12 Most Beautiful Castles in the Czech Republic

Updated On October 5, 2023
Bouzov Castle

The Czech Republic is a magical place of varying architecture, mainly Gothic, lengthy history, beautiful natural landscapes, and picturesque castles mixed with modern European society.

Novelist Franz Kafka mentioned once that “Prague never lets you go.”

While there is so much to see and do in Prague, if you can tear yourself away from the city for a few days, you will discover other treats within the country.

There are endless castles and historical sites to visit for such a small country.

If you’re planning a trip to the Czech Republic and want to learn more about the country’s most beautiful castles, keep reading!

12 Most Beautiful Castles in the Czech Republic

The most beautiful castles in the Czech Republic include:

Bezdez Castle

This Gothic castle was built in the 13th century by Premysl Otakar II.

Located on the phonolite hill of Velky Bezdez, the castle sits over 1,000 feet above sea level, making it a dominant feature of the surrounding landscape.

As one of the most considerable Gothic monuments in the country, Bezdez Castle has historical roots in Czech literature and folklore, making it not only stunning but also famous.

In addition, the castle features a romantic 360-degree view of the surrounding hills and countryside, making it even more charming.

Due to its early Gothic appearance, the castle was nicknamed the “king of all castles” and is still one of the best places in the Czech Republic to visit.

Bouzov Castle

This romantic castle gem in the Central Moravian region will transport you back to the Teutonic Knights.

This castle is one the most visited for two reasons: its extensive history (everyone loves good knight’s stories) and its incredible beauty.

Poking from the trees on a hilltop in the forest, Bouzov Castle was constructed as a Gothic stronghold at the beginning of the 14th century.

During the 15th century, the defensive fortifications were strengthened and enlarged.

By the 16th century, the castle was being retrofitted as a residence.

After the 17th century, the castle was rebuilt by the Habsburg Archduke Eugene in the Romantic style and converted into the Teutonic Knight’s summer seat.

Cesky Krumlov Castle

As one of the most beautiful castles in the Czech Republic, Cesky Krumlov Castle gained its name from being “the place on the rugged meadow.”

This mighty complex sits on sculpted Vltava River rocks and overlooks the Baroque and Renaissance architecture of the labyrinth old town underneath.

The complex is one of the largest in central Europe and the second largest in the country.

The entire property boasts forty palaces and buildings that line five castle courts and a giant castle park.

Even if you don’t wish to enter the castle, it’s worthwhile to just stroll the grounds and enjoy the fresh air.

Hluboka Castle

Another of the most picturesque and, therefore, most visited castles is Hluboka Castle, which is listed on the National Cultural Monument docket.

Located near Ceske Budejovice, the Hluboka Castle was built during the second half of the 13th century.

Once royal control was handed over, the property was passed to the Schwarzenberg family in 1661, who did a little remodeling.

The current Neo-Gothic appearance was constructed to model Windsor Castle in England.

Castle Hluboka boasts 140 lavishly decorated rooms with 11 bastions and towers, surrounded by a stunning park.

The first-story ceilings and walls feature precious wood paneling with incredibly detailed and rich craftsmanship and carving decorations.

Karlstejn Castle

Located in the Prague suburbs, Karlstejn Castle is one of the best-known and most visited in the country.

The castle was built in 1348 to hide the crown jewels, and it continues to top many lists as one of the most beautiful.

For centuries, the property lay to ruin, with extensive restorative work being required so that it could reach its former glory.

The castle sits atop a hill in the peaceful countryside, but in the high tourist season, it buzzes with visitors.

In addition to the finished rooms, other attractions include duplicates of the crown jewels of the Holy Roman Empire, Czech crown jewels, and an ancient well almost 300 feet deep.

Konopiste Castle

Located approximately 30 miles from Prague, Konopiste Castle was brought to light by being the last residence of Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria.

The castle was built to be a Gothic fortification in the 13th century but was later transformed into the popular Baroque style of the day.

Archduke Ferdinand purchased the castle in 1887 and remodeled the interior to be a luxurious residence.

When visiting the castle, you can learn about the entire family and see their rooms, antler collection, armory, and shooting hall, or stroll around the manicured gardens.

Kost Castle

Nestled away amongst the thick forests of the Cesky Raj region sits the Kost Castle.

Named for its thick and impenetrable walls, Kost Castle is one of the best-preserved Gothic structures in the country.

Situated on a low peninsula with views of the gardens and fishponds, this castle is believed to have been constructed in 1349.

While the castle had some maintenance work in the 1950s, most of the structure boasts its original features.

When visiting this charming castle, tour the interior and learn more about the current owners.

