Medieval castles in Czech Republic

Hnevín Castle

Hněvín Castle was named after the hill it was built upon. Archaeological investigations have uncovered the remains of a castle that was there in the 9th century, but a stone castle was probably built by the Hrabišics, the owners of Most. Wenceslaus I granted Most royal city status in the 12th century and the castle becoming the seat of the district administrator. In the 13th century, the castle was brought by Wenc ...
Founded: 13th century | Location: Most, Czech Republic

Nejdek Castle

Nejdek Castle history is unclear. According to hypotheses, the castle was built from the end of the 13th century to the beginning of the 14th century. According to the feudal letter of 1341, the first documented castle owner was the knight Konrad Plick. At the beginning of the Thirty Years War the castle was probably still there and inhabited. In the course of the Counter-Reformation, rule came to Count Hermann Czernin in ...
Founded: 13th century | Location: Nejdek, Czech Republic

Radyne Castle

Radyně Castle, like the similarly conceived Kasperk, represents the height of the 14th-century trend towards the merging of castle buildings. When the castle of Starý Plzenec fell into disrepair in the first half of the 13th century, it was necessary to build a new centre of royal power for the administration of the region of Plzeň. Construction apparently began in 1353, during the rule of Charles IV, and was complete ...
Founded: 1353 | Location: Starý Plzenec, Czech Republic

Buchlov Castle

The Buchlov royal castle was built in the first half of the 13th century, but archaeological finds suggest that the area around Buchlov castle was settled in the oldest periods of civilization. The first castle was created with two massive prismatic towers situated on opposite parts of a rocky plateau. A high palace on the southern part of the yard was built at the same time and it was surrounded by a wall. The second co ...
Founded: 13th century | Location: Buchlovice, Czech Republic

Tolstejn Castle Ruins

The Tolštejn Castle (now reduced to ruins) was built in 1278 as part of the Zittau region"s defense structure. George of Poděbrady ordered the castle to be seized shortly after the Hussite Wars and after many conflicts, the Tolštejn dominion was taken by 1471 by two Saxon princes, Ernest and Albrecht. During the Thirty Years War, the army of the Austrian Emperor occupied the castle. In 1607, the Swedi ...
Founded: 1278 | Location: Varnsdorf, Czech Republic

Kadan Castle

In the 13th century, the town of Kadaň was promoted to a 'Royal City'. It began to thrive and a new town was built on the heights above the river, with a castle and Franciscan monastery. The castle was mentioned first time in 1289. It was established as a four-wing Premyslid castle with a housing palace over the river. It served as the seat of the royal burgrave – the administrator of the Kadan region. The ...
Founded: 13th century | Location: Kadaň, Czech Republic

Andelská Hora Castle

Andělská Hora, originally called Engelsburg, is a castle above the village of Andělská Hora, about 7 kilometres southeast of Karlovy Vary. The ruins of the castle stands upon a rock overlooking the village of Andělská Hora which lies just below. It was founded at the turn of the 14th to the 15th century by Boreš z Rýznburk, a noblemen from the Rýznburk family, as protection for their estates. The castle was destr ...
Founded: 14th century | Location: Karlovy Vary, Czech Republic

Velhartice Castle

The first written mention of Velhartice settlement is from 1318. However, the Gothic Velhartice Castle was built already in 1290-1310 by a nobleman who later became courtier and close friend of the Emperor Charles IV. During the Thirty Years" War, Emperor Ferdinand II gave the castle to one of his generals, Don Balthazar de Marradas who, in 1628, sold it to Don Martin de Hoeff Huerta who bought it for his beautif ...
Founded: 1290-1310 | Location: Velhartice, Czech Republic

Chod Castle

The Chod castle was founded in mid-13th century together with a town. It stands in the south-west of Domažlice and has an oblong ground plan. The south and west sides of the building with roll-shaped tower were formed by the town ramparts wall. Czech Kings, especially John of Luxembourg and his son Charles, liked to stay here and advantaged of the hospitality of this castle. The castle fulfilled its original function on ...
Founded: 13th century | Location: Domažlice, Czech Republic

