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Hrad Karlštejn

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Friday 23.02.

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Saturday 24.02.

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Sunday 25.02.

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Karlštejn Castle

It holds a very special position among Czech castles. It is one of the symbols of Czech statehood. There used to be crown jewels hidden behind its walls. Introducing: His Majesty Karlštejn.

Not having visited Karlštejn is like not having been to any Czech castle at all. Explore the majestic building that proudly adorns the landscape of the Beroun region and enjoy wandering the streets full of shops, restaurants and interesting museums below the castle.

The world-famous Karlštejn Castle was originally built by the Czech king and later Roman emperor Charles IV as a country residence, which later became a place to store royal treasures, holy relics and imperial crown jewels. The King himself supervised its construction and decoration, which is still admired by crowds of visitors today. Look out especially for the castle chapel, one of the jewels of Karlštejn. The most treasured room of the castle is the Chapel of the Holy Cross with its gilded vault and glass lenses imitating the sky. The chapel is home to a rare set of 129 wooden panels with images of saints, angels and prophets by the master Theodoric. The set is the largest of its kind in the world.

But that is not the end of what makes Karlštejn special. You will also see the largest portrait gallery of Czech rulers in the whole country, a replica of the St. Wenceslas Crown of the Czech kings, a rare original wall decoration from the 14th century and a unique castle well. During guided tours you will see the imperial residence of Charles IV, the castle chapels and the Great Tower, which offers a beautiful view.

  • Tip for you: Book a place on the recurring special tour, Coffee with the Castle Manager. The castle manager himself will guide you through the entire grounds and discuss everything from the history to the current visitor traffic and building renovations past and present.
Where to head next?

The town of Karlštejn, founded in the 14th century, is conveniently and quickly accessible from Beroun and Prague by bike, train, bus and car. After visiting the castle you can also visit the year-round Museum of Nativity Scenes or taste wine from the nearby vineyards in one of the local businesses. You can also take a walk to the quarries of Little and Great America and Mexico, which are about 4 km away from the castle through a forest.

  • Fun fact: It is said that Emperor Charles IV issued a decree forbidding women to stay at Karlštejn so that the monarch could contemplate and attend to male and spiritual matters undisturbed. The legend has its roots in the actual restrictions on women’s presence, but they only applied to the Great Tower and the Chapel of the Holy Cross. The legend inspired Jaroslav Vrchlický to write the play Night at Karlštejn, which was also the basis for the film musical of the same name.

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