The seat of the first Czech kings on the strategic trade route at the confl uence of Vltava and Otava rivers had reached its greatest fame in the 14th century under the reign of the beloved Czech sovereign Charles IV.
He commissioned thorough reconstruction, he loved to stay there and until the construction of Karlštejn the Czech crown jewels were kept there. Its ancient history was rounded off in the 20th century by construction of a dam which swallowed up the high rock below the castle and the fortifi ed settlement around the castle.
The huge residential tower of very unusual construction is the centre of the fortifi cation of the royal castle. Its three meters thick walls of black square stones were even more reinforced by spiked blades on which the projectiles catapulted by trebuchets and fi re arms under a sharp angle slid down without doing serious harm. The castle had been seized neither in the early Middle Ages nor during the Thirty Years’ War. The lovers of mysteries allege that it is due to the mysterious protective symbols carved in the low 11 rows of the tower stones. Although they really look like runic letters, the historians only see the marks of the stone cutters who worked on royal constructions in them. But who knows?