My love for medieval castles has taken me to various castles in Europe. In this post, I am writing about top 5 castles in Poland and the Czech Republic.
1. Castle of Malbork, Poland
This castle is one of the finest examples of the medieval brick castle and still is the largest brick monument located on European land.
It was built in the year 1300 by the Teutonic Knights, a German Roman Catholic religious order of crusaders. Located by the river Nogat the castle provided easy access to trading ships arriving from River Vistula and Baltic sea. This monopoly control on the trade made the castle very rich.
From the 19th century onwards, the castle had been the subject of restoration and was conserved extensively. During Nazi Germany, the Nazis used the castle as a destination for annual pilgrimages of the Hitler Youth.
2. Karlstejn Castle, Czech Republic
Karlestejn castle was founded in 1348 and was established by the Czech king and Roman emperor Charles IV. It is located on top of a hill, about 30 kilometers southwest of city Prague.
The interiors of this castle give a feeling of medieval Europe to visitors. Apart from breathtakingly beautiful rooms, the impressive design of the castle building and the towers rising over it leaves the tourist enchanted with its grace. The castle also holds Imperial Regalia, Czech crown jewels, collections of holy relics and many other royal treasures.
3. Książ Castle, Poland
This castle is located on the wooded elevation in the city southwestern city of Walbrzych in Poland. Built between 1288-1292 the castle was a private property of the aristocratic Hochberg family until the Nazis occupied it.
The castle was occupied by the Nazis in 1941 as a prospective residence for Adolf Hitler, and it has been said that the Nazis made a bunker some 50 meters beneath the castle to protect Hitler from Allied bombs. After the WWII, the region where this castle is situated became the part of Poland. It has become even more popular after the news of two explorers announced that they had located a secret tunnel that hides the wartime armored train laden with gold.
4. Czocha Castle, Poland
This amazing castle has as well a long history, but in comparison with others it is opened for public and serves as a hotel. This castle has been used as the setting of the College of Wizardry, a live action role-playing game that can be compared to famous Harry Potter. Many Knights’ tournaments, dance shows, comedy acts, and concerts are organized here regularly that add to its allure, along with a delightful café and a restaurant specializing in Polish cuisine.
In summer, visitors can participate in water sports on the lake and can also visit the nearby castles including Swiecie, Rajsko and Gryf. It has been said that the ghost of the “White Lady” walks the castle walls at night and visitors may spot her. The White lady was the beautiful but miserable wife of a former owner of the castle.
5. Bouzov Castle, Czech Republic
The romantic Bouzov castle had historical value for having served as the post for the Teutonic Knights since the late 15th century. It is a certain example of a medieval castle, equipped with the highest comforts of its time. Romantic interiors with impressive painting and carving decoration of local folk artists are furnished with period furniture.
Due to its desirable qualities, a number of movies were filmed on the castle’s premises – from Czech fairy tales to the Italian Princess Fantaghiro. Diverse with other medieval monuments, this national monument has never gone to ruin.
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