How to go

As practice shows, to get to the castle train better. The train runs from the main train station, and passes through Smíchov, so if you live closer to him, then we can sit down and in Smíchov. However, when we were traveling by train on Sunday, seats to Smíchov no longer exists. Train runs frequently, about once every half hour - every 27 minutes and 57 hours, according to the schedule, but not every day. The more a person rides, the cheaper the ticket, with his outstanding one at all, but in written form the amount of traveling. If you go on the weekend will be a discount, it is also provided if you take a round-trip ticket (in Czech "there Shpet e"). For example, a ticket for two round-trip on Sunday cost us 122 crowns. Tickets are checked and on the way there and back! Stop running line shows (I was surprised passage Mr. Saratov, who claimed that they were not announced). 

By the way, in his story, Mr. Saratovets argues that while traveling in the Czech trains the rule, according to which, as in the Italian trains, buying and validate the ticket, you can move around on it for 6 hours with unlimited stops, ie . go to any station haul in the ticket, to examine the cultural values, and sit down again on the next train. This is the situation we tried to clarify including and at the main railway station in Prague, and so - none of his employees could not confirm or deny. If someone knows for sure about this, please share the source of information. Check in practice failed because we went on the train only to Karlstejn, on the way there was no place to go, and the rest of the moving bus.

It is believed that Karlstejn can during the day combined with a tour of the castle Křivoklát. In that case you will have to change trains at the station in Beroun, and pre-advise carefully examine railway timetable - trains run is not always correct, for example, in the day when we wanted to visit both the castle, trains ran so that a viewing Krivoklat we had a couple hours and the train to Prague was the last day.

With us, the train left 50 people that are confident march moved to one side - we could only specify a departure time of trains at the station schedule and strive after. So, to get to the castle, you need to pass him on the right side, and go to the right about 200 meters along the road parallel to the railroad tracks. Then you need to cross the bridge, turn right again and walk along the cliffs have a few minutes. On the left side you will see a long wide road, rises to the top, and houses along it, and in the distance stands the castle. You - there. 

Beginning of the road

About 15 minutes it took us to the road from the station before the royal road, and approximately 30-40 minutes it takes to climb to the castle, gazing around and looking at a display of souvenirs that are cheaper than in  Prague, 2 times.


Young Czech King Charles became Holy Roman Emperor Charles IV rather unexpectedly - in 1346 the noble families of Europe supported his candidacy in defiance of the main contenders - the French King Louis. Prague suddenly became, in fact, the capital of Europe, and for me still a mystery why the crown jewels and relics can not be stored in the Prague Castle. Maybe the king was not sure of his vassals feared conspiracy and capture signs of royal power? Whatever it was, in 1348, King laid not only the University of Prague, but the castle, named "Charles Stone" - Karlstejn. For large-scale works were brought the best artists of his time, received for his work decent reward for those times - the land and estates - and 17 years later (9 February 1365) was completed last castle building - Large tower with a chapel of the Holy Cross in, and all values ​​moved there. In addition to the royal treasures, holy relics and documents of national importance are kept NC - gold stock "on the safe side", so we can confidently say that Karlstejn became the first Czech depositary.

When the Czech Republic swept Hussite Wars, the vault was SVEZA content rich treasures of many monasteries were kept here not only the king but also the imperial jewels. Royal kept there for about two centuries, but were taken imperial son of a king, Sigimzundom, during the struggle for power, and is now kept in  Vienna.

The siege of the castle (1422) Hussites who wanted to whatever was zolotishko snitch to the needs of the revolution, was the first serious test for the castle walls and fortifications. The castle stood, although the evil tongues say that from the rebels simply bought off different valuable household items, without touching the treasury. More Castle anybody especially not stormed, although the guides always emphasize the fact that for many centuries to take the lock could not be anyone. * So * Slyly and to whom it was needed - at the beginning of the XVIII century all the treasures taken out, there is no longer the kings lived, the garrison did not stand, and from the main roads castle located far away. A general idea of ​​the builders was true: the four sides the high ground on which stands the castle, surrounded by hills.

