Impregnable forts, rebellious fortresses, dreamy châteaux and summer palaces in extensive landscape parks. You can call the Czech Republic a ‘country of castles and châteaux’. There are almost three thousands of them! They are located in amazing places; on rocks, forested hillsides and above meandering rivers. You should definitely visit one (or more) of these beautiful historical residences.
The Karlštejn Castle, about half an hour by car from Prague, is the most frequently visited castle in the Czech Republic. The Karlštejn Castle is located on a forested hillside in the Bohemian Karst Nature Preserve. It was built in the fourteenth century for Charles IV, a Bohemian king and Roman emperor, to store the royal treasures, collections of saint relics and the crown jewels. According to one of the legends, the Karlštejn Castle was only designed for the secular and spiritual needs of King Charles IV and women were not allowed there.
The Lednice Valtice Landscape Area, inscribed by UNESCO, is known as the Garden of Europe. Over the centuries, a park full of rare trees, romantic structures, ponds, small romantic buildings and two châteaux has been created. The Lednice Château it the masterpiece of the area and it is also one of the most beautiful châteaux in the English Neo-Gothic style in Europe. The tour of the impressive chambers shows beautiful furnishings, a unique wooden staircase and rare paintings. Reserve enough time for the tour because there is a lot to see also in the garden, such as the French greenhouse with palm trees and the 60-metre-tall minaret.
Bouzov is an amazing medieval castle in Moravia, near the city of Olomouc. It was built at the end of the thirteenth century and underwent a vast reconstruction at the end of the nineteenth century, when it was transformed into a romantic residence with a drawbridge, battlements, bay windows and embrasures. Its idyllic look makes it a popular site for making films, such as Czech films for children or the Netflix ‘The Letter for the King’.
4.Nové Město nad Metují Château
In North Bohemia, at the picturesque square of Nové Město nad Metují, you will find an interesting château with a garden. At the beginning of the twentieth century, the dilapidated Baroque château was reconstructed with all the technical gadgets such as central heating, electric power, telephones and personal and kitchen lifts. In the garden, you will find a beautiful bridge designed by architect Dušan Jurkovič, who also designed the romantic folk buildings at the Moravian Pustevny. There are also several sculptures of gnomes who are caricatures of the lord and the servants.
5.Hradec nad Moravicí Château
Notice the entrance gate of this romantic château. It strongly resembles the Disney château gate. That is why some call Hradec nad Moravicí a Moravian Disney château. The noble residence near Opava is surrounded with a beautiful countryside and it has seen many famous guests, such as composer Ludwig van Beethoven. The region is also famous for its merino sheep breeding programme; even Russian Tzar Alexander I brought some of the sheep back home with him. The local herds were used to start the herds in Australia.
6.Hluboká nad Vltavou Château
This dreamy white château in the south of Bohemia is surrounded with a perfectly groomed garden. The Hluboká Château was built based on the English Windsor castle. The château has over 140 rooms and eleven towers. Several tours will take you through the halls with carved lining, cassette ceilings, elegant furniture, crystal glass chandeliers and extensive collections of paintings, silver, porcelain and tapestries.
This South Moravian Gothic castle, converted in the Romantic style in the nineteenth century, looms high above the nearby confluence of River Dyje and Želetavka. The location of the Bítov Castle is especially amazing; it is situated on a forested hillside above the Vranov water reservoir. In the era of the First Republic, you could find one of the largest private zoological gardens in Europe here. Besides live animals, the castle owner, Baron George Haas of Hasenfels also loved stuffed animals, his collection of dogs is currently recorded in the Guinness Book of Records.
8.Hrubá Skála Château
A château with one of the most beautiful views in the Czech Republic: Hrubá Skála in the Bohemian Paradise. The château is on top of a sandstone rock, about 6 kilometres south-east from Turnov in North Bohemia. The château was built in the fourteenth century and today it is used as a hotel and a restaurant. From the castle, you can take a nice walk through the rock labyrinth and with an amazing view of the UNESCO Geopark.
Beautiful sgraffito decorations, amazing gables, elegant arcades, romantic gardens and mysterious underground. All those features helped the Litomyšl Château in East Bohemia get inscribed on the list of UNESCO World Heritage. This representative residence of the House of Pernštejn was reconstructed in the Italian Renaissance style as a gift for a wife in the seventeen century. The Litomyšl Château is one of the most beautiful examples of the Renaissance style in Bohemia and it also contains a unique, preserved château family theatre from 1797.
The Orlík Château is on the boundary of South and Central Bohemia, on a rocky promontory that used to rise high above the valley of River Vltava as an eagle’s nest. Today, it is surrounded by the surface of the Orlík water reservoir. The early Gothic castle was used as a customs office collecting fees for using the river, and it was later acquired by the House of Schwarzenberg, who converted the castle. You can take a steam boat from the castle to the Zvíkov Castle and back.