Střekov Castle (Schreckenstein) is perched atop a cliff above the River Elbe, near the city of Ústí nad Labem. It was built in 1316 for John of Luxembourg, the father of the Holy Roman Emperor Charles IV, to guard an important trade route to Germany. After changing hands several times, the castle was acquired by the Lobkowicz family in 1563. Its strategic importance led to occupations by Imperial Habsburg, Saxon, and Swedish forces during the Thirty Years' War, as well as successive sieges by Austrian and Prussian armies during the Seven Years' War.

Although Střekov Castle was heavily damaged during those conflicts and abandoned as a military installation by the end of the 18th century, the 1800s saw many poets and artists visiting the castle, drawn by a new trend of interest in romantic ruins. Goethe declared the view from the castle's position above the Elbe to be the most beautiful in Central Europe, while Richard Wagner's opera Tannhäuser was supposedly inspired by his visit to Strěkov. The castle was confiscated by the Nazi regime and later the Communist government, but was restituted to the Lobkowicz family in the early 1990s.

Střekov Castle is divided into two sections connected by an arched bridge spanning a natural moat— an unusual style for the 14th century, when it was first built. The castle’s semiround bastions, inspired by French architecture, are possibly the first example of that type of defensive design in Bohemia. The connecting round tower, a smaller tower guarding the castle entrance, and an irregular oblong section of the castle date back to the very earliest period of construction.

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Founded: 1316
Category: Castles and fortifications in Czech Republic

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4.6/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Jeremy Lindström (2 years ago)
Hrad Strekov is a great castle to visit. It's on the better end of castle ruins and is a very inexpensive adventure. The castle offers a fantastic view of the Elbe River Valley and has a variety of rooms and lookout points. You could do it in an hour if needed and comfortably in two hours. We brought a two year old and a four year old and they were fine. There are some steep stairs but also room to run around.
Stefan Richter (2 years ago)
free parking near castle, wonderful view down to Elbe valley, interesting path through castle, pretty good restaurant with terrace in castle area.
Sam McGuire (2 years ago)
Looove this castle! I’ve been wanting to visit it for years and finally made the trip. Richard Wagner (among others) is said to have stayed here and it inspired some of his work. I can see why.
Alan Dolezalek (2 years ago)
This castle looks very cool and manly. It's in a formidable place. Must have been quite an effort to build it in a place like this.
Krzyś Lu (2 years ago)
Whoever wants to visit here can take the bus 60 or 62 to the stop named Karel from the train station(it’s still not written on the google map) , it is far more closer than walking.....just a remind -.- the view is beautiful.. the restuarant looks quite good as well with the whole paronama
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