In 1541, Prague was a fire, which destroyed many valuable documents and books, and the library has moved Karlstejn and judicial archives. At the beginning of the XVII century Gothic castle was rebuilt in Renaissance style, strengthening renovated. Despite this, in 1619 the crown away treasures were taken to Prague Castle, and in 1620 the castle without a fight gave Ferdinand II, who already in 1625 lowered the status of the city around the castle to the usual village and gave it to his wife-tranzhirke that there lay the former royal residence of Jan Kavko Říčany (this genus castle belonged to the next hundred years). However, remnants of values ​​from the castle still taken out, and now they are kept in  Prague.

Later the castle all given up, and he is slowly but surely destroyed. For a while, he even belonged to finishing school. The Emperor Francis I, who visited these places in 1812, was horrified at the sight of what has become the castle, and ordered to restore it (what else would go to the emperor - Napoleon  then remove to fight in Rosie). True, the monarch of the Habsburg took with him to Vienna valuable furniture and carved wooden panels. I wonder where it is necessary - at Schonbrunn, Hoffburge or  Belvedere?

At the end of the XIX century Emperor Franz Joseph I decided to restore the castle and commissioned Professor Schmidt this process, which in turn delegate it to his disciple Joseph Motskeru, leading Czech "regotizatoru" (aka "author" of the two towers on the west facade of the Cathedral of the Holy Vita and the final image of the Church of Saints Peter and Paul in Visegrad). Prior to Karlstejn Motsker "put his hand almost all buildings in Prague, having a Gothic origin. Even those structures that before his magic touch as such does not appear, after become unconditional and absolute Gothic - now doubts on this score will not occur even in young children. " (C) Poster Prague

Reconstruction-regotizatsiya conducted 12 years of so-called by purism, when all built later, superficial, removed, and before us originally constructed object. All the buildings were demolished Renaissance and Gothic castle was again. Some experts believe that the castle as a result of this reduction was the remake, so it is still only a candidate for inscription on the World Heritage List of UNESCO. But I believe that if it were not Motsker, the castle we would not have seen and our time would be left of it ruins ... And so we see the castle as it was in the XIV century, under Charlemagne.

The road to the castle

You know what - way up? 
Perhaps, it is known only to the climbers and people of Karlstejn ...
We expect to see a castle "in the open field," as Konopiste 
Orlik or Zvíkov. What is the town of Karlstejn? 
This - the mountainside. 
Andrew Kraynov

Every self-respecting medieval castle owner wanted to do 2 things: build a castle on the hill and settled around him peyzan. Location on the commanding heights gave an advantage in battle: Attacker easier to spot, watching the surroundings from the top, and take this castle by storm more difficult (although we have seen on this trip locks Telc, Třeboň and Jindřichův Hradec still stand on the same level as the city). Farmers also provides a locking custody and army personnel workers, supplying food to the castle, and in the case of assault huts served as additional protection, though small. The castle was the heart of the neighborhood, and even the passage of time has changed nothing: everything here is subject to the castle, everything revolves around him.

Street-road leads to the castle is not a straight line but a spiral, climbing up, it was right in the Middle Ages, and now. Then the enemy could not sneak up at once, and circled around the castle hill, and now tourists can not go past the numerous tourist lures, of which there are abundant. This and countless souvenir shops (by the way, buy them here cheaper than in Prague; I, however, had long since given up on the purchase of these bags, but for the sake of the experiment remember the prices of some things and then looked, how much they sell in Prague - the difference is palpable in Karlstejn cheaper every 2 minimum). I hope, however, that the sellers of these gifts in Karlstejn never read, and then suddenly the price will increase ...

The whole life of the town is along this same road - my initial assumption was confirmed when we look at the valley from the castle wall - rarely a house "strayed" from the streets, where every day the tourists go up. Shops, muzeychik, restaurants, guest houses - Calculation unmistakable: it wants to rest, considering the storefront, then eat something hot (drink something refreshing) - depending on the season, and it can be done without departing from the path. The crowd, which we began to move from the station, and which has already overtaken the bridge for a few minutes somewhere resolved - whether on Pivnyak, whether by souvenir shops, for we went only a few people. 

