Archive: Travel | Castles Castles

Veltrusy Chateau

18-05-2011 15:46 | Jan Velinger

Veltrusy Chateau In this edition of Spotlight we visit Veltrusy Chateau, a gorgeous summer estate found north of the Czech capital. Founded in the 1700s by Czech nobleman Václav Antonín Chotek, Veltrusy is far from an obvious destination, but is well-worth a day-trip. The castle grounds boast a 300 hectare park along the Vltava River, with numerous paths leading among ancient trees to pavilions, a bridge or two and various monuments. Then of course, there is the chateau itself, highly valued as a gem of Baroque architecture.  More

Křivoklát Castle

14-05-2011 02:01 | Jan Velinger

Křivoklát With the arrival of spring in the Czech Republic the tourist season is beginning to slowly re-awaken and with it a favourite Czech pastime - visiting the country's many castles and chateaux with family and friends. In that spirit today we visit the royal castle of Křivoklát - a most remarkable site with a history that stretches back to the 12th century. Found on a promontory of rolling hills overlooking deep woodlands, Křivoklát was a favourite of King Wenceslas IV. He used it primarily for leisure and sport, preferring it to his father's more famous Karlštejn, located in the same region. Over the centuries Křivoklát then served as bastion as well as prison; as fans of the esoteric will know even famous English alchemist Edward Kelley was imprisoned there, breaking his leg in a botched escape. Certainly, Křivoklát never easily released its own. Their histories continue to pervade the site going back hundreds of years.  More

Znojmo Castle

20-04-2011 14:50 | Jan Velinger

Znojmo Castle, photo: South Moravian Museum in Znojmo One of the most beautiful towns in Moravia and historically an important location in the Czech Republic is Znojmo - a town whose foundations date back to the 11th century. For centuries Znojmo guarded the regions of southern Moravia, part of an elaborate chain of defending castles along the Dyje River and the border with Austrian lands, developing from a promontory fort to medieval stronghold and local seat of administration for the Přemyslids - the first line of Czech kings. By the mid 1200s Znojmo was dominant, complementing neighbouring castles at Bítov and Vranov.  More

Konopiště Chateau

13-04-2011 16:09 | Jan Velinger

Konopiště Chateau The Czech Republic is famous as a country of castles but this week I had a chance to visit one that is truly exceptional: the renowned Konopiště Chateau, found just 40 kilometres south of Prague. Konopiště, together with its wide surroundings and gorgeous interiors, is of course particularly famous for its ill-fated last owner – the heir-apparent to the Austrian throne, Archduke Francis Ferdinand, assassinated, together with his wife, in Sarajevo in 1914 - the spark that set off the First World War. In this edition of Spotlight we visit some of the magnificent rooms at Konopiště which Francis Ferdinand and his family once used to welcome notable guests.  More

The history and mysteries of Zbiroh Chateau

09-04-2011 | Christian Falvey

Photo: CzechTourism Zbiroh Chateau has stood on its hill between the Křivoklátské and Brdy Forests since the 12th century, a beautiful thing, wistfully recalled in the famous melody by Václav Vačkář, “A Memory of Zbiroh”. Until recently, memories of Zbiroh were just about all anyone had, because the chateau and its many treasures and mysteries were strictly sealed off for most of the 20th century. The memory of its illustrious history is only resurfacing today.  More

Švihov Castle

05-05-2010 15:08 | Jan Velinger

Anyone visiting the area of southwest Bohemia throughout May to October shouldn’t miss a tour of Švihov Castle, one of the country’s most significant water castles found not far from Plzeň. Founded in the late 16th century, the castle represented the best defence system in its day – a combination of high fortifications and moats that put off the most obstinate of would-be attackers. Today the castle offers two tours, which include a look into its inner courtyard, a private chapel and the armoury.   More

Prague Castle’s Golden Lane to close for renovation

02-02-2010 15:19 | Jan Richter

One of the Czech capital’s most famous attractions, the picturesque Golden Lane up at Prague Castle, is set to be closed to the public for at least a year. Castle officials say the landmark has to undergo thorough renovation, as the little street is under threat from an antiquated drainage system.   More

Nepomuk and environs - some facts and lots of fiction

09-09-2009 | Christian Falvey

If there were a capital city of legendry in the Czech Republic, the town of Nepomuk would be a hot contestant for the honour. There are said to be graves that glow when someone’s about to die, a landscape littered with the petrified cattle of a greedy pagan and the ghost of an evil musketeer who walks the earth with the still-ferocious spectre of his dog. The official population of Nepomuk may be 3,700, but that’s only if you count the living.   More

The history and mysteries of Zbiroh Chateau

26-08-2009 14:34 | Christian Falvey

Photo: www.czechtourism.com Zbiroh Chateau has stood on its hill between the Křivoklátské and Brdy Forests since the 12th century, a beautiful thing, wistfully recalled in the famous melody by Václav Vačkář, “A Memory of Zbiroh”. Until recently, memories of Zbiroh were just about all anyone had, because the chateau and its many treasures and mysteries were strictly sealed off for most of the 20th century. The memory of its illustrious history is only resurfacing today.  More

Kozel Chateau

15-07-2009 17:19 | Jan Velinger

One of the best kept secrets among Czech castles and historic sites is the gorgeous Kozel Chateau founded in the late 18th century in western Bohemia. Founded by nobleman Jan Vojtěch Černín, a member of Emperor Joseph II’s court, the stone residence served an as exquisite hunting chateau and today is one of the best examples of Classicist architecture in Bohemia. The site is surrounded by fine lawns, a beautiful park and forests perfect for visits in the spring and summer. What’s more, Kozel is only an hour or so away from Prague and just minutes from nearby Pilsen.   More

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