According to historical notices, Kost castle was founded by Beneš of Wartenberg before 1349. This Gothic castle was constructed on powerful but not high sandstone headland, surrounded with three marsh valleys. Beneš took these marshes in such way that on its place let built ponds (White, Black and Swan Ponds), and it was possible to let out, if necessary. The water inundated later the valley and casual invaders had no chance to enter. In 1370, Peter of Wartenberg let rebuilt the castle. Later, the castle was in ownership of Zajíc of Hasenburg Parentage, and in 1497 cane Šelmberg Family, they built Šelmberg palace here.
In first half of 16th century - during stay of Biberstein Family - the castle was reconstructed in Renaissance style, so the southern part with a brewery and black kitchen was added.Further owner, Albrecht of Wallenstein, had an idea to rebuild the castle to impregnable fortress. This original plan was not realised, however, as Albrecht was murdered in Cheb in February of 1634.
After his death, the castle was visited by Emperor´s troops. During their stay, the disaster occured, as , thanks to imprudency of staff of Prince Colloredo, the castle completely burnt out. After a fire, in 1635, the castle was abandoned and let its destiny, so the building became a ruin. Later, the castle became an ownership of Lobkowitz Family. They sold it to Hermann Černín of Chudenice in 1637. At that time, lordship found that the castle could act as some supporting point for enemies, so they decided that the castle would be demolished. Anyway, the castle was rescued, thanks to Černín´s wife, Sylvia Catarina del Caretto-Milesimo. This lady loved this place and stayed her for ceratin time-period. She proved that the Emperor´s order for castle-destruction was cancelled. Who knows how she managed this?
In 17th century, the King´s palace was rebuilt to a granary, and the rest of castle was not inhabited. However, later the castle fell to decay again, burned out again. Further reconstruction came after 2nd World War. At present, castle of Kost is in ownership of Kinský Family.
During summer season, there are taken place in castle fencing tournaments and various performances, you can even follow - with your own eyes - castle conquest.
Castle sightseeing is divided into four tours:
1 st tour: Kinský Family in Bohemia : is made of family picture-portraits and pictures of one of oldest Noble Parentages (50-60 min.)
2nd tour: torture-chambre is specialised for criminal law of 16th-18th century (50-60 min.)
2rd tour: first and second tour connected (140 min.).
4th tour: shortened version - you can see castle exteriors (30 min.).
Time-table for visitors:
April: daily, except Mondays and Tuesdays: since 9 h till 16 h.
May and.June: daily, except Mondays: since 9 h till 17 h.
July and August: daily: since 9 h till 18 h.
September: daily, except Mondays: since 9 h till 17 h.
October: daily, except Mondays and Tuesdays: since 9 h till 16 h.
Text/foto: Štěpánka Svobodová
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