Houska castle

Published: 16.7.2008
The castle of Houska protrudes on high rocky formation, situated at the edge of Kokořín region.

In 9th century, there was established here some wooden construction. Pšov Parentage made reconstruction of this building and created a stony stronghold. Duke of Slavibor gave it to his son, he named Houska. At the end of 13th century, King Přemysl Ottakar II. decided to build a castle here. So, Houska castle presented, even before Bezděz castle was constructed, the centre of vast area. Originally, the castle was two-piece. Its back part was formed with three palace wings, and part of back wing was formed with imposing chapel. On its entrance part, the courtyard was closed with fortification only. An the corner, on ascent rocky block, there was risen powerful square tower, however, it does not exist now any more.

Houska castleHouska castleHouska castle

Gothic style of castle suited the owner till 16th century. At that time, the artillery started to be developped, what meant that some arrangements had to be effected (construction of outer fortification, however, this was demolished in 17th century). At the end of 16th century, the castle was re-built in Renaissance style. During its arrangements, there were created frescoes in early Gothic room of east wing. Further changes were made in 19th century. This is documented by drawings of Karel Hynek Mácha. Later, the building was neglegted, so at the beginning of 20th century, the castle had to be reconstructed. Within 2nd World War, the castle was seized with German Army. When the war was over, the castle was nationalized, and in 1950, there was placed here the archives  of Klementinum State Library. Even in 1999, the castle was open to public.


Opening Time Table:

April              on Saturdays, Sundays and public holidays       10,00 h – 17,00 h

May               Tuesdays-Sundays, closed on Mondays             10,00 h – 17,00 h

June              Tuesdays-Sundays, closed on Mondays             10,00 h – 17,00 h

July               Tuesdays-Sundays, closed on Mondays             10,00 h – 18,00 h  + night 

                                                                                             guided tours on Saturdays  21,00 h

August          Tuesdays-Sundays, closed on Mondays             10,00 h – 18,00 h  + night

                                                                                             guided tours on Saturdays  21,00 h

September     Tuesdays-Sundays, closed on Mondays             10,00 h – 17,00 h

October           on Saturdays, Sundays and public holidays       10,00 h – 17,00 h

  • On Mondays, there is a closing day. Anyway, before you decide to visit the castle, would you make sure on official web-sites, whether some company event is not taken place, and the castle is closed. Last guided tour is made one hour before closing time.
  • Except opening time table, there is possible to agree with castle castellan the guided tour by phone.Guided tour takes 40 minutes. Maximum of persons for guided tour - 60 persons.

Entrance tickets:

Full                           adults                                                                CZK 50,-

Reduced                  children up to 15 years of age, pensioners     CZK 30,-

Family tickets           (max. 2 adults and 2 children)                          CZK 140,-

Night guided tours                                                                             CZK  70,-


Text: Maxim Kucer

Photo: Wikimedia Commons, ŠJů, č.2, č.3, Mirek256

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