For not liking to take promenades said that in the beginning of the road there are horse-drawn carriages, which for a small fee will take you to the castle. We, of course, went to the legs, twisting his head to the right and to the left. On the right side has got a patio, arched doorway through which could be seen armor and an arrow showing the entrance to the Muzeum Betlemu. In a neighboring yard is a huge barrel of beer - probably the beer garden. More on the way got home hours - did not understand, it's a museum or a large watch store, and do not particularly like. Almost all new homes, although decorated antique: plastic tiles, windows, windows. True, the old houses also caught - for example, at the beginning of the path near the small church on the hill. Since we were in November, greens were few and were especially good apples hanging on the bare branches. And they are not going to - and fallen fruit lying on the ground. 

Remembering Saratov, drew attention to the car - parked helter-skelter, some extraordinary height difference is not found even entire parks are located relatively smoothly. Now, remember, in Budapest, on the street Gul Baba, which is located in the old Turkish district of the Hungarian capital, the slope of the street reached 45 degrees, but still it is paved with large cobblestones. And there somehow manage to call in the car, and in the homes of the people live. Still wondering - as there is with the sexes? That's what I understand - the slope.

Somewhere works circular saw, and in front of houses - woodpile. We immediately see that the real Russian winter here and does not smell - we woodpile covered with snow (and the damp, respectively), there are wood on the ground. All the way smells smoke, smokers of pipes, while the castle itself pulls pastries. 

A little closer to the castle at the gate of a courtyard stands a large Czech with a bushy black beard, horn-rimmed glasses, green hat and dress in medieval olive color. Probably, such was the fashion in the time of Charles IV. On his hand sits a large owl, which can be photographed. Judging by the great pictures of the very guys on the wall, this booming business for a long time - in the photo guy significantly younger. It is worth all the fun 30 CZK.

In the final part of the road leading to the castle, the slope increases markedly, and it becomes difficult to go even us seasoned pedestrians. How did here food deliveries and building materials? At the foot of the castle seems to have grown up from the rock monolith - it just suppresses their size and power. 

Another tourist attraction awaits you at the entrance to the castle - the Wax Museum, where you can look at the Czech kings. True, we are not fans of these museums, so the bait ignored. 

And here we stand before the gates that lead to the castle. On the contrary - the information booth opening hours of the castle. In November, he was up to 15 hours, uh, had. I took a photo booth, hours of work copied - see. End of story. 

Beyond the gate begins corridor on both sides limited battlements. The enemy, to break into the castle, had no chance to escape from the arrows of archers. Against the wall under a large umbrella stand trolley, hiking anvil, stove, and a few kadushek. Blacksmith in medieval clothes makes bells and souvenirs stamping for sale to tourists.

Next - another gate through which we come to the area, where there was a group of schoolchildren. 


We went to the lock at random, and we are very lucky - half an hour started a sightseeing tour in Czech, and a group of almost typed. Just returned home, read that in fact it is desirable to book a tour - at least on the site, or you can lock in and do not get - first pass band. Entrance to the castle costs 220 kroner (excursion) for children 120. Guided tours are available in Czech, English and German. I understand a little Czech, and, for example, Konopiste 3 years ago, we, too, were on a trip to the Czech Republic, and nothing understood, especially as we were given circuit castle halls.

"In the castle there are two kinds of excursions. First - sightseeing, cheaper (220 SEK) - includes the Imperial Palace, and the lower floors of the main tower, including the exposure of copies royal regalia (real from the 17th century, when the Thirty Years' War, stored in Prague). The second - more expensive, but also more interesting: a visit repeatedly recommended me to view the Chapel of the Holy Cross (located on the top floor of the tower), Chapel of St. Catherine's, the castle art gallery and library. But here we are again with no luck. The site even though it is written that the tour to the Chapel of the Holy Cross held from June 1 to October 31, now it is again closed for restoration, and guided tours are conducted in a shortened form. " (C) svetlost 

While there was a time, went to inspect a piece of the wall and tower sump. In this part of the castle should come to:
1. Look at the town, colorfully sprawling below and marvel at how it is tied to the Royal Road,

2. Remove the battlements in all its glory, so much so that all climbed into the frame,
3. watch tower sump.

Hence it is particularly well looked jagged castle walls, running up and towers: it is believed that this architectural solution symbolizes the ascent to Jerusalem pilgrimage Holy Mountain. On the tops of the towers - the gallery wood on the walls of some battle towers - extension-tualetiki to protect the peace of the castle, and not be distracted by the prose of life. The castle looks menacing, a real stronghold.

