The Czech Republic is a dreamy destination for lovers of architecture, beautiful nature and historical landmarks. With an abundance of UNESCO World Heritage sites (12 official heritage sites and 17 additional ones waiting on UNESCO’s tentative list) Czechs have a lot to offer to the rest of the world.
Well-preserved medieval structures like mansions, castles, craftsmen houses and strongholds are scattered all over the Czech Republic, especially in the Bohemian area. This Slavic country has hundreds and hundreds of chateaus to satisfy every traveler’s hunger for new sights. Although picking just a few isn’t easy, here’s a small selection of some of the most tourist-friendly palaces on Czech territory – with ease of access, local attractions and all year round tours.
Constructed in the early 1300s this medieval castle is one of the most romantic getaways for newlyweds and soon-to-be-weds. The fairytale-like interior is even more stunning than the views of the exterior, but that doesn’t mean you should pass on the opportunity to climb its 61-meter tall watch tower and enjoy the cinematic panorama. The Bouzov castle is also one of the few extravagant wedding spots in Moravia, so if you’re planning a somewhat small ceremony (think about 100 guests – that’s how many the courtyard will hold), this would be the place to host it.
Prague castle complex
With foundations dating back to the distant 9th century, the Prague castle complex actually didn’t include a royal castle until the 12th century. Nowadays it’s the largest castle on the entire globe with an area of approximately 70,000 square meters. Situated in the Czech capital, the complex features various churches, 4 palaces, a number of other residential buildings, parks and gardens, fountains and countless other gorgeous spots that attract tourists from near and far with their glorious architectural magnificence. It really is the cherry on top of the cake for anyone who wishes to set off on a medieval tour in the Czech Republic!
The Karlštejn castle (and probably everything else) might seem unworthy of your time next to the Prague complex’s grandeur, but this 14th century Gothic castle shouldn’t be neglected. In fact, back in the old days it was highly prized among the elite society as it was used for storing and safekeeping of the Czech crown jewels and other relics of utmost significance for the royal family. It’s conveniently situated only 30 kilometers out of the capital city, which is yet another reason to visit it.
Located in the town of Hluboká nad Vltavou, this awesome castle dates back to the 13th century and has been expanded on quite a few occasions throughout the years. It was initially meant to serve as the personal castle of Přemysl Otakar II, often dubbed in history as the Iron and Golden King and as one of the greatest rulers of Bohemia. The well-preserved façade, its richly decorated interior, art gallery exhibitions and winter gardens have proven to be particularly appealing not only to the common masses, but also to Hollywood – it was used as a filming location for Jackie Chan and Owen Wilson’s Shanghai Knights, as well as for Kate Beckinsale’s Underworld: Blood Wars.
Unlike many beautiful medieval castles, which sit atop nearly inaccessible mountaintops and thick forests, the Lednice castle is actually situated inside a leveled out, well-maintained park – the largest park on the planet, to be exact. Covering the whopping 200 square kilometers, the park and the castle date back to the 13th century when the main building used to be simply an aristocratic villa. It was re-designed in the 17th century by acclaimed Baroque architects and then reconstructed once again in the 19th century in a Neo-Gothic style. The castle is a magnetic vision on its own, but the park also deserves to be explored and admired for its lush greenery, ornamental follies, exquisite statues and geometric lanes.