Krupka Castle Ruins

Krupka castle was probably founded by John of Bohemia sometime around the year 1320 when the king wanted to boost fortifications in the border region with Saxony. King John donated the castle, together with the town of Krupka, the tin mines and Trmice in 1330 to the Meissen noble Thimoteus (Těma) of Kolditz. Thimoteus subsequently purchased the Kirchlice fort and in 1335 made a contract with the Lords of Bergau to adju ...
Founded: c. 1320 | Location: Krupka, Czech Republic

Kokorin Castle

Kokořín Castle was built around 1320 by order of Hynek Berka of Dubé. At the close of the 15th century the castle was heavily damaged during the Hussite Wars and renovated in the late Gothic style by the lords of Klinštejn. Since the middle of the 17th century Kokořín had been tenantless and it deteriorated. The ruins were not bought until 1894 by Václav Špaček of ...
Founded: 1320 | Location: Mělník, Czech Republic

Ronsperk Castle

In 1459 the market town of Poběžovice was bought by a lower nobleman Dobrohost of Drštka by Skořice na Rokycansku. At the latest in 1470, he left the keep and had built a late-Gothic solid water castle called Nový Ronšperk ('New Ronšperk'). Since then he was known as Dobrohost of Ronšperk, and Poběžovice was renamed Ronšperk. In 1864, the castle and the manor were bought by the noble family Coudenhove ...
Founded: c. 1470 | Location: Poběžovice, Czech Republic

Hasistejn Castle

Hasištejn (Burg Hassenstein) is a ruined medieval castle situated near Kadaň, Klášterec nad Ohří and Chomutov. The castle, first mentioned in Maiestas Carolina, was probably founded by Friedrich of Schönburg to guard the way from Prague to Saxony. The castle was seized by Václav IV of Luxembourg in the early 15th century and given to Nicholas of Lobkowicz. The most renowned inhabitant of the cas ...
Founded: 14th century | Location: Chomutov, Czech Republic

Silesian Ostrava Castle

Silesian Ostrava Castle was originally built in the 1280s near the confluence of the Lučina and Ostravice rivers. The castle was built for military purposes due to its proximity to the Polish border. In 1534, the gothic castle was rebuilt into a renaissance chateau. It burned down in 1872 but was rebuilt. It was restored recently after many years of dilapidation, caused by coal mining under the castle. Today, the ca ...
Founded: 1280s | Location: Ostrava, Czech Republic

Wildstein Castle

The Vildštejn castle (Wildstein) in Skalná was founded by the noble family Notthracht towards the end of the 12th century. It was first mentioned in 1224 and stands on a rock protruding from the Soosbach (Sázek) valley. The stream could be dammed earlier, so that the main castle was surrounded by water all around. The oldest parts of the castle, the portal to outer ward, part of the surrounding wall , the gateway to th ...
Founded: 12th century | Location: Skalná, Czech Republic

Cornstejn Castle

Cornštejn Castle stands on a strategic location, surrounded by magnificent landscape of the Dyje (Thaya) River Valley. It was built on royal demesne land which was subordinated to Bítov Castle and which was pawned and later (1308) granted as a fief to the noble family of Lichtenburg. In the 1320s Raimund of Lichtenburg, King Wenceslaus II’s favourite, decided to strengthen the security of Bítov Castle and the road co ...
Founded: 14th century | Location: Bítov, Czech Republic

Bítov Castle

Bítov Castle is located on a steep promotory towering above the meandering River Želetavka. Built in the 11th century, Bítov is one of the oldest and largest Moravian castles. A Přemyslid fortified settlement originally stood on the site and included the Chapel of Our Lady. The fort was rebuilt in the first half of the 13th century as an impregnable Gothic castle guarding the southern boundaries of the Přemyslid lan ...
Founded: 11th century | Location: Bítov, Czech Republic

Primda Castle

Přimda castle dates from the early 12th century and represents early Romanesque architecture. The castle is probably of German origin, not similar to Czech buildings from this period, but strikingly reminiscent of period Bavarian buildings. The remains of a Romanesque residential tower and the castle bastion invite you not only to see the ruins, but also to look into the beautiful surrounding landscape of the Bohemian Fo ...
Founded: 12th century | Location: Přimda, Czech Republic

