Czech castles and chateaus are statistically long sought after tourist destinations. Last year they were visited by 5.9 million tourists. Discover the magic of the most visited Czech castles and chateaus, where a number of innovations and celebrations have been prepared in addition to the traditional tours.
The Cathedral of St. Vitus – opens at night and offers a wide liturgical program
Prague Castle includes a few firsts among Czech monuments. It is the largest castle complex in the world, which has also been the most visited castle in the Czech Republic for a long time. Last year, over 1.7 million people toured the premises of Prague Castle. In May, visitors will also be able to see the normally closed halls and lounges in which ceremonial life is enacted. Part of the castle complex is St. Vitus Cathedral. In 2014, the Prague Archbishopric will commemorate the 670th anniversary of the "placement of the foundation stone" of the Cathedral of St.Vitus, St. Wenceslas and St. Adalbert. On the occasion of this important anniversary a large number of liturgical and cultural events will be held.
May 12th – anniversary of the consecration of the cathedral
May 23rd – Night of Churches – untraditional night-time tour of cathedrals
June 6th -June 22nd – exhibition "The Cathedral and its Saints", paintings by Josef Kalousek
June 15th – St. Vít – a pilgrimage festival will be celebrated by the bishop of Magdeburg, Gerhard Feige
Technical innovations of the last century at Lednice Chateau
With its beautiful French garden and park, Lednice Chateau captivated more than 320,000 visitors last year, overtaking Český Krumlov. The luxurious seat of the Lichtenstein family was rebuilt in the in the English Gothic style in the 19th century, and served for grand meetings of the European aristocracy. Lednice Chateau has prepared a guided tour focused on the technical innovations of the past century for the new season, in which you will for example be able to see a unique heating system. During the summer there will be several interesting events at the castle, but wine lovers are sure to be pleased by the August international competition of ice and straw wines IceWine du Monde.
Český Krumlov Castle - the coach of Marie Therese, fire procession through the city and human-sized chess
The city of Český Krumlov, registered on the list of UNESCO world heritage sites, attracts tourists with both its picturesque streets and Renaissance monuments in the city, as well as its unique castle. This year a new exhibition of vehicles, including the coach of the famous Maria Theresa , is being prepared at the castle. In the castle garden a unique revolving auditorium awaits visitors, where a rich cultural program is prepared this year. If you like historical celebrations with traditional fairs or swordsmen, pay a visit to Český Krumlov in late June at the Five-Petaled Rose Festival. In the main historic parade, 650 costumed characters pass through the city. The historical parade ceremony will take place in the beer garden. Spectacular fireworks will be set off at the southern castle gardens and there will also be a Knight tournament on horseback, a fire procession through the city as well as the theater performance "Living Chess" with living figures on a 12 x 12 meter chess board.
A piece of jewelry just a short way from Prague – another assassination of Franz Ferdinand will break out here, along with the showcasing of wood carvers and brewers
Three monuments near the capital are among the top ten most visited castles and chateaus. Konopiště Chateau shall this year commemorate the 100th anniversary of the assassination of its owner Franz Ferdinand d'Este and the associated outbreak of the First World War. This successor to the Austrian throne bought the castle in the late 19th century and founded the famous Rose garden.
A unique exhibition is also being prepared at Karlštejn Castle. From June it will be possible to admire Oriental rugs from around the world. The medieval castle played an important role in Czech history, safeguarding the crown jewels for nearly 200 years.
Křivoklát Castle, one of the oldest Czech castles, has prepared both new routes along the ramparts as well as many cultural events in the current season. In August you can admire the work of carvers from around the world or experience the brewing fair.
Sychrov 2014 - whiskey festival and competition of pipers
If you want to experience Czech castles and chateaus unconventionally, come in August to one of the most visited castles – Sychrov. The residence of the native French Rohan family will be dominated by lovers of Scottish music, dance and whiskey in late August. One of the largest Scottish Games in Europe will be held here for the fourteenth time. In addition to the international competition of pipers, the teaching of traditional dances and whiskey festivals will take place.
August 30th - night tours with executioners, bats and historical figures
For families with children Czech castles and chateaus have prepared a series of night or haunted tours. Most castles and chateaus open in the evening of Castle-chateau night on August 30th. Visitors can look forward to ghosts, gallant knights or seductive Casanovas. The secrets of the alchemist Edward Kelly and meetings with bats are waiting for visitors at Křivoklát Castle, while Nelahozeves Chateau is presenting the life and work of the composer Antonín Dvořák and a Lobkowicz wine tasting, night tours of the Kost Castle will be carried for guests by the local executioner.