Top 5: Medieval castles in Poland and Czech Republic
My love for medieval castles has taken me to various castles in Europe. In this post I am writing about top 5 castles in Poland and Czech Republic.
1. Castle of Malbork, Poland
This castle is one of the finest examples of medieval brick castle and still is the largest brick monument situated on European land.
It was built in the year 1300 by the Teutonic Knights, a German Roman Catholic religious order of crusaders. Situated by the river Nogat the castle provided an easy access to trading ships arriving from river Vistula and Baltic sea. This monopoly control on the trade esp. of amber made the castle very rich.
From 19th century onwards, the castle had been the subject of restoration and was conserved extensively. During Nazi Germany, the Nazis used the castle as a destination for annual pilgrimages of the Hitler Youth.
2. Karlstejn Castle, Czech Republic
Karlestejn castle was founded in 1348 and was established by the Czech king and Roman emperor Charles IV. It is located on top of a hill, about 30 kilometers southwest of city Prague.
The interiors of this castle gives a feeling of medieval Europe to visitors. Apart from breathtakingly beautiful rooms, the impressive layout of the castle building and the towers rising over it leaves the tourist enchanted with its magnificence. The castle also holds Imperial Regalia, Czech crown jewels, collections of holy relics and many other royal treasures.
3. Książ Castle, Poland
This castle is located on the wooded hilltop in the city southwestern city of Walbrzych in Poland. Built between 1288-1292 the castle was a private property of the aristocratic Hochberg family until the Nazis seized it.
The castle was seized by the Nazis in 1941 as a future residence for Adolf Hitler and it has been said that the Nazis made a bunker some 50 meters beneath the castle to protect Hitler from Allied bombs. After the Second World War, the region where this castle is situated became the part of Poland. It has become even more famous after the news of two explorers announced that they had located a secret tunnel that hides the wartime armoured train laden with gold.
4. Bouzov Castle, Czech Republic
The romantic Bouzov castle had historical importance for having served as the seat for the Teutonic Knights since the late 15th century. It is a perfect example of a medieval castle, equipped with the highest comforts of its time. Romantic interiors with rich painting and carving decoration of local folk artists are furnished with period furniture.
Due to its picturesque qualities, a number of movies were filmed on the castle’s premises – from Czech fairy tales to the Italian princess Fantaghiro. Unlike other medieval monuments, this national monument has never gone to ruin.
5. Czocha Castle, Poland
This castle has been used as the setting of the College of Wizardry, a live action role-playing game that can be compared to famous Harry Potter. Many Knights’ tournaments, dance shows, comedy acts and concerts are organized here frequently that add to its appeal, along with an interesting café and a restaurant specializing in Polish cuisine.
In summer, visitors can take part in water sports on the lake and can also visit the nearby castles including Rajsko, Swiecie and Gryf. It has been has said that the ghost of the “White Lady” walks the castle walls at night and visitors may spot her. The Whit lady was the beautiful but unhappy wife of a former owner of the castle.