Karlštejn Castle

Karlštejn Castle

This exceptional castle, sitting in the middle of dense forests, was established by the Czech King and Roman Emperor Charles IV (Karel) in 1348 to house the treasures and coronation jewels and the most valuable relics of the Holy Roman Empire. The construction of the castle was finished in 1365, when the St. Cross Chapel was consecrated.

At the end of the 19th century, the castle was rebuilt by Josef Mocker in attempt to restore its Gothic appearance. Individual sections of the castle are situated at various height levels according to their significance. The most precious section is the Great Tower with it’s own fortification, hosting the St. Cross Chapel. The walls and ceiling of the Chapel are covered in gilt ornamentation, dating back to the 14th century, with embedded semiprecious stones and pieces of glass that stoke the illusion of a starry sky. Together with the collection of 127 panels, painted mainly by Master Theodorik, Royal Court painter of Charles IV, the Chapel represents a unique, one of the most preserved Gothic interiors in the entire world. However, access to the St. Cross Chapel is strictly supervised; only a few percent of the total number of visitors get to see it every year.

Everyone is impressed by the monumentatily and grandeur of the castle. The same mood prevails on the inside, furnished to the highest extent possible in accordance with the supposed Medieval origin. You may want to visit the Ancestors' Hall with a portrait gallery of Czech kings, Banquet Hall, royal bedroom, or the Chapel of St. Catherine in the Mariánská Tower.