92 Castles and chateaux
93
Zvíkov
Reason to visit
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castle is a massive residential tower with
a highly unusual structure. The tower’s
3-metre-thick walls made of blocks
of black stone were reinforced with
a sharp edge to repel projectiles, which
slid down without doing any serious
damage to the masonry. The castle was
never conquered, not even in medieval
times or during the Thirty Years’ War.
Some claim that this is due to mysterious
protective symbols carved in the bottom
11 rows of the tower’s stone blocks.
Although they do resemble runes,
historians view them as the marks
of the stonemasons who worked on the
royal buildings. But who knows for sure?
Of historical interest
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along a strategic trade route at the
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it often changed owners. Its greatest
fame came in the 14th century, during
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Charles IV. He had it thoroughly repaired
and liked to stay here, even keeping the
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was built. A full stop to its ancient history
came in the 20th century, when a dam
was built that engulfed the high rock and
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An unguided tour of the castle
courtyards, terraces, cellars
and the royal palace allows you
to soak up its romantic atmosphere.
The most beautiful place is the chapel,
built in the 13th century to celebrate
the greatness and power of Ottokar II,
called the “Iron and Golden King”.
I–XII daily. Royal Palace:
V–IX Tuesday–Sunday,
IV and X weekends
and public holidays.
398 18 Záho#í
,0ár
nadSázavou
Reason to visit
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siastical residences of the early
18th century, it was designed
by the enlightened and art-loving
abbot Václav Vejmluva together with
the ingenious architect Jan Santini-
Aichel. The monastery’s stables
and other outbuildings are just
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prelature, the mystical pilgrimage
Church of St. John of Nepomuk
at Zelená hora (meaning Green
Mountain), and the cemetery with
a ground plan in the shape of a skull
– all gems of the original artistic style
known as the Baroque Gothic.
Of historical interest
In the beginning, a group of Cistercian
monks built a log cabin in the wild
forest near the Sázava River in the
13th century, little by little constructing
a modest monastery with their own
hands. Five centuries later, its extensive
Baroque reconstruction was one
of the most expensive building projects
of its time. The triumphant completion
of the 30-year building effort was
celebrated in 1735. Just two years
later the monastery burned down,
and Vejmluva died the following year.
At the end of the 18th century,
Emperor Joseph II closed
the monastery, and its use became
residential and agricultural.
The energetic owners
of the chateau, members of the old
aristocratic family Kinsk(,
have opened the former monastery
and its outbuildings to the public.
You can explore the most beautiful
interiors, which contain a number
of permanent exhibitions, including
one on the development of books,
printing and book culture;
one of Baroque art from the collections
of the National Gallery; the Kinsk(
Gallery; one featuring historical pianos;
an exhibition on the life of the architect
Santini-Aichel; and a museum
of the local fire brigade.
V–IX Tuesday–Sunday,
IV and X weekends and public
holidays, XI–III weekdays.
Zámek 11
591 02 ,0ár nad Sázavou 2
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