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Discovering ruins – par 2 (Bohemia)

photo: Žebrák a Točník (czechtourism.com)

There are hundreds of ruined castles as well as reconstructed ruins in Bohemia, Moravia and Silesia, which attract thousands of tourists. We will introduce the largest and most interesting of them in this series. The first part focused on Moravia and Silesia, while this second part is dedicated to ruins in Bohemia.

The largest and most interesting ruins in Bohemia

Rabí Castle
It is one of the largest and best fortified ruins in the Czech Republic. Rabí Castle (Map) is dominated by a 26 metre high view tower. The castle originally protected the trade route connecting the cities of Sušice and Horažďovice and the rich gold-bearing deposits on the Otava River, so it was often under siege. It was plundered during the Thirty Years’ War and it even burnt down in the 18th century. It has been considered a ruin since that time. It is included on the National Cultural Monuments List for its unique beauty.

This castle ruin is located in southern Bohemia in the Šumava Mountains in the Prachatice Region (Map). Built at an altitude of 1,033 m above sea level, it belongs among the highest-placed castles in the Czech Republic. The ruin is protected by its status as a Cultural Monument of the Czech Republic. It was built under the incentive of John of Bohemia in order to secure the western border of the Czech Kingdom. Its ruination was sealed by a fire at the end of the 16th century.

This ruin is also located in Southern Bohemia about 14 km from the city of Soběslav. The castle has been considered abandoned since 1614. The ruin (Map) was reconstructed and is now open to the public. The majestic 18 m high square castle tower offers a great view of the surroundings.

Ruins Točník and Žebrák 
These two inseparable ruins near Křivoklát Castle are located only a few kilometres from Prague. They are considered the most majestic and best-preserved castle group in the Czech Republic.  Both castles were most active during the reign of Wenceslaus, King of the Romans, who ranked them among his favourite mansions. The older castle Žebrák (Map) was rebuilt by Wenceslaus, King of the Romans, into his representative royal residence in 1383–1395. However, the castle was damaged by fire in 1395, which led to construction of a new castle, Točník (Map), only 500 m or so higher than the original one. Točník was intended as a grandiose, luxurious and comfortable mansion but it gradually fell into decline and has been recorded as abandoned since 1553.

This castle belongs among the most significant Gothic castles in Bohemia. It was built in 1264-1278 by Ottokar II of Bohemia as a fortress and representative royal residence. Thus it is a royal castle, which belongs among the best-known and most popular castles in the CR. Due to its complicated access, Bezděz (Map) Castle avoided large-scale reconstruction during the Renaissance and Baroque era and it has thus preserved its original Gothic appearance until now. The castle is a National Cultural Monument.

Author: Romana Kuncová
Added: 05.08.2012

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