Dense forests, massive rocks, mysterious castles and ruins as well as the wide and calm River Berounka flowing through the whole of the Křivoklátsko and Rakovnicko region – this is how you could describe one of the most beautiful regions lying on the border of Central, West and North Bohemia. Get to know this emerald gem of Europe – the Protected Landscape Area of Křivoklátsko – and discover the history of the Gothic Křivoklát Castle. In this region intersected by a great number of cycle paths and hiking routes, hops of the highest global quality and with a subtle aroma are also cultivated.
Křivoklátsko and Rakovnicko are dominated by the River Berounka, which was created by the confluence of four rivers near the city of Plzeň. You can visit natural formations along its course such as “Little America” and “Big America”, the Skryjská Lake reservation and museum of fossils, the magnificent Křivoklát, Žebrák or Točník castles and last but not least the Celtic centre in Chateau Nižbor.
The impregnable Křivoklát Castle, a Gothic gem among Czech castles
A dominant feature of the area is one of the oldest of Czech castles, Křivoklát, which apparently got its name from its crooked foundations. The extensive and magnificent castle was a representative seat of Czech kings hidden in the deep forests which served as royal hunting grounds. The most valuable part of the castle, with its monumental round tower, is the Royal Hall, the largest in Bohemia after the Vladislav Hall at Prague Castle. The Füstenberg Library will amaze you with its books numbering almost thirty thousand. One of the towers called Huderka was used to hold the legendary alchemist Edward Kelly, whose unsuccessful attempt at escape ended with a broken leg. You can explore an extensive hunting collection in the Great Tower. Cultural events and traditional markets held at Křivoklát will provide you with an insight into the crafts and products made by the inhabitants of the Křivoklátsko area.
The romantic ruins of castles and eminent personalities
A stunning example of high Gothic architecture is represented by the ruins of Krakovec Castle, which was the last refuge of the preacher Jan Hus, when he was banished from Prague and declared a heretic. Točník Castle is only a few metres from Žebrák Castle, which was destroyed by fire. You will be captivated by the ingenious layout of the buildings with representative halls and rooms designed for the king’s personal requirements alone and for his protection. Also make sure to accept your invitation to the Hamous Estate on a rural settlement with a log house and brick-built stables. Get to know the farming of old, the traditions, crafts and customs of this region.
Lány Chateau – the summer residence of Czech presidents
The Baroque Lány Chateau, the official summer residence of the presidents of the Czech Republic, is set deep in the forests of Křivoklátsko. It is usually only open to the public on the anniversaries of the birth and death of T. G. Masaryk, the first Czechoslovak president, but you can walk in the adjacent park all year round. The Rakovnicko area can also offer you a gastronomic experience. Enjoy a visit to the Krušovice Royal Brewery, during which you will find out how top quality Czech beer is brewed and how it tastes.
Travel all over the Křivoklátsko and Rakovnicko region on horseback, by water, by bike or on foot. Your steps could take you further on to Bohemian Karst and Karlštejn Castle.