Karlštejn Castle, Czechia
Karlštejn Castle (hrad Karlštejn) in the town of the same name is a massive mediaeval castle not far from Prague. Karlštejn Castle is a favourite destination for visitors visiting Prague, and a day trip there is a great way to spend the day. Charles IV of Bohemia, who was also Holy Roman Emperor, established it in 1348. When construction on the castle was completed in 1365, King Charles IV moved the crown jewels and other sacred artefacts there for safekeeping. The same king is honoured as the namesake of Prague’s iconic Charles Bridge.
Karlštejn Castle was finished in 1365 and stands out from the crowd not just for its stunning décor but also for its unique tiered layout that gives each section of the castle its due importance. The settlement outside the castle walls, including the Burgrave’s Palace and its original design well, is located at the base of the castle, followed by the two-story Imperial Palace housing the bedrooms of the king, his court, and noblewomen, the smaller Marian Tower housing chapels, and finally the towering Great Tower housing the Czech royal treasures.
There are two tours available that will take you inside the castle. The first tour of the Imperial Palace lasts for 50 minutes and includes visits to the Chapel of St. Nicholas, the Royal Bedroom, the Audience Hall, and the Hall of Knights.
Tour 2, which lasts 70 minutes, includes visits to the Holy Rood Chapel, which is renowned for the over 2,000 precious and semiprecious inlaid stones gracing its walls, the Chapel of St. Catherine, which served as Charles IV’s personal oratory, the Church of Our Lady, and the library.
Tour 2 includes a stop at the Holy Rood Chapel, which requires advance reservations (phone. 274-008-154; fax. 274-008-152; www.hradkarlstejn.cz). Online ticket sales and bookings are now available.
The breecher Price for Tour 1 is 250Kc for adults, 150Kc for students, and 20Kc for kids under 6. Adults pay 300Kc for Tour 2, while students pay 200Kc and children under 6 get in for free. You can visit the castle from Tuesday through Sunday between the hours of 9 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. in May, June, and September; between 9 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. in July and August; between 9 a.m. and 1 p.m. in April and October; between 1 p.m. and 4 p.m. in November, December, and March; and between closed in January and February.
How to get there?
Karlštejn Castle is conveniently located approximately 33.8 kilometres (20 miles) from Prague’s city centre. The trip from Praha hl.n to town of Karlštejn only takes around 40 minutes, and the trains depart often. Upon arriving, the path to the castle is obvious. If you’re unsure of where to go, just follow the crowds of other travellers. The castle’s hilltop location necessitates an ascent in elevation to reach it. If you’d rather not walk, you may always hail a cab or hire a horse-drawn carriage.