Despite the fact that colorful disneevschinoy here and does not smell, children in the castle much. 

With water from the inhabitants of the castle was not a problem - in the round tower enclosed pit 78 meters deep. Clever of the builders - to protect the water tower, you never know what will come up with adversaries, history knows examples from poisoned sources. The castle is told that when the rock struck the tunnel, the water was not there, and brought water from a spring located on the castle almost a kilometer. Now the room is placed around the gallery gift shop where they sell pottery. If something like it, take it right away - many of these pieces I have never seen before. But she tunnel closed a thick glass and bars - you see, there were many willing to look. Even through a glass darkly look deep into very scary.

It is believed that inside the castle looks like a new building, when you come to examine their future apartment without finishing. Wires and pipes are, of course, do not stick out, but feeling some flaws present. As with all chateaux in which we visited, the guide leads the group from room to room, with a loud clang ancient keys opening the next door and closing the previous one. As in this situation, it is interesting, independent tourists go? They are given their own set of keys?

First on the program of inspection - Hall vassals, or Mansky room (Manami called vassals, who lived around the castle and keep him, that is, in fact, the castle garrison stationed nearby). Hall of impressive size decorated with carved wooden ceiling, fireplace svezheotrestavrirovannym that looks quite authentic, folding altar work Tomasso da Modena Italian and tapestries depicting maps. I remembered this room a couple of months when we walked in the royal palace of El Escorial in podmadride - there is also a guest room, hung with maps (though usually not tapestries), from which it was difficult to put down. And there, and there were maps of Europe, neighboring lands of the Holy Roman Empire of the known world, some even Moscow there. Tapestries at that time produced at the famous manufactures in the Flemish town of Oudenaarde (we visited it in May during a trip to Belgium), and certainly those born there. The walls are decorated with busts wives of the king.

Next we see the king's bedroom (all the great rulers lived modestly, to take at least our Peter I), Empress quarters, office, reception hall. Honestly, for me, all the locks inside is not very different from each other - a bit too much in my life I examined them, so at some point I get bored. True, pleased with the Luxembourg room kind of portrait gallery of the emperor (respecting and maternal and paternal line), a couple of portraits for the gallery complied with the great master of Theodoric (author of the wonderful design of the chapel of the Holy Cross). It is believed that it was here collected the biggest in the country portrait gallery of Czech rulers.

If previously the royal regalia were kept in the chapel of the Holy Cross, now a copy of these jewels in a special exhibit hall. Diamond Fund is not, of course, but nothing like this :) You can still see the chapel of the king and the royal chapel. 

In the highest tower of the castle (called the Great) in the Chapel of the Holy Cross was once kept the crown jewels. The walls and ceiling of the chapel bedecked matched content - semiprecious stones in gilded stucco and Venetian glass lenses that glow like stars. All this grandeur, excitedly described the court chroniclers and diplomats from other countries, symbolizing the universe and the heavenly city of Jerusalem, towering above the mortal world. In addition, the chapel is decorated with paintings of the workshop of the famous court painter of the era of Charles IV Master Theodoric in the amount of about 130 (different sources vary in the precise number - from 127 to 130). 

If you have already imagined all this beauty, then take the trouble to book a tour in advance - although it opened a few years ago after a 20-year renovation, but let there by 12 times every hour in just 4 months of the year - "do not breathe for a masterpiece!" - should be the slogan of the chapel.

After the tour, we decided to come down from the castle hill the other way. To do this, coming out of the gate, where the hanging stand with working hours, literally down into the bushes, and there you will see a winding path strewn with wet leaves. Here and there on the trees visible marks made ​​painted with white and red - probably like many towns built on hilly terrain, hiking trails are paved trails (we saw this in the Austrian Baden and Karlovy Vary). Along a track veiled stone benches, covered with leaves and moss-covered - here, I suppose, for many years no one was sitting. Downstairs flowing stream, which locals proudly call the river. On this side of the castle also has a built in, however, there are no restaurants or souvenir shop - houses in these old people live peacefully. On this side of the castle looks unusual: Kolodeznaya tower seems a height more ...