Sunday, August 27, 2006

Lichnice Castle (Lichtenburg)

Lichnice is an early Gothic castle built in 1250 by Smil from Zitava, who later changed his name to "from Svetlik" or "from Lichtenburg" in German. The castle was enlarged in the 15th century, rebuilt in the 16th century, demolished after the Thirty Years' War and deserted. Now only the ruins remain, but they are well preserved and quite spectacular.

The ruins of the Lichnice castle are located on the rocky hill above the Lovetinska gorge and the village of Podhradi in Zelezne Hory (Iron Mountains) -- a mid-size natural reserve situated North of the town of Chrudim in Pardubicky region. Besides the old ruins you can enjoy wonderful views from the top of the hill as well as beautiful nature all around.

More photos

Main gate of the Lichnice castle as viewed from inner courtyard:

View over the ruins of Lichnice towards Čáslav:

View of the ruins from outside:

The title photo shows the main entrance to the castle courtyard. All photos were taken in August 2006 by me (Marek Prokop) and are licensed under Creative Commons License - Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 3.0 Unported License.

How to get there

Lichnice is not very accessible by public transport. The closest towns with regular bus or train service are Čáslav (20 Km) and Heřmanův Městec (13 Km). There is a small local railway from Čáslav to Třemošnice (3 Km).

, , , , , , ,

Sunday, July 02, 2006

Zbraslav Chateau

Zbraslav is located at the confluence of the rivers Vltava and Berounka about 12 Km South of the Prague city centre. In 1292 Czech king Wenceslas II founded a Cistercian monastery here and named it Aula Regia (Kings' hall), because he wished it to become a new burial place of Bohemian kings.

Members of the Premislid royal family was buried here during 14th century, the last one was king Wenceslas IV in 1419. Then, in 1420, the Zbraslav monastery and the church of Our Lady with its royal tombs were destroyed by the Hussites.

A new era of the Zbraslav cloister started in the early 18th century, when abbot Wolfgang Lochner called the famous architect Giovanni Santini Aichel to design a new complex of buildings in Baroque style. This work was completed by Frantisek Maxmilian Kanka in 1732.

In 1785 the monastery was abolished and Zbraslav became the property of Walloon noble Joseph de Souvaige, who established a sugar refinery here. Prince Fridrich Öttingen-Wallerstein acquired Zbraslav in the beginning of the 19th century and made it his residence. Since then we speak about the Zbraslav chateau or castle rather than monastery.

The last owners of the Zbraslav chateau have been the Bartons of Dobenin family, who still live here. A part of the chateau is used by the Czech National Gallery since 1939 and houses a permanent exhibition of Asian art.

The photos

The photo above shows the detail of the Zbraslav Chateau's northern front. The photo below was taken from the same place and includes more of the castle garden. I took both pictures in July 2006.

How to get there

Zbraslav is a quarter of Prague now, located on its southern edge along the Vltava Rivere. You can get there from Smíchovské nádrazí (Metro yellow line B) by buses No. 129, 241, 243, 255, 314, 318 or 390 to Zbraslavské námesti, or from Jizní Mesto or Radotín by bus No. 165.

, , , , , , , ,

Sunday, June 11, 2006

Hluboka Chateau

Hluboka Chateau

Hluboka Chateau is located in the town of Hluboka nad Vltavou few kilometres from Ceske Budejovice, the capital of Southern Bohemia and the home of famous Budweiser Bier (Budvar).

Early Gothic castle was built here around 1250. In 1562 King Ferdinand I sold Hluboka to the Lords of Hradec who changed the castle into a Renaissance stately home. A century later the Hluboka estate was bought by Jan Adolf I of Schwarzenberg. His grandson Prince Adam Frantisek had the chateau rebuilt in Baroque style by P. I. Bayer and his successor E. Martinelli at the beginning of the 18th century.

In the 2nd half of the 19th century Prince Jan Adolf II with his wife Eleonora ordered the last reconstruction. They invited a Viennese architect Franz Beer, who changed the chateau's Baroque style into the picturesque style of Tudor Gothic. After Beer's death another architect, Ferdinand Deworetsky, completed the reconstruction in 1871.

The Hluboka Chateau if open to public (for fee) from April to October. The large English style park surrounding the chateau is open to public for free all the year.

