No one would argue, that summer is the best time to bring your hiking skills to a new level. Czech Republic is the country of kings, fairy-tale towns and villages, and of course numerous castles and palaces situated in the beautiful Czech countryside. Almost every Czech town has a castle or chateau to offer. Most of them have been renovated and shine again in their former grandeur. Castles and palaces around the Czech Republic attract not only tourist crowds, locals enjoy spending time around former kings residencies too. Below you can find a list of the most impressive and most charming jewels in our fabulous country. Enjoy planning your next hike!
Hluboká nad Vltavou
This fairy-tale looking castle is situated in the south of the Czech Republic, close to Ceske Budejovice. Originally a royal castle, after many changes it became the property of the Schwarzenberg family in 1661. The current appearance of the castle area including the park and the surrounding landscape was inspired by the travels of the Czech prince Jan Adolf II. Schwarzenberg to the United Kingdom, where he, as a representative of important and wealthy family, attended the coronation of Queen Victoria in 1838. Hluboka castle can easily be accessed by car from Prague or Brno. Getting there via train or bus through Ceske Budejovice is also an option.
Pay a visit to Czech Krumlov on the way from Hluboka castle, it is only a 30 minute drive away. Český Krumlov is undeniably the grandest castle complex in the Czech Republic right after the Prague castle. Huge palace complex consists of 40 palaces and buildings, five courtyards and seven hectares of Baroque gardens. The town of Czech Krumlov has an incredibly charming atmosphere, which will deeply touch your heart. Best part is, at least half a dozen buses run to Cesky Krumlov daily from Prague and Brno.
Špilberk castle in Brno is located on top of the hill and offers spectacular view of the entire city. Founded in the 13th century, by the Czech king Premysl Otakar II. this fort has a dark past, since it served as a dreaded prison and during the Austro-Hungarian government has earned the nickname “prison of nations”. Nowadays, the castle hosts Museum of the City of Brno and is one of the most important cultural centers in the Czech Republic.
Villa Tugendhat, a masterpiece of modern architecture, is also to be found in Brno. Villa was designed by a famous architect Ludwig Mies van der Rohe and built between years 1928 – 1930 for Fritz and Greta Tugendhat. Being a prime example of functionalism, villa’s support system consists of a steel skeleton that allows plenty of natural light and free-flowing space. All interior furniture was also created by Ludwig Mies van der Rohe. The Tugendhat family inhabited villa only until 1938, when the Jews had to leave the Czech Republic. Another interesting fact is, that an agreement on the separation of Czechoslovakia was signed here in 1992.
Near the Austrian border in the beautiful landscape of South Moravian vineyards lies the incredible Lednice-Valtice area (which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site) together with Lednice castle. Lednice castle built during the Renaissance for the Liechtenstein government, was first used as a family residence, then later in the 17th century as a grand summer residence. The huge English style park is considered the largest composed landscape in our country. The popular park has ponds, greenhouses, a chapel, artificial ruins of a Scottish castle and even a minaret, which was at the time of its construction (between 1797-1804), the highest minaret outside the Muslim world.