Karlstein Castle and the Crystal Factory
See how the famous Bohemian Crystal is really made! We take you first to a small town of Nizbor, close to the Karlstejn Castle, where you will be given an extensive tour of the factory, showing you how the crystal is blown, cut and decorated. A factory store is also on premises. After the visit, we continue to the village of Karlstejn for lunch and visit the castle in the afternoon. Please note, the factory is open only in the morning and closed on Sunday.
During the winter, the castle is open only on certain days. Please go to Karlstejn Castle Tour for details.
This high gothic castle was founded in 1348 by Czech King and Roman Emperor Charles IV as a place for safekeeping of the royal treasures, especially Charles’s collection of holy relics and the coronation jewels of the Roman Empire. At the outbreak of the Husite wars the castle became the place for safekeeping of the Czech coronation jewels, which were kept here, with the exception of several short time breaks, for nearly 200 years. The castle was reconstructed in late gothic style after 1480 and in renaissance style in the last quarter of the 16th century. The present appearance of the castle comes from the last reconstruction, which was carried out, in the purist neo-gothic style by architect Josef Mocker at the end of the 19th century.
Karlstejn Castle is located about an hours drive south west of Prague, situated, as castles usually are, on a hill for protection. On arrival there, you have a choice to either board a horse drawn carriage (about EUR 6 per person one way) or you can walk up to the castle (about a 20-30 minute walk). Once there, we take a tour through this fairytale-like castle, conjuring up our dreams of princes and princesses, dungeons and dragons.
Please note, the above tour is the “Tour II” and is the part of the castle most often visited. For this tour reservations are needed only for 10 or more people. Reservations are not possible for less than 10 people and smaller groups just join a tour in their language.
The “Tour I” is very restricted, June 1 – Oct. 31 only, and allows only 12 people every 70 minutes. If you would like to book this restricted tour, we do need at least 3 weeks advance notice so we can make your reservation in the correct language. The reason for this is to keep the temperature and humidity constant to protect the precious gold plated inlay on the walls and other treasures.
Here is the castles explanation of the different tours:
Tour 1 includes historical interiors of the Imperial palace and the lower floors of the Marian tower with valuable equipment of 14th to 19th centuries. (Courtier’s Hall, Hall of Knights with chapel of St. Nicolas, Chapter Deanery, Royal Bedroom, Audience and Banquet Halls, Hall of Ancestors, Treasury and Jewels Hall, former castle prison).
(Organised groups of 10 or more visitors are requested to book their tour in advance)
Visitors are required to join a guided tour; groups are of maximum 55 people, which takes approx. 50 minutes.
Tour 2 passes through the Marian and Great towers and offers visit to the Church of Our Lady, Chapel of St. Catharine, former Sacristy, suspension wooden bridge, museum of lapidary, castle’s picture gallery, library with exposition of the last reconstruction of the castle as well as the Holy Cross Chapel.
(Every visitor is required to book this tour in advance)
The tour is organised for individuals and groups, which are of maximum 16 visitors, and takes approx. 100 minutes and runs from May 1 to October 31, 2015.
After our visit, we walk down to the little town along a shop-lined street, stopping for lunch in one of the many restaurants (not included) and taste some of the local specialties.
Please note, should you prefer to book both tours, I and II, the trip will take 2 hours longer and therefore there is an extra charge for your guide and vehicle.
Karlstejn castle is closed on Mondays. The factory is closed on Sunday.
Duration: approximately 9 hours
Prices are in Euros
+ up to 3 guests
|Guide, driver, car
+ up to 2 guests
|Guide, driver, van
+ up to 6 guests
|Approximate entrance fees
approx. EUR 20