics box. An amazing discovery took place here in 1985 when the shrine of St. Maurus was found. Its value is estimated to be about the same as the Czech crown jewels and the discovery is considered to be one of the most important for the Czech Republic in the 20th Century.
Central Bohemia prides itself on a gothic gem of a castle
The easiest way to reach the Cesky Sternberk Castle is to jump on a special train from Prague called “Posazavsky Pacifik”. The train will takes visitors on a romantic journey through the beautiful landscape surrounding the river Sazava. It is impossible not to be impressed by the steep walls of this gothic gem. There is one remarkable and unique aspect of this castle, which is that the castle today belongs again to the descendant of the first nobleman who built this castle almost 8 centuries back.
Karlstejn Castle is definitely one of the most important and most treasured heritage place in the Czech Republic after Prague. Its origins are closely tied up with one of the most important Czech personality Czech king and Holy Roman emperor Charles IV. Who founded many other places like Charles Bridge, Prague University. The castle was built to hold the royal treasures and coronation jewels of the Roman Empire, and served as the king’s retreat. The Czech coronation jewels were kept there for almost 200 years before being moved to Prague.
This original gothic castles from early 14th century keep in his walls unique original decoration of wall paintings dating back to the 14th century, and a collection of 129 panel paintings by Master Theodoricus in the Chapel of the Holy Cross (the world largest if its kind). The chapel itself is considered to be the most beautiful part of the castle. It was decorated with gemstones, gold, stars of the Venice glassware, gold-coated chains and a unique portrait gallery of The Whole Army of Heaven, which dates more than five hundred years back. The fancy history of Karlstejn comprises of many myths and incredible but truthful stories. The fable about women being forbidden from entering the castle is one of the most famous. However the fourth wife of Charles IV broke this restriction as it is told.
Castle and wine museum in South Moravia
Mikulov Castle is situated right on the border with Austria. The 13th century castle was partially destroyed many times, but during World War II Mikulov Castle is one of those historical monuments that were destroyed almost completely by the Nazi army. In the postwar years, the palace was raised again. Today, the palace blends easily with modern history. It is equipped with everything necessary for carrying out various social events, balls, concerts, conventions, holiday festivals, major conferences, shows, presentations, etc. Mikulov is a popular wine region, specialized in producing wine. For tourists, the city have developed a specialized routes program that includes events such as wine tasting, visiting the cellars of wine, visits the museum of wine or so-called walking wine trails. They can be toured on foot or bicycle. In the wine cellar of Mikulov Castle can be seen a preserved barrel from 16th century, which claims to be the largest in Europe – the whole capacity of 101, 300 liters, which equals to 135000 bottles. Cellar of the castle itself is considered one of the largest wine stores in Central Europe.
Nearby Mikulov you can also visit another stunning place like Lednice – Valtice UNESCO complex. Otherwise you can explore a famous place of battle of Three Emperors where Napoleon won one of his famous battles at Austerlitz, which actually lies nearby Brno in the Czech Republic. The place can be found nearby Slavkov Castle, and every year a remembrance of this great historical event is happening there.