Krupka Castle Ruins

Krupka, Czech Republic

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 adjust the border between the Krupka and Geisberg (Supí hora) estates. Thimoteus was an important figure in King John’s court, accompanying him with other noblemen in his tours of Europe. The Kolditz family held Krupka, with an eight-year pause, until 1504, a total of 166 years.

The castle was founded on a high rocky promontory accessed from the north. A channel was cut at the section where the promontory was lowest to reduce the level further. Above this, the original castle was built with a roughly rectangular north-south facing layout, approximately 20 x 55 m in size. Its dominating square tower (palace) was both residential and defensive in nature, stood in the north-western corner of the castle walls and likely comprised three storeys (its form has not been preserved). Of the rectangular tower in the eastern castle walls, which guarded the path through the town below, only the ground floor with its Gothic pointed entrance remains.

At the end of the 15th century, grand fortifications were built which significantly extended the construction. An entrance alley from the western wall and along the building was probably constructed for castle workers, and two semicircle bastions were also built. In 1695, a house was built onto the first of these in 1695 for the noble upper authority. Although in the 17th century the castle itself no longer fulfilled its defensive and residential roles and its remains fell into disrepair, life on the promontory continued. The Krupka estate’s authorities and upper administration were based in the official house.

The Romantic era of the 19th century rediscovered the derelict castle, with the whole area and surroundings being repaired and opened to the public, and the official house turned into a restaurant. It was visitors to the Teplice spas in particular who used the site for trips and relaxation, and they admired the roses in the manor gardens. More than 100 varieties grew there, and this is why the castle began to be known as the Rose Castle (Růžový hrad – Rosenburg). A constant problem, however, was the crumbling castle walls and how to secure them.



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Horská, Krupka, Czech Republic
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Founded: c. 1320
Category: Castles and fortifications in Czech Republic

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User Reviews

Tomáš Candra (2 years ago)
Sli jsme cestou z Komari vizky, takze prijemna prochazka z kopce. Hrad vypada zajimave a ma i zachovale podzemi. Videl jsem i dve ohniste. To ale netusim zda se smi ci nesmi. Za mne celkove fajn prochazka a zastavka.
Radek Weingart (2 years ago)
Krásná zřícenina. Přístupná od města Krupky a od Fojtovic. Příjemné posezení a možnost provedení piknyku. Po prohlídce okolí, bych ho dobíjet nechtěl. Dříve tu rádi přespali trempové.
Peter Heilbutt (2 years ago)
Mám velice rád toto místo už od dětství. Opravdu jde poslední dobou vidět jak zřícenina chátrá a chátrá. Dobře to jde vidět na zbytku věže, ale tak to prostě je
Vladimir Pecha (3 years ago)
Zřícenina pohraničního hradu z počátku 14. století se rozkládá na vysokém ostrohu nad obcí Unčín, asi 1 km SV od města Krupky. Přesné datum, kdy Kyšperk vznikl, není známo. Pravděpodobně byl založen (podobně jako Střekov) z iniciativy krále Jana Lucemburského počátkem 14. století. Jako první písemně doložený majitel hradu je k roku 1319 uváděn Ota z Bergova. Později patřil Kyšperk pražskému arcibiskupství. V roce 1526 vyhořel a už nebyl obnoven. Dochovaly se zbytky jádra s věží, obvodové hradby, sklepení a část obytné věže na předhradí. Značně rozsáhlý hrad měl trojdílnou dispozici. Její první část stávala ve svahu při vstupní cestě a měla čistě obranný charakter. Na skále nad čelním příkopem se vypínalo hradní jádro. To bývalo oddělené další, dnes již zcela zaniklou hradební zdí a obsahovalo hranolovou obytnou věž – z ní se dochovaly zaklenuté suterénní prostory a zřejmě další dvě palácová křídla. K nejzajímavějším částem Kyšperka patří návštěvnicky atraktivní podzemí. Hradní zříceniny jsou celoročně volně přístupné. The ruins of a border castle from the beginning of the 14th century are situated on a high promontory above the village of Unčín, about 1 km NE from the town of Krupka. The exact date when Kyšperk was formed is unknown. It was probably founded (like nearby Střekov) at the initiative of King Jan Lucemburský at the beginning of the 14th century. The first written record owner of the castle is 1319 Ota of Bergov. Later, Kyšperk belonged to the Prague Archbishopric. In 1526 it burned down and was not restored anymore. The remnants of the core with the tower, the perimeter walls, the cellars, and the part of the residential tower preserved until today. The vast castle had three parts. Its first part stood on a slope along the entrance road and had a purely defensive character. On the rock above the front moat the castle core was built. It was separated by wall (now completely destroyed) and it contained a prismatic residential tower - the vaulted basement spaces are also preserved. The most interesting parts of Kyšperk include visually attractive cellars and sutterain. Castle ruins are freely accessible all year round.
Petr Petzet (3 years ago)
An ordinary castle ruin. It's a good place to chill at whole you're walking down the hill with a lift, it's right next to a "blue" path.
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Pembroke Castle

Pembroke Castle is a Norman castle, founded in 1093. It survived many changes of ownership and is now the largest privately owned castle in Wales. It was the birthplace of Henry Tudor (later Henry VII of England) in 1457.

