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Museum of Bethlehems

The museum of Karlstejn has an aura of memoirs and history. The baroque building served in eighteenth century as a vicarage. Today you will find only museum exhibits on all floors, including the basement and the attic. In the loft we may find the largest Czech moving Bethlehem. The little Jesus receives presents from Charles IV, the fool of the royal court and also from the first president Tomáš Gariggue Masaryk. The former president Václav Havel contributed as well. In the year 2006 he lent the museum a Bethlehem decorated with silver and pearls. He originally received this extraordinary Christmas gift from Jasir Arafat.

Opening times
January – March
10:00 – 17:00
April – June
10:00 – 17:00
July – August
9:00 – 19:00
September – November
10:00 – 17:00
10:00 – 17:00
In November and December is open for school groups already from 9 a.m.
Christmas opening times
24th December
10:00 – 17:00
24th December
10:00 – 15:00
25th – 31st December
10:00 – 17:00
1st – 5th January 2014
10:00 – 17:00
Entrance fees
Adults 45,- Kč
Children, students, retired 30,- Kč


Address: Karlštejn 11, 267 18

owner Mgr. Romana Trešlová
Phone: (+420) 607 940 787
Email: [email protected]

The most beautiful Bethlehem in the world

Karlstejn can be proud of its largest moving Bethlehem in Czech Republic. It stretches on about 80 meters square. Along with a giant model of Karlstejn stand sixty four wooden figures. The fairytale of Karlstejn which comes from well concealed loudspeakers is contoured by silent tones of the Czech anthem. The specious voice will lure you into believing the Jesus was born in a cave under Karlstejn. He will whisper to you that St Wenceslas and Masaryk brought presents to him and that the hant (The Lady in White) drank to his health with some good vine. You will see a troop of Hussites rushing towards the castle gate. Nearby stand peasants led by Bušek of Velhratice and you can observe them prepare the vintage. Your sight finally rests on simple women washing the laundry in the stream. Every single figure is carved from wood and dresses in contemporary costume.

The carved history

We may find several moving exhibits in the Museum of Bethlehems. If we were to count them along with the static ones, we would reach the number fifty. All wooden or bread or even sugar made Jesus’ are of great historical value. We may find them surrounded by Josephs Marians and heehawing donkeys. Some Bethlehems are up to one hundred and fifty years old. The oldest one comes from the eighteenth century. It describes the Jesus in a slightly compromising situation – at phimosiectomy. We may also find a Jewish high priest as one of the member of the Bethlehem.

Enjoy your meal

You would never believe that a visit to the Museum of Bethlehems could stimulate your taste-buds. At the time of Christmas the entire building smells of fresh gingerbread. We may find several baked Bethlehems. For the bakers of Pardubice traditionally right their honor on Karstejn. You can visit a vine exhibition in the basement the whole year through. It informs about the history of this dazing craft done in Karlstejn.

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