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.

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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.

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