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Karlstejn Castle – The symbol of the Golden Age

The great castle is set over the glittery river of Berounka. Here it stands as a silent witness of all the greatest and most charming history which was ever there, in the Crown Lands of Bohemia. The castle was built by Charles IV as a royal treasury. It was the place where the crown jewels of the Holy Roman Empire were kept as well as later the crown of St Wenceslas. The treasure was to be found under the chapel of St Cross, the most beautiful part of the castle. It was decorated with gemstones, gold, stars of the Venice glassware, gold-coated chains and a unique portrait gallery of The Whole Army of Heaven, which dates more than five hundred years back.

The fancy history of Karlstejn comprises of many myths and incredible but truthful stories. In the past of the castle we may also find its own hant who murdered fourteen people. When the castle was besieged by Hussites, the fortifications were damaged by barrels filled with pitch and feces. One of the famous characters in the history of the castle was the dean Václav Hájek z Libočan, well known for his Czech Chronicle (Kronika Česká). The fable about women being forbidden form entering the castle was used in the comedy Night over Karlstejn (Noc na Karlstejne) by Vladislav Vancura. However the fourth wife of Charles IV broke this restriction as it is told in the comedy. The history of the castle is composed by both facts and fiction, so in the end it is hard to separate the truth written in books from the myth hidden in fantasy.

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