Visiting Karlstejn, my beloved childhood castle
Today our merry party decided to drive over to the 13C Gothic castle Karstejn.
the parking lot is at the bottom of a hill and the castle is 2 km up.
Our merry party decided to take the horse and buggy up, but I always feel uneasy about poor horses pulling buggies all day, so I decided to walk.
We had a bit of a race with me hoofing it up the little streets.
In a very short time I saw the castle. The first glimpse is always so breathtaking for me.
Karlstejn was the king’s summer castle. Can you just see him announcing to his court, “alright everyone, gather the troops, we’re making a move to the cottage for a few weeks!”
Up higher and higher I went and the castle got closer.
Whew, bit of a workout.
But finally I made it to the castle gates and walked thru.
Our merry party was nowehere to be seen, so I walked over to the well tower to have a look.
Do you see that spec of light? That’s the water level 78 meters down.
But the view from here is amazing. I walked all that way.
I must say I felt a bit smug having to wait there for another ten minutes.
But finally every one got together and off we went because we had 10:35 tickets for a tour.
We were told there would be about 800 stairs! So we were brave and set off and I started taking my usual photos…and our guide announces, “no photos inside the castle please.”
Well, if you can believe that!
Like I listen!
I took a few secret photos, which may or may not look that great, but at least you get the idea.
This photo is of some 14C frescoes in the church room of the castle. The photo is a tiny bit blurred and not quite right, because I took it behind my back.
I actually love taking photos like that. Most were of my back and hair…lol…but some did work out. Here are medieval frescoes and my messy bun.
Here is a remnant of an original medieval arch. It’s possible to see some ancient glazed pottery still decorating it. It was shiny green in its day.
This was a stronghold and the crown jewels and crown treasures were kept here for years. The castle walls are 7 meters thich and proved to be impenetrable thru many wars.
Here are some more frescoes. There are a lot of angels and stars and blue on the walls and ceilings.
Here is a 16C painting in the gallery room of the king, Charles IV ministering to his subjects and giving alms to the poor.
A little passage off the church room is the king’s private prayer vestibule.
The walls are inlaid precious and semi/precious stones.
And if you think that’s amazing, wait…
This is the chapel room.
There are 129 paintings of saints and world rulers of the day here and the ceiling is all gold and silver and highly polished gilded mirror glass in the center of each star.
The walls are inlaid with more precious and semi/precious stones held in gold, and the original window remnants show polished precious stones made up the “glass”.
I saw yellow and purple and white polished pebbles (possibly amber, citrine, amethyst, quartz etc..) woven together with lead like a beautiful tapestry.
Oh I hope you get the idea, with my miserable clandestine photography, of this exquisiteness of this chapel. It’s almost too much for the senses when one is standing in it.
Too soon it was time to wind our way back down the 800 wooden and stone steps.
(Whew, medieval servants must have been really fit!)
One more look up at the towers,
Out thru the old gates,
And off we go.