High Gothic castle founded in 1348 has a special position among Czech castles. It was built by Czech King and Roman Emperor Charles IV as a place for safekeeping of the royal treasures, especially Charles's collection of holy relics and the coronation jewels of the Roman Empire. The construction of the castle was finished in 1365.
At the outbreak of the Hussite wars the castle became the place for safekeeping of the Czech coronation jewels, which were kept here, with the exception of several time breaks, for nearly 200 years. The castle was reconstructed in late Gothic style after 1480 and then in Renaissance style in the last quarter of the 16th century. The present appearance of the castle comes from the last reconstruction at the end of the 19th century.
From the Well tower and Burgrave's palace located as the lowest point turists can walk up to the majestic five-storied Imperial palace and further up towards the Marian tower. And finally at the top of the headland there is the monumental 60m high and separately fortified Great tower.
The original decoration of wall paintings dating back to the 14th century are interesting to see as well as the whole collection of 129 panel paintings by Master Theodoric in the Chapel of the Holy Cross (the world largest if its kind), the largest portrait gallery of Czech rulers in the country, exhibited replica of St. Wenceslas crown – the coronation crown of the Czech Kings.
Open daily except Monday
March – December 9:00 – 16.00
January – 9.00 – 15.00
February – closed
Státní Hrad Karlštejn
267 18 Karlštejn
Tel: +420 311 681 617, +420 311 681 296, +420 311
Fax: +420 311 681 301
Official website of Karlštejn
E-mail: karlstejn (at) stc.npu.cz
Last update: 2014-11-08