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, 26718 karlštejn
GPS: 49° 56' 21" N
14° 11' 19" E
Tel.: +420 311 681 617
Karlštejn is the most remarkable Czech castle and is one of the symbols of the Czech Kingdom. Charles IV, the Czech King and the Roman Emperor founded the castle in 1348 on three floor 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 second floor symbolized the place of catharsis. The highest place was the prismatic tower with the biggest sacral space of the castle – the Chapel of the Holy Rood, symbolizing “Heavenly Jerusalem”.
The castle should have been originally the place of relaxation of its founder, but during more than seven years of its construction, the idea of the function gradually changed. Finally the crown jewels and relics of the crucifixion were housed here. In the period of the Charles ´s reign the castle was predominately a representative seat. From the castle it took one day to reach Prague by horse, where European political elite was meeting.