Summary. Karlštejn Castle is a 14th Century Gothic castle in the region of Bohemia in the Czech Republic. Bohemia is the largest historical region of the Czech Republic. Formerly part of the Holy Roman Empire and then the Hasburgs' Austrian empire, Bohemia became part of the Czech Republic when the Country was formed in 1993. Easily accessible by a 45 minute train ride from Prague, Karlsteijn Castle is one of the jewels of Bohemia. The Castle is also surrounded by gorgeous countryside that is perfect for a day hike.
Getting there. Trains run regularly between Prague and Karlštejn, though pay attention to when the last train leaves Karlštejn as there are very few options if you accidentally end up stuck in town. The brief train ride is beautiful, tracking primarily next to a river, and through beautiful countryside.
Walk to Castle. From the train station, we traveled by foot to the Karlštejn Castle through the village of Karlštejn. Taking approximately 20-30 minutes, depending on your pace, the walk is filled with picturesque photo opportunities.
Karlštejn Castle was founded in 1348 by the Charles IV, King of Bohemia and Holy Roman Emperor as his private residence. It was used as a place of safekeeping royal treasures, especially the King's collections of holy relics and the Imperial Crown Jewels. Tours of the castle grounds are available in English, are modest in price, and definitely worth the time. The castle is not filled with a ton of relics, like many others, but the tour guide provides an outstanding oral history of the castle. Our guide was leading her first tour and she did great actually.
Note: Food is not permitted inside the castle so we had our picnic "brown bag" lunch just outside the castle grounds before heading out for our next activity.
After lunch we headed out for a hike into the Bohemian countryside. (see separate blog post). By early evening we were back at the train station and headed to Prague where we had dinner and then returned to our Air BnB to crash after this fun day in Bohemia.