Pembroke Castle stands on a site that has been occupied at least since the Roman period. Roger de Montgomerie, 1st Earl of Shrewsbury founded the first castle here in the 11th century. Although only made from earth and wood, Pembroke Castle resisted several Welsh attacks and sieges over the next 30 years. The castle was established at the heart of the Norman-controlled lands of southwest Wales.

When William Rufus died, Arnulf de Montgomery joined his elder brother, Robert of Bellême, in rebellion against Henry I, William's brother and successor as king; when the rebellion failed, he was forced to forfeit all his British lands and titles. Henry appointed his castellan, but when the chosen ally turned out to be incompetent, the King reappointed Gerald in 1102. By 1138 King Stephen had given Pembroke Castle to Gilbert de Clare who used it as an important base in the Norman invasion of Ireland.

In August 1189 Richard I arranged the marriage of Isabel, de Clare's granddaughter, to William Marshal who received both the castle and the title, Earl of Pembroke. He had the castle rebuilt in stone and established the great keep at the same time. Marshal was succeeded in turn by each of his five sons. His third son, Gilbert Marshal, was responsible for enlarging and further strengthening the castle between 1234 and 1241.

Later de Valence family held Pembroke for 70 years. During this time, the town was fortified with defensive walls, three main gates and a postern. Pembroke Castle became de Valence's military base for fighting the Welsh princes during the conquest of North Wales by Edward I between 1277 and 1295.

Pembroke Castle then reverted to the crown. In the 15th and 16th centuries, the castle was a place of peace until the outbreak of the English Civil War. Although most of South Wales sided with the King, Pembroke declared for Parliament. It was besieged by Royalist troops but was saved after Parliamentary reinforcements arrived by sea from nearby Milford Haven. Parliamentary forces then went on to capture the Royalist castles of Tenby, Haverfordwest and Carew.

In 1648, at the beginning of the Second Civil War, Pembroke's commander Colonel John Poyer led a Royalist uprising. Oliver Cromwell came to Pembroke on 24 May 1648 and took the castle after a seven-week siege. Its three leaders were found guilty of treason and Cromwell ordered the castle to be destroyed. Townspeople were even encouraged to disassemble the fortress and re-use its stone for their purposes.

The castle was then abandoned and allowed to decay. It remained in ruins until 1880, when a three-year restoration project was undertaken. Nothing further was done until 1928, when Major-General Sir Ivor Philipps acquired the castle and began an extensive restoration of the castle's walls, gatehouses, and towers. After his death, a trust was set up for the castle, jointly managed by the Philipps family and Pembroke town council.


The castle is sited on a strategic rocky promontory by the Milford Haven Waterway. The first fortification on the site was a Norman motte-and-bailey. It had earthen ramparts and a timber palisade.

In 1189, Pembroke Castle was acquired by William Marshal. He soon became Lord Marshal of England, and set about turning the earth and wood fort into an impressive Norman stone castle. The inner ward, which was constructed first, contains the huge round keep with its domed roof. Its original first-floor entrance was through an external stairwell. Inside, a spiral staircase connected its four stories. The keep's domed roof also has several putlog holes that supported a wooden fighting-platform. If the castle was attacked, the hoarding allowed defenders to go out beyond the keep's massive walls above the heads of the attackers.

The inner ward's curtain wall had a large horseshoe-shaped gateway. But only a thin wall was required along the promontory. This section of the wall has a small observation turret and a square stone platform. Domestic buildings including William Marshal's Great Hall and private apartments were within the inner ward. The 13th century keep is 23 metres tall with walls up to 6 metres thick at its base.

In the late 13th century, additional buildings were added to the inner ward, including a new Great Hall. A 55-step spiral staircase was also created that led down to a large limestone cave, known as Wogan Cavern, beneath the castle. The cave, which was created by natural water erosion, was fortified with a wall, a barred gateway and arrowslits. It may have served as a boathouse or a sallyport to the river where cargo or people could have been transferred.

The outer ward was defended by a large twin-towered gatehouse, a barbican and several round towers. The outer wall is 5 metres thick in places and constructed from Siltstone ashlar.

Although Pembroke Castle is a Norman-style enclosure castle with great keep, it can be more accurately described as a linear fortification because, like the later 13th-century castles at Caernarfon and Conwy, it was built on a rocky promontory surrounded by water. This meant that attacking forces could only assault on a narrow front. Architecturally, Pembroke's thickest walls and towers are all concentrated on its landward side facing the town, with Pembroke River providing a natural defense around the rest of its perimeter.