CZ: Winter on Castles and Chateaux
Easy to Miss Yet Amazing Radim Chateau
Between Český Brod and Kolín, there lies the almost unknown pearl of the Saxon Renaissance - Radim Castle. It is in private hands and the owner guides the visitors through three main circuits all year round. You can choose to go through the representative rooms on the floors, or the cellars with the black kitchen, the dressing room and the room of the cap. An insightful and detailed account of the history of the chateau awaits you and you will admire the second-hand period furniture from the owner's collection. Most of the guided tours are attended by a lute player who, in historical halls, is amazingly interpreting Renaissance music on period instruments. It's really an experience!
In the courtyard there is a café where visitors can refresh themselves with soup, coffee and homemade dessert.
It is open all winter on weekends and public holidays from 11 am to 4 pm. Tours start from 11 am, 1 pm and 3 pm, but always waiting until all visitors arrive from the train arriving on the Kouřim-Pečky line to Radim a few minutes throughout.
If you want to enjoy the memory of the first size in peace, without crowds and with an empty parking lot, I recommend a winter visit to Křivoklát. From 1 January to the end of March, the first sightseeing tour of the Gothic Palace is open every weekend from 12am to 3pm. Tour includes tour II. castle courtyard, Stříbrnice, prison of Augustus, dungeon, chapel, Knights' and Royal halls, library, picture gallery and Fürstenberg museum.
Křivoklát has a long history rich in stories, the most popular of which is probably the one about Master Kelley. Edward Kelley became famous as court alchemist of Emperor Rudolf II. But he was more of a quack and a cheater than a chemist. Rudolph punished his failures: he had Kelley at the Krivoklat in the Huderka tower. Kelley, however, tried to escape, which resulted in a fall from the precipice under the tower and shattered foot. It was only then that he was given a hangman who uncovered another of his secrets - cut ears. He lost them as a punishment before he came to Bohemia in Lancaster. There, under his real name - Edward Talbot - forged official documents.
Great Gothic Splendour – Šternberk
Šternberk Castle is also open all year round in the Moravian town of the same name. The circuit through the whole castle and two smaller sub-circles - the Liechtenstein collections and How was life at the aristocratic mansion - are open every Saturday from 10 am to 2 pm.
Baroque in Valeč
In the Karlovy Vary Region, with the Hradiště military area around, there stands a Baroque township with Valeč Chateau. The historic center is a monumental area and you will find many gems here: the Holy Trinity Church and Column, the top Baroque buildings from the early 18th century, the castle park with romantic remains of typical Baroque elements: theatron, summer house, impressive fountain and above all sculptures by M. B. Braun. The complex of statues is the second largest after Kuks. The castle itself is not equipped, it is a continuously renovated building, accessible without a guide. However, this offers a unique opportunity to walk through the castle at its own pace and see anything according to your own curiosity. On the way you will be equipped with a printed guide with information primarily on the building's historical development.
From November 1 to March 31, the chateau is open on Wednesdays and Thursdays from 12 to 16 h, on Fridays and Saturdays until 11pm and on Sundays until 6pm.
GPS: Chateau Radim 50°04'18.9"N 15°00'33.9"E
Castle Křivoklát 50°02'16.0"N 13°52'18.9"E
Castle Šternberk 49°43'59.3"N 17°18'07.4"E
Chateau Valeč 50°10'30.0"N 13°15'08.3"E
Text: Radka Snížková
Photos: Radka Snížková, Pixabay, Šternberk castle archives
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