Well, my dears, as I write this I’m back in Prague for a few days.
There are things to do in town, like visit and take care of the family crypt, sort out some documents re my Czech citizenship and hang in town for a while, but before I took the train back to Prague, I drove out to an interesting castle.
I visited Krikovlat castle.
Yeah, I know, another day, another castle!
You know the drill; if it’s not the middle of the town type castle then you’ve got to walk up the hill, so we shall walk up the hill to see it.
We have to climb high above the village, up high on the hill because people in castles had to see far and wide for miles around to see their enemies coming.
This castle may be up on a hill but it’s hidden in a thick forest. Hmm, interesting.
And now I’m under the walls…
…and I look down, and there is no way the castle people could have seen anything coming from this hill.
Hmmm, that’s pretty strange.
And, at the same time, the king of Bohemia, King Wenceslaus, lived here before he built Karlstejn.
Oh well, we’ll leave that mystery alone and walk thru the castle gates.
And here’s the inner courtyard.
Look at these amazing gargoyles looking down on us.
Here is the good King Wenceslaus himself and a Medieval piece of the castle.
This castle is beautifully preserved and has much of the 15C glass windows. Here are the huge castle keys. The tour guide invited me to hold them and take a photo.
This is the chapel. It’s one of the best preserved Gothic chapels in the world.
Original windows and part of an original door dating back to the 14C.
Later in the castle history, the Furstenbergs owned and lived in this place and they built this magnificent library.
Look at this free standing bookcase. Isn’t it amazing? The library goes on for three rooms of these amazing book cases. They must be 15 ft tall!
And there are a few illuminated manuscripts here.
Here is the good old king.
Ah, and then, in the hall of paintings, we come to a little secret.
Here is a painting of a beautiful woman. Apparently the king’s mistress. So, now we see the benefit of a hidden castle!
Apparently he fathered several children by her and each time a birth was close she would go into confinement and then her child would be taken from her and placed on the castle doorstep, where a servant would “find” the poor orphaned child and bring it to her, and she would say, “Oh, poor orphaned child, I will take you in and raise you as my own.” Therefore showing her piety, chastity and general Christian goodness. Apparently she manged to take in 8 orphans.
Well now, isn’t that a turn up for the books.
Looking out from the tower I was thinking of how blissfully private and hidden this castle is.
And then someone goes and builds a village overlooking your castle.
Oh well, even a king can’t have everything.