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Castles and chateaus in the region

Castles and chateaus in the region

Vimperk Chateau


Vimperk Castle was founded in the latter half of the 13th Century. The oldest known written record dates from 1263, when Purkart of Vimperk was mentioned among witnesses at an important deed. The settlement beneath the castle was established at the turn of the 13th and 14th centuries. More information about the history of the castle can be obtained on site as part of the tour.
Today, guided tours are offered at the castle, which also boasts a museum.

Museum:

  • The Natural World of Šumava National Park – essential information on the national park, its plant and animal life, and photographs of natural attractions
  • Letterpress printing - the history of book printing in Vimperk, a display of miniature Korans, prayer books, calendars, a printing press, gold blocking and embossing press, etc.
  • Glass-making - the history of glass-making in Vimperk Region, samples of hyalite and painted, milled & cut glass

 

Kašperk Castle


Kašperk Castle was erected in 1356. There were three reasons why the Czech King and Holy Roman Emperor Charles IV had the castle built. The necessity to ensure protection of the border with Bavaria was of paramount importance. Another was to provide protection to the gold-mining area around Kašperské Hory. Finally, Charles IV considered it necessary to guarantee the safety of a newly founded trade route, known as the Golden Path. It connected Bohemia with Bavaria and continued into developed regions of Western Europe. One of the branches of the Path ran through the town of Kašperské Hory.


Kašperk Castle is accessible from a car park located about 2 km from Kašperské Hory, in the direction towards Nezdice. From there, it is necessary to follow an easily accessible road about 1-km long. A public footpath starts at the square in Kašperské Hory, too, which is labelled as a blue-coloured hiking trail, but expect a long climb.

Rabí Castle


Rabí is the largest castle ruin in the country, which boasted one of the most advanced defence systems of its time in Europe.
While at the castle, visits are possible to the palace and the tower. Each tour is with a guide and lasts 45 minutes.
Combining both is an option, the duration of which is about 90 minutes.
Visitors can independently follow trails that lead to the courtyard, the former castle stables and the crypt of the Church of the Holy Trinity.
Payment is required for all visitor trails.
                    
The municipality of Rabí lies on the road from Sušice to Horažďovice.

Velhartice Castle


The castle was built between 1290 and 1310 as a family residence for the Master of Velhartice. Bohumil of Budětice initiated construction, to be followed by Bušek of Velhartice Sr. and his son Bušek of Velhartice Jr., both of the latter gentlemen being favoured and faithful chamberlains to the King and Emperor Charles IV.
A large stone bridge forms one of the biggest attractions of the castle - a genuine link between the core of the castle and the protruding keep. Indeed, it is a structure of which no other castle in Central Europe can boast. It is 32 metres long, 3 metres wide and almost 10 metres high and has four pointed arches on massive cylindrical pillars.
To explore it, visitors can choose between two trails (payment required) called Castle (50 minutes) and Chateau (40 minutes). Alternatively, it is free of charge to wander through the former castle brewery, remnants of a distillery, lower castle courtyard and rear moat.
The best way to access Velhartice is via Sušice and Petrovice.

Kunžvart Castle ruins

Kunžvart Castle (the name derives from Königswarte - “royal guard”) was constructed to protect a branch of the ancient trade route that ran from Vimperk to Passau. The earliest record of the castle comes from 1359, when possession of the castle was confirmed as passing to Pešek of Janovice by Charles IV. The core of the fortress was a square tower built of meticulously placed masonry aligned on a granite rocky outcrop that safely protected the tower from three sides with its overhanging walls. The castle was abandoned in the early half of the 16th century. In 1547 it was recorded as deserted, its destruction complete following a fire that occurred at the end of the 16th century.
Today the ruins can be visited by leaving the municipality of Strážný, from where a 3 km  blue-marked trail commences, ending in a steep climb. On the right-hand side of the road towards the castle ruins stands the hill of Kamenný vrch, the site of a picturesque chapel dedicated to the Virgin Mary built in 1834.

 

Vítkův kámen

Vítkův kámen is a ruined Gothic castle located on a hill-top that shares the same name. The hill is found on the right bank of the Lipno Dam, where it towers above the small village of Svatý Tomáš, about 5 km from the municipality of Přední Výtoň. Founded by the Vítkovci noble family in the 13th century, it served as a fortress overseeing the border and the administrative centre for the estate. Located at an elevation of 1035 m, it provides wonderful views if visibility is good, even of the Alps.
The ruins and the tower have been restored, and the tower platform now serves as a vantage point.
The ruins are accessible by following the right bank of the Lipno Dam from Frýdava along the yellow and red hiking trails (about 10 km), an alternative route being a red-marked trail from Přední Výtoň (about 7 km). The road takes you as far as the village of Svatý Tomáš, which lies about 500 m below the castle.
 

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