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Czech Castles: Point of Interest Map
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Czech Castles

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Prague, the capital of the Czech Republic, is home to Prague Castle, the Guinness record-holder for the largest ancient castle in the world (at over 750,000 square feet in size). The castle is where the office of the President of the Czech Republic is based, and has been a seat of power for the Czechs and Bohemians off-and-on since the time of the Holy Roman Emperors. The crown jewels of the Kings of Bohemia are located here. For a long time the Imperial Regalia was stored in Karlštejn Castle, built in 1348 and situated on a promontory point 20 miles southwest of Prague. Other castles in the vicinity of Prague include Konopiste and Krivoklat Castles.
Just ten minutes outside Ceské Budejovice, the largest town in Southern Bohemia, sits the expansive grounds of Hluboká Castle. The Schwarzenberg family used to live here for centuries, and it was a Schwarzenberg descendant who insisted on a grand Baroque renovation of the castle in the 18th century, meant to mimic England`s Windsor Castle. The castle was the royal castle of King Ottokar II of Bohemia, who ordered its construction toward the end of the 13th century.
The city of Ceský Krumlov in Southern Bohemia is overlooked by the expansive Ceský Krumlov Castle, built in the year 1240 by a branch of the Bohemian noble family the Rosenbergs, who were important figures in the history of Bohemia from the Middle Ages through to the Renaissance. It was later owned by the Eggenberg family, which oversaw a Baroque renovation, and later the Schwarzenbergs, and since 1950, the national government. It was named a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1992.
Karlovy Vary is the most famous spa town in Czech Republic, located just seven miles from one of the oldest stone castles in the country, Loket Castle. Built in 1230, Loket Castle was known as `the Impregnable Fortress of Bohemia` due to its defensive walls and brooding position on top of a hilly peninsula surrounded by the Ohre River. Such rulers as Kings Ottokar II and Sigismund of Bohemia expanded and fortified the castle to what you see today.
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WHY CZECH CASTLES?

There are over 1,200 castles and chateaux in the Czech Republic, comprising a large number of the most-visited sights in the country. Perhaps the most famous of the Czech castles is Karlštejn Castle in the town of Karlštejn, located about 20 miles southwest of Prague; it was the longtime home of the crown jewels of the Kings of Bohemia. The crown jewels, along with St. Wenceslas`s Sword, are now stored on the grounds of the grand and ornate Prague Castle, in St. Vitus Cathedral. Prague Castle, with an area of 750,000 square feet, is the world`s largest ancient castle. Another popular castle and tourist destination is Hluboká Castle, near Ceské Budejovice, which was the original royal castle of King Ottokar II of Bohemia. There are castles close to many major cities in the country, but you will find some of the most noteworthy in and around Prague, Ceské Budejovice, Ceský Krumlov, and Karlovy Vary.

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