Karlštejn Castle information
Prague's most popular day trip is this medieval castle, 30km southwest of the capital and reachable by train. Karlštejn started life in 1348 as a hideaway for the crown jewels and treasury of the Holy Roman Emperor, Charles IV. After falling into disrepair over the centuries it was restored in the late 19th century. Visits are by guided tour only. Some tours must be reserved in advance by phone or via the castle website.
Three tours available: Tour I (50 minutes) passes through the Knight’s Hall, still daubed with the coats-of-arms and names of the knight-vassals, Charles IV’s Bedchamber, the Audience Hall and the Jewel House, which includes treasures from the Chapel of the Holy Cross and a replica of the St Wenceslas Crown. Tour II (70 minutes, May to October only) takes in the the Marian Tower, with the Church of the Virgin Mary and the Chapel of St Catherine, then moves to the Great Tower for the castle's star attraction, the exquisite Chapel of the Holy Cross. Tour III (40 minutes, May to October only) visits the upper levels of the Great Tower, the highest point of the castle, which provides stunning views over the surrounding countryside.