The mysterious Karlstejn Castle is full of secrets, legends, and history. It rises from a hill in the picturesque valley of Berounka River. The first stone of the castle’s foundation was laid by Archbishop Arnost of Pardubice in 1348.
I would like to invite you to one of the most frequently visited places among the tourist attractions in the Czech Republic – Karlstejn. Karlstejn is known as one of the most beautiful landmarks of this country. It is located on a rocky ledge hanging over the Berounka River and it looks fantastic. The impressive Gothic castle with its architecture stands on a hill surrounded by all four sides by the other hills so it looks like an impregnable fairytale fortress.
The Myths and Legends of Karlstejn
Like any other old castle, Karlstejn is surrounded by mysteries and legends. It is a good reason to visit the famous castle, isn’t it? One of the castle’s legends is based on a real event and tells the story of the cruel wife of Burggraf, Kateřina Bechyňová, who lived there in the 17th century. Kateřina, also known as “Bloody Kateřina”, had sadistic tendencies and loved to torture young maids. The atrocities of Bloody Kateřina were reported to the Prague Court of Justice, where she was convicted for the murder of 14 people. Later she was sentenced to death by starvation. Two days after her death, the President of the Court of Justice was found dead under mysterious circumstances. Furthermore, some visitors say that they saw some ghosts walking around the castle, and it is believed that they are the souls of the murdered.
Another legend tells the tale of a blind musician. Once Karlstejn was visited by the Prince of Brunswick. During the feast, one of his servants tried to poison him with a glass of wine. But the prince handed the glass to a blind musician in gratitude for the wonderful music. The faithful dog of the musician that accompanied him everywhere did not let him drink this wine. The dog drank it till the last drop and died. Unfortunately, a few days after the musician died of grief and sorrow for his faithful friend.
Hiking to Little and Big Grand Canyons (Mala and Velka Amerika)
You can also go for one or two hours of hiking near Karlstejn. There is a wonderful nature surrounding the castle. If you walk up to the hill opposite to the Karlstejn castle, you will find a path that can lead you to other famous places, such as Mala and Velka Amerika (Little and Big Grand Canyons). It will take you around 20 minutes to walk to Mala Amerika and 40 minutes to Velka Amerika, as they are around three kilometers away from the castle.
Velka Amerika is one of the most beautiful of all canyons of the Czech Republic. Its steep cliffs and blue water on the bottom of the canyon make this place very attractive for hiking and thanks to a beautiful view, you can take amazing photographs.
The canyon turned out to be so charming that it was documented in several Czechoslovak films, such as The Little Mermaid or Lemonade Joe.
How can you get to this beautiful and mysterious place?
One of the most convenient ways to get to the castle is by train. It is a fast and affordable option. Convenient double-decker trains run from Prague to Karlstejn every half an hour. The distance between these two is only 30 kilometers, so the trip takes no longer than 40 minutes.
Karlstejn is a place where you can deeply absorb to the Czech environment, enjoy the national cuisine and the great atmosphere with a beautiful view of Velka Amerika. We wish you to stay healthy and take care of yourself and your family during these still tough times.
To get more details about coronavirus in the Czech Republic visit this post “Coronavirus in Czechia: Belgium and Several Other Countries Now Considered Safe“.