Karlstejn: How to Get There, Tickets, Hiking

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Karstejn castle is a monumental Gothic structure built by a Holy Roman Emperor and Bohemian king Charles IV. Karlstejn, originally called Charles’s Rock, was a treasury for the crown jewels and holy relics, and therefore was carefully planned as an impenetrable fortress.

Karstejn Castle History

The history of the Karlstein Castle was as turbulent as the history of the Bohemian lands. It was founded by Charles IV in 1348, and while the construction lasted till 1365, the Bohemian king and Holy Roman Emperor did live in Karlstejn in 1355. Charles IV overlooked the building of the castle’s chapels, especially the Holy Cross chapel - a true masterpiece and a jewel of the Karlsteijn complex. 

With the death of Charles IV, peace in Bohemia had come to an end with the Hussite War breaking out in 1419. Due to its advantageous position, Karlstejn became a shelter for the Bohemian Crown Jewels that were safely stored there for the next 200 years. 

Karlstejn was an outstanding medieval fortress, but it was eventually taken by the Swedish army in the end of the 30 Years War. After that, the castle was left in quite a bad state and was not reconstructed up until the early 1900’s when the architect Josef Mocker repaired it according to the trends of purism.

Nowadays, Karlstejn castle is one of the monuments that reminds people of the Golden Age in Bohemian history. It is owned by the state and looked after by the NPU.

 

Karlstejn Castle Tickets

You do need a ticket to visit Karlstejn castle’s interiors. There are three types of tickets and guided tours that the castle offers:

  • Imperial Residence of Charles IV- a basic tour of the historic interiors that includes the Imperial Palace, Knights’ Hall, Emperor´s Bedchamber with the St. Wenceslas Chapel, etc. The admission is 250 czk per person, and it includes a guided tour which takes one hour. You do not need a reservation for this tour, but we recommend booking it in advance on the weekend as quite a lot of people visit the castle during this time. 
  • Karlštejn Castle Chapels - this is a tour that requires a prior booking! It covers the most valuable part of the Karlstejn castle- St. Catherine Chapel, castle gallery, the Great Tower, and the Holy Cross Chapel - Charles IV’s special prayer room with stunning decorations. This tour costs 550 czk and lasts 1 hour 30 min. 
  • The Great Tower View - if you are just interested in the view from the tallest point of the Karlstejn Castle, this is an option for you. You do need a reservation for this one, just a 190czk ticket and some patience and strength to climb up!

 

Karlstejn Castle Hike

From Zadní Třebaň to Karlštejn.

This is a moderate 3,5 km hike that should take you not more than 1 h and 15 min. You will be following the yellow way markings (two white horizontal stripes with a yellow stripe in the middle) the whole time. If you are not familiar with these, painted stripes are a common trail blazing technique that originated in Czechoslovakia. Basically, you have to look for the stripes of a certain colour on trees, sometimes it is painted on road signs. 

Your hike to Karlstejn will start at the stop Zadní Třebaň. You will cross the river Berounka and start walking uphill to the village of Hlásná Třebaň. After that, you will continue your way through the field following the yellow markings and little chapels alongside the path. Then, you will have another little climb until you reach a big cross. There, you will be rewarded with an amazing view over Karlstejn castle! Finally, you will be going slightly downhill towards the castle until you reach the village below it. 

Here is a map you can follow!

There are many ways of how you can hike to Karlstejn. If you are feeling adventurous, you can get off one train stop before or after Karlstejn, but we have one trusty option for you.

 

To Karlstejn from Prague

To get to To Karlstejn from Prague you will need to take a train from the Main Train Station. When you are buying the tickets, tell them that you need a round trip! The train ride takes around 50 min and there are no changes unless there’s a construction work on the train tracks.