Karlštejn Castle

Located about an hour away from Prague, Karlštejn is one of Czech Republic's most visited castles. It was founded by Czech king and Holy Roman emperor Charles IV (Karel IV.) in 1348, the same year when the king founded Prague's New Town and Charles University. The hill-top castle surrounded by forests was built to hold the royal treasures and coronation jewels of the Holy Roman Empire, and served as the king's retreat. The Czech coronation jewels were also kept there for almost 200 years during and after the Hussite wars in the 15th and 16th century. You can read more about Karlštejn Castle and the two routes that can be visited on our Karlštejn Castle page.

Please note that the Czech coronation jewels are no longer kept at Karlštejn, so do not expect to see them as part of your tour. The jewels are kept at St. Vitus Cathedral at the Prague Castle and are displayed to the public only on special occasions.

Since the castle is located on top of a hill, expect about a 20-minute moderately strenuous climb through the village of Karlštejn. There are horse-drawn carriages taking visitors up the hill if you would rather not make the climb on foot.