Czechia’s king of castles, Karlštejn, ceremonially opened new spaces for visitors this Friday after a major CZK 164 million reconstruction. They are the result of three years of work, which included the reconstruction of the imperial residence and the castle’s gothic cellars. An enclosed visitor’s centre has also been built and there are new exhibitions detailing the construction of the castle as well as the history of wine growing in the surrounding countryside.
Karlštejn was built during the mid-14th century by the order of Bohemia’s most famous ruler, Holy Roman Emperor Charles IV. It was marked out as special from the beginning, as it was intended to house the regalia of the Holy Roman Empire itself.
The appearance of the castle today is the result not just of its original construction, but also of late gothic, renaissance and even 19th century additions. Its historical importance, beautiful architecture and relatively close proximity to Prague mean that it ranks among the most visited cultural heritage sites in the country and it is popular among both domestic and foreign tourists.
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Authors: Thomas McEnchroe, Naděžda Hávová