CZ, Cerveny Ujezd: Castle and Monastery Hajek
Where one should take kids to see how the ancestors lived. Where many things are allowed to touch and try? The answer is easy. In a small village of Cerveny Ujezd in the district of Prague-West, a private investor used his land for a construction of the castle. Gravel road will take you to a large parking lot, which is for free by the way. One side of the car park is lined with slot machines today rather historical. It is called “the game museum” and it is bit controversial. Yet it is up to one’s decision whether to enter or not. The whole complex has its advocates as well as opponents.
We go the other side of the car park which goes to the replica of historical castle, around a garden that looks like from a Krakonos fairy tale. It is apparent the two types of plants there are planted according to a good design – something always blossoms, except for in winter. A small open air museum is set in one of the gardens. There is a replica of a wind mill, a pigeon loft, belry… some of which are true historical structures. Ducks swim in ponds, goats and sheep feed upon grass. Structures in the open air museum are accessible and a local guide watches if park rules are abided by.
The exhibition on Czech countryside is to be found in the castle museum. There are thousands of items dating to the 17th to 19th centuries. You will see forgotten crafts such as spur-makery or nail production. Painted rooms and painted furniture with items of daily usage. There is a workshop presenting woodcarving, pottery, or a workshop working with semi-precious stones. The castle has a tower, as any true castle should have. The castle courtyard will amaze you with variations of architectonic styles. Also a small quiz: Is this a real well? will spur interest in you.
You can spend a while in local pub that offers traditional Czech meals. Some of its rooms are even used for commercial purposes. It is no problem to have there a wedding banquet. You can happen to encounter some of traditional cultural events as the castle is open year round.
Cerveny Ujezd has its true historical sight – Franciscan monastery in Hajek. The cornerstone was laid in 1623. A trail from Strahov, Prague leads to this site of pilgrimage . 20 chapels were built in the period of 1720-24. Today, the trail is incomplete yet still used although mostly by bikers. Its renovation is still in consideration.
Text and photo: Monika Babická
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