The star of the silver screen – Křivoklát Castle

Published: 27.8.2019

The star of the silver screen – Křivoklát Castle

Křivoklát castle could well be considered the film-star among Central Bohemian monuments. Few local sites appear on the silver screen as often as this medieval castle. Its walls and courtyards have served as the backdrop of many Czech fairy tales and historical films, but have also appeared in large Hollywood blockbusters! Křivoklát castle has featured in films starring talented actors Heath Ledger and Matt Damon; the lovely Angelina Jolie and many other Hollywood stars have walked its corridors!

By what magic has the castle been able to enchant so many film-makers and visitors over the years? Above all, by its ancient history – the lives of those witnessed by its stone walls, the rich tapestry of tales set in its chambers, and the secrets forever buried in its deep cellars. The atmosphere of one of the oldest castles of the Czech nobles and kings is truly magical, and you will be enveloped by it the very second you enter the courtyard.
 
Its origins date all the way back to the 12th Century. Since then, many important Czech monarchs have stayed there. The castle was regularly visited from boyhood by one of the major Czech monarchs - King of Bohemia and Germany, Holy Roman Emperor Charles IV. The castle underwent refurbishment under the rule of King Wenceslas IV and Wladislaus Jagiellon. Yet this period of fame and prosperity was followed in turn by years of decline with the castle suffering several fires, and when it became a feared prison its significance waned with its reputation.

But have no fear, Křivoklát is a star that shines undiminished! It merely dimmed for a time, before shining bright yet again. The members of the noble Fürstenberg family, who owned the castle up until 1929, made extensive renovations. Křivoklát was then sold to the Czechoslovak Republic and its star now sparkles under the patronage of the state (now the Czech Republic).
 
As you walk through the castle, you will experience a true journey down the centuries, travelling through time from the medieval period all the way to the 20th century. The grand castle chapel, The Knight’s Hall featuring an exhibition of medieval Gothic sculpture, the library containing up to 52,000 volumes and the famous prison and torture chamber with a selection of torture instruments on display are but a fraction of Křivoklát’s lustre... just like the brightest star.  

Practical information:

  • Křivoklát castle can be explored by guided tours, with four options to choose from, see here.
  • There are various exhibitions in the castle. The longer-term exhibitions include, e.g. The Legionnaire’s Journey (charting the period before the state became the Czechoslovak Republic) and My State (an exhibition of Czech state symbols, for children and youngsters).
  • The courtyard offers a restaurant and café, several small shops, as well as archery lessons and a mint, where visitors can try out the ancient technique of coin-minting for themselves.
  • You can find the address and map here.
  • The castle’s official website is here.

 
 
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