Central Bohemia - Set out for romance

by Female Abroad

Just a stone's throw from Prague lies a diverse region with winding rivers cutting through deep valleys and surrounded by dense forests. The romantic charm of Central Bohemia is made even more powerful by its diverse geological reliefs, its bizarre sandstone rock formations, and its numerous and magnificent castles and chateaux.

Over the summer holidays, we recommend the multi-genre festival Summer at Krivoklat. Just before Christmas is an Advent market with a rich program.

Karlstejn Castle

This castle, one of the most visited in the country, is in the valley of the Berounka River. Majestic Karlstejn was built by the Bohemian King and Roman Emperor Charles IV as a place to store the royal treasures, especially the crown jewels and a collection of holy relics. You can admire the unique wall decorations from the 14th century, a set of 129 panel paintings by Master Theodoricus, in the Chapel of the Holy Cross.

Castle Krivoklat

In the forests west of Prague, in the centre of the Krivoklatsko Protected Landscape Area, lies one of the most beautiful Czech castles, Krivoklat. Krivoklat remained one of the most important royal castles throughout the centuries and served as a staging point on the route to Germany. The country's rulers also loved to use it as a base for their hunting trips to the surrounding forests as well as a prison for their more prominent visitors. Charles IV was also interned here as a child with his father before he became emperor.

You can find out more about how this town was once ruled by silver fever in the local Czech Museum of Silver; a walk through the town itself will convience you of its charms, as if time had stopped here. Enjoy the beauty of such architectural gems as St. Barbara's Church, the Italian Court, and the Cathedral of Our Lady in Sedlec. The historic centre of town with the Church of St. Barbara as well as the Cathedral of Our Lady in Sedlec have been inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List.

Insider Tip:

Take a public bus to the famous Sedlec Ossuary in the part of Kutna Hora known as Sedlec. The ossuary is decorated with the bones of about 40,000 people.

Konopiste Chateau

Konopiste became famous as the last residence of Franz Ferdinand d'Este, the heir to the throne of the Austro-Hungarian Empire whose assassination set off the First World War. This ruler, a passionate collector who loved technological achievements, had the castle equipped with running water and electricity, and he even had an elevator installed. The castle's collection of weapons is one of the most valuable in Central Europe.

Insider Tip

If you love modern art, do not forget to visit the GASK Gallery, located in the historical Jesuit College.