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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