We got up at 7:30 again, had breakfast and headed to visit the famous Karlstejn castle. We had the English guide tour just for us. It was very enjoyable, and very interesting. Unfortunately the Chapel was under reconstruction, so we could not visit it.
High Gothic castle founded in 1348, which has a unique position among Czech castles. It was built 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. The first stay of Charles IV in the castle is documented in 1355 when he came to supervise the building works as well as the decoration of interiors, especially the castle chapels. The construction of the castle was finished in 1365 when the Chapel of the Holy Cross situated in the Great tower was constructed. At the outbreak of the Hussite 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. Very impressive is the original step-like order of buildings. From the Well tower and Burgrave's palace located as the lowest you walk up to the majestic five-storied Imperial palace and further up towards the Marian tower. And finally at the top of the headland stands the monumental 60m high and separately fortified Great tower.
Our group in Karlstein
After the castle tour, we started our way South. We planned to stay an other night in the Czech Republic somewhere in a Spa town.
We choose to go to Frantiskovy Lazne. Before getting to the city, we went to see an interesting geological site: SOOS nature reserve.
Later that night we were walking on the streets of Frantiskovy Lazne and tried to figure out information about the "spas" of the area, what are they good for. This is a great site: http://www.franzensbad.as/.
The oldest preserved record of the
acidulous water is from the year 1406. In 1714 there was an inn and spa under one roof
with 14 baths and 12 guestrooms.
At this site we can also learn about the usage of the spring water. I copied just the introduction part here, but if you want to read more about it, the site again is: http://www.franzensbad.as/
Medicinal mud procedures:
At night we walked on the streets, and had a wonderful, very cheap dinner in one of the restaurants. Slept in a nice little hotel, which was very cheap, and gave us excellent breakfast.
(In this section, if otherwise not stated, the pictures were taken by, and the property of Dr. Anna Balog-Szabo)