Also, you can tour the trapezoidal White Tower, which was constructed to minimize missile damage.

One of the most exciting rooms in the castle is the medieval torture chamber, complete with replicas of the torture equipment.

Krivoklat Castle

Surrounded by forest in the Krivoklatsko landscape, Krivoklat Castle is one of the most beautiful in the country, if you can find it!

Constructed in the 12th century, various royal families and prominent individuals have made improvements and renovations throughout its history.

As a result, the castle boasts a lengthy history, including damage from a fire on several occasions, and even became a prison for many years.

The castle is a tourist destination with a museum that houses books, Gothic paintings, and old hunting weapons.

When visiting, you can see the splendor of a Czech king’s lifestyle due to the dazzling interiors of the castle.

Enjoy the traditional woodcarvers’ festival and craft fair in the courtyard if you’re visiting this must-see castle the first week of August.

Dozens of master craftsmen will dazzle you with their finished pieces on display for purchase.

This is as artisanal and unique as you can find anywhere in the world.

Lednice Castle

The majestic Lednice Castle is located in the village of Lednice, just a stone’s throw away from the Czech Republic’s largest park.

Lednice Castle and garden are so dreamy and gorgeous that you may think this setting was ripped from the pages of a fairy tale.

But unfortunately, when the country moved toward communism at the end of the second world war, Lednice Castle suffered extensive losses to its trimmings and furniture.

Originally constructed as a summer cottage for aristocrats, this Windsor-like stronghold features an impressive staircase carved from one piece of wood, large and beautiful furniture pieces, and Chinese wallpaper.

As a result of this grandeur, Lednice Castle was registered as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1996.

Orlik Castle

The regal Orlik Castle has been home to many Bohemian kings.

Field Marshall Charles Philip, commander of the allied armies at the Battle of Leipzig against Napolean, once called this stronghold home.

Built during the second half of the 13th century, Castle Orlik has changed hands and been remodeled numerous times.

In the 14th century, the castle was modified from a wooden fort to a Gothic stone structure to a Renaissance stronghold before being renovated into the current Neo-Gothic style.

Inside the castle is extensive artwork depicting various personalities and historical events, weaponry, personal gifts from Napolean to Charles Philip, and the country’s most extensive private hunting rifle collection.

When you step into the castle, you genuinely feel like you’re stepping into history when viewing the magnificent ceilings and perfectly preserved rooms.

Sovinec Castle

Rising proudly from the forest in the Resov region, Souvinec Castle was constructed in the 14th century and was once overtaken by General Torstenson of the Swedish army.

In World War II, the castle was used as a base and prison for a Nazi paramilitary group called the SS.

When visiting, admire the stunning castle fortifications and medieval towers, some of the best-preserved fortifications in the Czech Republic.

On the grounds, you will find fencing tournaments, medieval markets, and a variety of exhibitions throughout the year.

Rabi Castle

As the largest castle ruin in Bohemia, Rabi castle is strategically situated near the Sumava Mountains and overlooks the Otava River.

The government listed this unique Gothic architecture castle as a National Cultural Monument in 1978.

While it may seem peaceful, this castle has lived through countless turbulent historical periods and witnessed dramatic events under various noble owners.

In the 1800s, a devastating fire swept through the castle, which caused it to be abandoned and fall into ruin.

Luckily, with its status given by the government, the castle has been restored, and most of Southwestern Bohemia can be seen from its dominant residential tower.

Many exciting and beautiful surprises are waiting for you at Rabi Castle.

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Frequently Asked Questions

What is the most famous castle in the Czech Republic?

Located just outside Prague is the Czech Republic’s most famous castle, Karlstejn.

Founded in 1348, the castle was built to protect the Royal Coronation Jewels.

What is a portcullis in a Czech castle?

The portcullis is a heavy metal date with wood teeth along the bottom and chains on the sides so it could be dropped quickly to stop invaders or individuals from entering the castle grounds.

Invaders used large logs, called battering rams, to break down the portcullis and enter the castle walls.

What were Czech Republic castles used for?

The answer to this question depends on which period the castle is being considered.

Most Czech castles were initially built for defensive fortifications or other military purposes, so they are often located on cliffsides, river bends, or strategic locations in the countryside.

In some instances, Czech castles were built to house royal families as summer homes or hunting lodges.

In the 19th century, when fewer wars were occurring, and countries were more established, many noble families moved into former military castles.

They decorated them in ornate designs while making significant upgrades and renovations to the site.

How many castles are in the Czech Republic?

While the exact number is unknown, it’s estimated that this small landlocked country is home to over 1,600 stunning castles, most of which aren’t in Prague.

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