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Although you've had the opportunity on your walks to see beautiful houses, castles, palaces and chateaus, to get the complete picture of Prague it's necessary to visit some other castles around the city and on its outskirts.


Karlstein Castle is found a scant 30 km from Prague. It's possible to get there by train, and the trip takes you through a colorful landscape of forests and natural beauty. The majority of hotels and travel agencies offer information about various daily excursions to the castle. It's recommended to make reservations in advance. The Gothic castle on the rocks overlooking the scenic valley of the Berounka river was constructed by the Emperor Charles IV in the years 1348-1357 to protect the imperial crown jewels and holy relics. After the Thirty Years War, it lost much of its significance until the first half of the 19th century, when it was converted into a major sightseeing attraction. The highest tower contains the Chapel of the Holy Cross, while the former apartments of Charles IV have been converted into a museum.


The Castle of Vysehrad is one of the most important monuments in Czech history. Legend has it that Princess Libuse had a vision from Vysehrad foretelling glory, riches, and power for the city (Prague) that would arise on the other side of the Vltava. It was also the seat of the early Czech rulers. Eliska Przemyslovna, mother of Charles IV, spent her last years here. Its current appearance as a Baroque fortress is due to reconstruction in the 17th century. In the middle of the 19th century, the local graveyard was transformed into a national cemetery for the burial of Czech luminaries. From the castle you can look out over the peaceful waters of the Vltava and the boats from the local Yacht Club, while across the river is Prague Castle in all its glory. The well-known silhouette of Vysehrad is formed by the Neo-Gothic towers of the Church of St. Peter and St. Paul.

Troja Castle

Situated in Prague district 7, this castle is accesible by city bus from the metro station Nadrazi Holesovice at the end of the 'C' line. It was the first great Baroque construction in Bohemia, with a large staircase ornamented with statues of the ancient gods of Olympus battling titans. The decoration of the ceilings took six years and resulted in a magnificent spectacle. The building was concieved with maximum symmetry, with the principal axis pointed to the south, at the St. Vitus Cathedral in Prague Castle. Besides the exquisite gardens of multicolored flowers, other popular attractions are the brewery, the mill, and the tavern.


Forming part of the general complex of the Prague Castle, Belvedere is located in the eastern part of the Royal Garden, but it is recommended that you visit it separately as a side trip, in order to fully appreciate its majesty. It is the purest Renaissance building north of the Alps, and was built by Paolo della Stella, according to plans of an unknown architect. The original roof is in the form of the inverted hull of a ship. In the center of the garden, since 1573, is the Singing Fountain, which emits sounds like muffled bells as drops of water fall into its bronze sink. It is the perfect place to take quiet walks and listen to the silence, and to see the leaves change colour in the fall.

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