The photo was taken in June 2006.

Tags: , , , , , , ,

Sunday, February 26, 2006

Okor Castle

The extent ruins of the Okor Castle (hrad Okoř) are located north-west of Prague, just about 15 Km (as the crow flies) from the city centre. That's why it's a popular trip destination of Prague inhabitants.

The Okor village is first mentioned in 1228 as a property of St George Monastery in Prague Castle (klášter sv. Jiří na Pražském hradě). A Gothic castle was built here in 1359 by a wealthy burgher of Prague's Old Town Frantisek Rokycansky, what was quite unusual in those times, when most castles were built by noblemen.

In 15th and 16th centuries The Okor Castle was extended and rebuilt in the late Gothic (around 1494) and Renaissance (by the Martinic family around 1590) styles. In the 17th century the castle was owned by Jesuits, during the Thirty Year’s War it was heavily damaged and then restored in the Baroque style. After the Jesuit order was discontinued in Bohemia, the Okor castle was deserted in the late 18th century and quickly changed to ruins.

The photo was taken in February 2006.

Tags: , , , , , ,

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Cesky Sternberk castle

Cesky Sternberk (Český Šternberk) is one of the best preserved medieval castles in the Czech Republic. It is situated on a high cliff above the Sazava river and the village of the same name, about 45 Km South-east of Prague.

The castle was founded in 1241 by Zdeslav of Divišov and it keeps its early Gothic look and feel up to these days. It was conquered by Jiri of Podebrady in 1467, damaged in 1627 and reconstructed in the second half of 17th century. Its current interiors are designed in the late gothic and early baroque styles, and are richly decorated with stucco works.

The Sternberk castle is still owned by the Sternbergs family and offers an interesting exposition of castle-living style.


The photo above was taken in April 2008 and shows the northern part of the castle above the Sazava river. The photo below includes a part of the Šternberk village and was also taken in April 2008.

In the next photo there is an old tower that is located east of the castle outside its walls.

How to get there

The village of Český Šternberk is located about 45 Km South-east of Prague. If you go by car, follow the D1 highway and leave it on Exit 41. Bus connections are available from Prague and Benešov. There is also a scenic railroad from Čerčany (accessible by train from Prague or Benešov) to Šternberk or from Světlá nad Sázavou. The train ride along the Sázava river is quite slow (2 hours) but beautiful.

Related links

Tags: , , , , ,

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Jemniste - New Chateau

Jemniste (Jemniště) is a small village in Central Bohemia between Vlasim (Vlašim) and Benesov (Benešov), about 40 Km south-east from Prague. It was first mentioned in 1381 as a property of Beneš of Cimburk.

Count František Adam of Trauttmansdorff bought Jemniste in 1717 and built a new chateau there in 1724 at a hillock near the old castle. The plans of the chateau was designed by the Czech architect František Maxmilián Kaňka.

The Jemniště chateau is owned by the Sternbergs family and you can read more about its history on its home page.

The photo was taken in January 2006.

Tags: , , , , , ,

Monday, January 09, 2006


Pirkštejn (Pirkenstein) castle was established in the 1st half of the 14th century by Jindrich from Lipa. It was damaged during peasant revolt in 1627 and later was rebuilt as a clergyman's house and a bell tower by Count Kinski.


The photo above shows the castle's tower and its western wall. The photo below shows the castle from south-east. Both photos were taken in March 2008.

How to get there

The Pirkstejn Castle is located in a small town of Rataje nad Sázavou in Central Bohemia, about 40 Km south-east of Prague. You can get there by train from Prague (across Čerčany) or from Světlá nad Sázavou. The train ride along the Sázava river is quite long (2 hours) but beautiful.

Being in Pirkštejn, you should visit Český Šternberk as well -- it's located about 7 Km from Rataje on the same railroad.

Tags: , , , , , ,

Sunday, January 01, 2006

Ricany Castle

Ricany is a small town on the sousth-eastern edge of Prague. The Gothic castle was established here in the late 13th century by Ondrej from Vsechromy, who then adopted the name "from Ricany". Lords from Ricany held the castle till 1420, when it was won by Hussites and became the property of the Prague towns. Since 16th century the castle was desolate and now only ruins remain.

The photo was taken in December 2006.

Tags: , , , , , ,