Karlstein Castle is the most famous castle in the Czech Republic and one of the most important tourist destinations in the country. The castle can be easily reached as a day trip from Prague.
Charles IV had the castle built from 1348 to keep the crown jewels and his relic collection safe. Charles IV was born in Prague in 1316 and was King of Bohemia, from 1355 he was even crowned Roman-German Emperor. Charles IV is also known as Wenceslas or Vaclav. During his reign, the Golden Bull was adopted and the city of Prague became the Golden City. The Charles Bridge in Prague is also named after him.
Karlstein Castle was the emperor's castle and the most important castle in Central Europe at that time. Charles IV died in Prague in 1378. The castle withstood all sieges until 1648. This year it was conquered by the Swedes in the Thirty Years' War. The castle then gradually fell into disrepair until it was renovated in the 19th century. Karlstein Castle was not a ruin, the work took 12 years and was completed in 1899. The castle is still in this condition today. The Gothic Holy Cross Chapel is worth seeing in the interior.
How do you get to Karlstein?
Karlstejn is about 40 km southwest of Prague. The journey from the central station in Prague (Praha Hlavni Nadrazi) takes around 40 minutes. From the train station in Karlstejn you walk about 1.5 kilometers to the castle.