Bouzov

Step into a movie set at Bouzov castle in the heart of Moravia. The castle that looks like it’s magically floating on a sea of green trees is sought-after by many filmmakers. The rooms have been restored and are open for the general public. 

The Gothic castle was built in the 13th and 14th centuries, and the Lords of Vildenberg, Haugviens of the Bishops and many masters lived here. However, the castle housed prisoners after the Thirty Years’ War and served as both an imperial fortress and political prison. 

Kokořín

Built in 1320 by Prague bourgeois Hynek Berka from Dubé, Kokorin still stands tall in the town of Melnik. It is surrounded by towering green trees for breathtaking nature scenes. This castle is really off the beaten path and only recently was allowed to have reconstruction. 

During the Hussite wars, the castle was damaged badly and swapped between multiple owners. In 1544, it became quite desolate and Emperor Ferdinand put it on the “cursed castle” list after the Thirty Years’ War. This meant they were not maintained and became an occasional house for wandering artists, knights, and travelers.

Trosky Castle 

While there are only ruins of Trosky Castle left, it is still a go-to site. The castle summits not one—but two—basalt volcanic plugs. The ruins are located in the middle of Bohemian Paradise and bring a romantic charm to the already beautiful area. King Wenceslas IV even lived here for a short time. 

This is the spot for architects and photographers and for the daredevils. For the adventurous, dance with the devil underneath the abandoned castle. There are undeclared tunnels and cellars and one of them is rumored to be the gateway to hell.

Pernštejn

Just a short drive from Brno, Pernštejn Castle is located on a rock above the village of Nedvědice, so it is very hard to miss. It also shines from above because it uses marble-like stone to frame the doors and windows.

This marble castle, as it is appropriately nicknamed, is impressive not only for its Gothic-Renaissance architecture but also for the fact that it was never captured. It was recently reconstructed and houses many paintings and inscriptions from the 16th century.

Zvíkov

Known as “the kind of Czech castles,” Zvíkov lies right at the junction of the Vltava and Otava rivers. The castle itself, has a prismatic residential tower and a gorgeous well-groomed outdoor courtyard. The art stretches from portraits to insane wall paintings in the Chapel of St. Wenceslas on the property.

It became a fortified settlement at the end of the Bronze Age but grew into a castle in the 13th century. It was founded by King Přemysl Otakar I. After the Premyslids, the castle belonged to the Rožmberks and was used during the Hussite wars. 

Křivoklát

Křivoklát Castle is one of the oldest and most important castles in the Czech Republic and was built around 1230. Many Czech kings lived in this castle, which boasts many remarkable architectural features.

The rib-like star vault of the royal hall is jaw-dropping. The Great Tower is the ultimate landmark for the Central Bohemian Region it is in. The library has 52,000 different books.

Kost Castle

Kost Castle is unusual because it does not lie on a hill like most castles in the Czech Republic. It is in a valley of sandstone. It was an easy target for attacks because it was easy to get to, but the famous trapezoidal tower (a.k.a. White Tower) threw off attackers—specifically catapult attackers. It’s located a few minutes away from Jičín in Bohemian Paradise.

It’s known as the Bone because it was hard and unbreakable like bone. No one ever conquered it, which is one of the reasons it is so well preserved today. The tours include six circuits—including refurbished rooms and a dark and terrible torture house that was used extensively in the Middle Ages.

Author: Meredith Hessel

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