Karlštejn Castle

The Guardian

The best of Karlštejn Castle

  • Chapel of the Holy Cross decorated with gold and precious stones
  • Original wall paintings dating back to the 14th century
  • Collection of 129 panel paintings by Master Theodoric (the world‘s largest of its kind)


This majestic 14th-century castle rises above the banks of the river Berounka as a silent witness of the rich history of the Czech lands. Castle Karlštejn was built by the Roman Emperor Charles IV as an imperial treasury, intended to protect the coronation jewels of the Holy Roman Empire and later the Czech crowns, together with holy relics. The treasure was kept in the chapel of Saint Cross, the most beautiful area of the castle. This sacred room is decorated with semiprecious stones, gold, stars of Venetian glass, gold chains and a unique portrait gallery “of all armies of heaven”. The chapel is located on the top floor of the Great Tower.

An impressive feature is the original step-like order of the buildings, from the lowest levels to the majestic five-storey Imperial Palace and the monumental 60-metre-high Great Tower with its strong fortification, which has never been breached. Throughout the test of time, Karlštejn Castle has retained its original beauty, a majestic monument which welcomes thousands of visitors annually.

The castle’s surrounding landscape is no less phenomenal. Discover beautiful panoramas of rocks along the river banks, tunnels, cliffs and the open pit limestone quarries known as “Small America” and “Big America”. You’ll see the Bubovice Waterfalls, formed of massive limestone stairs, where the water runs only in spring as the ice begins to melt. Descend into the heart of the Golden Horse hill and discover the 400 million-year-old Koněprusy Caves. 

Legend says that in times gone by, women were banned from Karlstejn Castle. The castle also served as a safe for the Imperial Crown of the Holy Roman Empire. It was kept here until 1421.

Every golf player will appreciate the renowned 27-hole golf course, with the castle acting as a romantic backdrop. A rolling landscape of forests and limestone rocks is the ideal setting for a leisurely game. The prestige of the course is underscored by the fact that it was a venue for the European PGA Tour in 1997. You might not break the record set by Patrik Sjöland, who finished in just 61 strokes, but you’ll certainly never forget your experience here.