Neuberg Castle

Neuberg (also Neuberk) is a ruins of castle in Podhradí in the Karlovy Vary Region. The castle was built by the Neuberg probably in late 13th century, and was first mentioned in 1288. In that year, after Albrecht von Neuberg"s death, King Rudolph I of Bohemia handed Neuberg and the whole village to the lords of Plauen as a fief. Later, the castle was damaged by the army of Charles IV. In 1392, the village and the ca ...
Founded: 13th century | Location: Podhradí, Czech Republic

Hauenstejn Castle

Hauenštejn is a medieval castle in the Czech Republic built in the 13th century by Přemysl Otakar II or his son Václav II to guard royal paths and local mines. The first known owner was Mikuláš Winkler, burgrave of Loket Castle, who sold Hauenštejn to the monastery in Doksany. The monastery exchanged it for another building with King John of Luxemburg. His son Charles IV enlarged the castle‘s domain. The castle fr ...
Founded: 13th century | Location: Stráž nad Ohří, Czech Republic

Featured Historic Landmarks, Sites & Buildings

Historic Site of the week

Lorca Castle

Castle of Lorca (Castillo de Lorca) is a fortress of medieval origin constructed between the 9th and 15th centuries. It consists of a series of defensive structures that, during the Middle Ages, made the town and the fortress an impregnable point in the southeast part of the Iberian Peninsula. Lorca Castle was a key strategic point of contention between Christians and Muslims during the Reconquista.

Archaeological excavations have revealed that the site of the castle has been inhabited since Neolithic times.

Muslim Era

It has not been determined exactly when a castle or fortress was first built on the hill. The first written documentation referring to a castle at Lorca is of Muslim origin, which in the 9th century, indicates that the city of Lurqa was an important town in the area ruled by Theudimer (Tudmir). During Muslim rule, Lorca Castle was an impregnable fortress and its interior was divided into two sections by the Espaldón Wall. In the western part, there was an area used to protect livestock and grain in times of danger. The eastern part had a neighbourhood called the barrio de Alcalá.

After Reconquista

Lorca was conquered by the Castilian Infante Don Alfonso, the future Alfonso X, in 1244, and the fortress became a key defensive point against the Kingdom of Granada. For 250 years, Lorca Castle was a watchpoint on the border between the Christian kingdom of Murcia and the Muslim state of Granada.

Alfonso X ordered the construction of the towers known as the Alfonsina and Espolón Towers, and strengthened and fixed the walls. Hardly a trace of the Muslim fortress remained due to this reconstruction. Muslim traces remain in the foundation stones and the wall known as the muro del Espaldón.

The Jewish Quarter was found within the alcazaba, the Moorish fortification, separated from the rest of the city by its walls. The physical separation had the purpose of protecting the Jewish people in the town from harm, but also had the result of keeping Christians and Jews separate, with the Christians inhabiting the lower part of town.

The remains of the Jewish Quarter extended over an area of 5,700 square m, and 12 homes and a synagogue have been found; the synagogue dates from the 14th century and is the only one found in the Murcia. The streets of the town had an irregular layout, adapted to the landscape, and is divided into four terraces. The synagogue was in the central location, and around it were the homes. The homes were of rectangular shape, with various compartmentalized rooms. The living quarters were elevated and a common feature was benches attached to the walls, kitchens, stand for earthenware jars, or cupboards.

Modern history

With the disappearance of the frontier after the conquest of Granada in 1492, Lorca Castle no longer became as important as before. With the expulsion of the Jews by order of Ferdinand and Isabella, Lorca Castle was also depopulated as a result. The castle was abandoned completely, and was almost a complete ruin by the 18th century. In the 19th century, the castle was refurbished due to the War of Spanish Independence. The walls and structures were repaired or modified and its medieval look changed. A battery of cannons was installed, for example, during this time. In 1931 Lorca Castle was declared a National Historic Monument.

Currently, a parador (luxury hotel) has been built within the castle. As a result, archaeological discoveries have been found, including the Jewish Quarter.