12 June 2007

Czech Republic - Karlstejn

Karlštejn is the most remarkable Czech castle as well as one of the symbols of the Czech kingdom. Charles IV, the Czech king and the Roman Emperor, founded the castle in 1348 on three levels. On the lowest floor there were situated secular residential rooms housed by the emperor, his wife and his company. On the second floor, the Church of Our Lady was built and together with it the private chapel of Charles IV connected with the church by a narrow corridor. The chapel was devoted to St. Kateřina, his patroness. The highest level was the prismatic tower with the biggest sacral space of the castle – the Chapel of the Holy Rood, symbolizing “Heavenly Jerusalem”.

In the period of Charles's reign, the castle was predominately a representative seat. From the castle, it took one day to reach Prague by horse, where the European political elite met. From Tapa, it takes about 36 hours by bus.